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Apple iMac 27in (Late 2012) 'Best' review

£2179 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Apple

Our Rating: We rate this 4.5 out of 5

The Apple iMac 27in that arrived at the end of 2012 is arguably the finest all-in-one computer money can buy.

The 27in Apple iMac features the same impossibly thin design as its smaller brother, yet somehow seems even thinner and more impressive in this larger version.

See: more reviews of Apple Macintosh computers.

The screen itself is really very impressive indeed, with its 2560 by 1440-pixel IPS screen delivering a near-perfect image with excellent brightness and contrast, and colours which are spot on straight out of the box. If you want an all-in-one for serious work on images on video, this is most definitely the one to go for.

Our review sample is the faster of the two 27in Apple iMac models available, and with plenty of optional extras added – hence the higher £2179 price.

This gets you the top of the range 3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3770 quad-core processor, 8GB of memory and a 1TB Fusion drive. This automatically stores your most frequently used files on an SSD while also providing a cache to speed access to the rest. This iMac takes the optional nVidia GeForce GTX 680MX graphics processor.

This combination delivers awesome performance, whether you’re running office applications, creativity suites or even games. Where the best of the rest struggled to reach 15 frames per second (fps) on our full-HD Aliens vs Predator test, the 27in iMac effortlessly turned in 43.9fps.

Our recorded score of 4114 points in PCMark 7 was excellent and it doesn’t even exploit the Fusion drive as the iMac doesn’t use the flash storage when running Windows. This gives Dell’s XPS One 27 Touch an unfair advantage here as its flash cache is designed for Windows use.

If you’re willing to cut back a bit on the fastest CPU and GPU, you can have a 27in iMac for £1499. This will get you a 2.9GHz processor, much slower graphics and a standard hard disk, and will bring the price more in line with an entry-level Dell XPS One 27.

The iMac is no longer fitted with an internal optical drive, so you may need to find an external USB drive.

Apple iMac 27in (Late 2012) 'Best' review Expert Verdict »

Apple iMac MD096B/A (Early 2013) Scores 8.5 out of 10 based on 13 reviews
3.4GHz Intel Core i7-3770
27in (2560 x 1440) IPS display with anti-glare coating
OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
8GB DDR3 1600MHz RAM
1TB Fusion Drive
4x USB 3.0
2x Thunderbolt
nVidia GeForce GTX 680MX with 2GB VRAM
stereo speakers
gigabit ethernet, dual-band 802.11a/b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
headphone, optical digital audio
dual mics
SDXC card reader
Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Magic Mouse
FaceTime HD webcam
650 x 203 x 516 mm
9.54kg
  • Build Quality: We give this item 10 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 9 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Performance: We give this item 9 of 10 for performance
  • Overall: We give this item 9 of 10 overall

The 27in iMac is an obvious first choice for any creative designer. It’s immensely powerful and delivers the best image quality. It also offers peerless design, impeccable build-quality and the ability to run the more powerful OS X. It’s a pricier option, but always feels worth the money. This model is also by far the quickest at running Windows games. There’s no touchscreen though, Windows 8 fans, but some would count that an asset.


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