The 2020 27-inch iMac was announced earlier this week with updated 10th generation Intel chips, new AMD 5000 graphics, a True Tone display, and an improved webcam. Unfortunately, the device has no design changes. Apple began shipping “iMac” orders earlier this week. When the new devices reached customers, media sites also published their own reviews.
Many reviews have indicated that the new “iMac” is great for working from home, with the updated 1080p webcam, improved speakers, and new microphone array highlighted as notable features.
True tone display
The “iMac” has the same 5K display that was used in previous generations, with millions of colors, 14.7 million pixels and a brightness of 500 nits. For the first time, however, it also has True Tone, so that the color temperature of the display can be adjusted to the ambient lighting.
Most reviewers didn’t have too much to say about True Tone since we’ve used it in other Apple products for years, however TechCrunch called it a nice addition:
This is the first time that the company has brought True Tone technology to the “iMac” and uses light sensors to adjust the screen to true-to-life colors. It’s a lovely addition, and it all results in a screen that appears positive. At the end of a long day, I set out to turn the iMac around and use it to watch movies from my couch.
Nano textured glass
Apple has added the same nano-texture frosted glass option to the “iMac” that it first introduced with the Pro Display XDR.
Not all reviewers received an “iMac” with nano-textured glass, but those who were impressed did. From Gizmodo::
I absolutely love this glass. There is absolutely no glare at any angle, regardless of what I’m seeing or the ambient light in the room. Bright light streaming in from the huge window on my left while Tom Hanks’ dimly lit drama Greyhound (on Apple TV +, natch) was on the high seas was not up to the nanotextured glass. The late afternoon sun hitting the display behind my shoulder didn’t reflect a bit on the screen. I need this on every device in my life.
The edge said the nano texture was “great” but wondered if it was worth the $ 500 price tag due to the unknown about durability.
Unfortunately, my first two major reservations are the kinds of things that cannot be resolved with just two days of testing. One thing is the price: at $ 500, it’s a super expensive upgrade, and only your tolerance for glare can tell you if it’s worth the price. Another thing that can help you decide if it’s worth it is whether the finish is permanent. This is my second reservation: I just don’t know. […]
I asked Apple about the durability of the finish. I was told they don’t want to give anyone the impression that it is fragile, but that, yeah: over time, using anything too abrasive could mess up the finish. Unlike other screens, the nano finish is really not coated. It’s just etched, bare glass.
Mashable The nano-textured glass gives the “iMac” an “updated look” and is fingerprint resistant.
While it’s not overly noticeable unless you can feel it physically, it does give the iMac an updated look. More importantly, it reduces glare and reflectivity, and makes everything look a lot more vibrant. And unlike the standard glossy display, it is not a fingerprint magnet.
10th generation processors and Radeon GPUs
Gizmodo was impressed with the performance and called the 10-core iMac a “power pack” that will last for years.
The few benchmarks I’ve run since the iMac arrived on Tuesday show that this desktop is a powerhouse. In the Blender test of CPU performance, the “iMac” rendered an image in 2 minutes and 19 seconds, which is incredibly fast – it’s more than two minutes faster than when comparing the 10th generation Intel Core i9-10900K processor . In Geekbench 4, a synthetic test of overall system performance, we were impressed by the 63iMac’s single-core score of 6382 and the multi-core score of 42417. Joanna Nelius, Gizmodo’s resident PC and processor expert, exclaimed, “What the fuck got Intel made with this CPU? ” We plan to do other benchmarks in addition to real world tests, but these early numbers look promising.
Mashable The 10-core test device with 32 GB of RAM and the Radeon Pro 5700 XT graphics card is too powerful for everyday use.
My test device was a bit too powerful for my daily tasks: a 10-core Intel Core i9 processor with 3.6 GHz, 32 GB of memory and the aforementioned Radeon Pro 5700 X graphics card. I can easily say it handled everything I threw at it with ease, but my typical work day doesn’t require all that heavy lifting in terms of hardware.
The “iMac” uses an updated 1080p camera that has also been improved with the T2 chip. This adds an image signal processor that includes tone mapping, exposure control and face recognition.
TechCrunch says the camera is clear and “more than acceptable for conference calls”.
The system has a number of built-in sensors designed to enhance the experience, including face tracking for better image capture and better low-light performance.
CNBC Liked the face tracking feature that was included because it keeps your face in focus.
Apple tweaked the camera software so that your face is always in focus even when you move it across the screen, and it does a good job of keeping you well-lit even in a relatively dark setting. This is important, for example, if you’re in a video chat with your team on a cloudy day and don’t want it to appear like you’re living in a cave.
The edge For video conferencing, the 1080p webcam is probably the biggest improvement in everyday life.
But there is one particular bump that is completely untypical for Apple even in this pandemic year: the webcam quality has finally improved. If you do video conferencing frequently, the new 1080p webcam will likely be what makes your day-to-day better the most. I hate to tell you this, but you really look more professional to your co-workers if your camera is just a little sharper. I don’t think it’s worth upgrading to a new “iMac” just for the webcam, but I’m glad Apple did better. Nor do I know I’d say it’s the best I’ve used, but it’s no longer vaguely embarrassing like most of Apple’s other webcams.
Microphone and speaker
The microphone also received a boost: Apple added a studio-quality microphone array to the high-end camera, while the speakers benefited from the T2 chip and got a variable EQ for improved balance, higher fidelity, and deeper bass
TechCrunch thought the microphone was “clear and perfect for conference calls” and said the same over the speakers.
The loudspeakers also meet roughly the same requirements. They are perfect for conference calls, audio playback, and even the casual viewing of movies and music. As someone somewhat obsessed with listening to music, I would probably invest in some external speakers to pair with the desktop in the home environment, but the computer audio is fine for an office.
CNBC: Called the microphone excellent and said that a recording with the microphone sounded like it was from a studio.
The microphones are excellent. Earlier iMacs had two front-facing microphones, but the new 27-inch iMac adds a third rear-facing microphone to reduce background noise. I had a 90-minute video chat last night with people who were also using the new 27-inch iMac and they sounded really clear. I also heard a demo track recorded by a musician named Mary Spender who recorded herself as a singer and guitarist before the iMac. I’m not an audiophile, but it sounded really clear to me like it was recorded in a studio.
There have been few complaints about the new “iMac,” but almost all of them focused on the machine’s outdated design. The design of the “iMac” has not been revised since 2012 and still has thick edges.
Some reviewers have also expressed interest in the addition of a Touch ID Home button, which is available on Macs like the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, but not on the new “iMac”. From The edge::
One thing that doesn’t feel modern at all with the 2020 “iMac” is logging in. If you don’t have an Apple Watch and use it to unlock your computer, all you can do is enter your password like an animal. Apple’s T2 chip controls the registration of the “Touch ID” fingerprint on Mac laptops. However, Apple has chosen not to add a fingerprint sensor to the keyboard or Face ID array in this “iMac”.
A number of YouTubers have created handy videos using the new “iMac” for those interested in seeing it in action.
Read Full Reviews: Six colors, Mashable, CNBC, TechCrunch, Gizmodo, Pocket fluff, and The edge.