Apple iMac 27-inch 2.7GHz Thunderbolt review

The most desirable of Apple's desktop computers has been updated with Sandy Bridge processors and dual Thunderbolt ports, but are these enough to justify the high price? Read on to find out in our review.


Although we tend to be big fans of Apple's laptop range, we've traditionally been more sceptical about the benefits of desktop Macs. There's less scope on a stationary desktop computer for the many thoughtful design touches which make the MacBook Pro and Air models more useful and more pleasurable to use, but Apple has somehow managed to squeeze in a few which make this iMac the best one yet.

Versions of the 27in iMac has been around for about a year now, but we're still impressed by the massive screen with its staggeringly high resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. That's high enough to view four A4 pages side-by-side with ease. Image quality hasn't been ignored either with exceptionally bright, accurate colours and wide viewing angles. The glossy finish does reflect light very easily causing glare, but the iMac can be easily tilted and swivelled single-handed so you should be able to find a comfortable viewing angle.

We're still impressed by the massive screen with its staggeringly high resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels. That's high enough to view four A4 pages side-by-side with ease.

If the huge screen still isn't enough, this iMac is the first that can accommodate two external displays previous models were limited to just one. This is thanks to the two Thunderbolt ports which can connect to external displays, TVs and projectors using HDMI and DVI adapters which are sold separately. Each Thunderbolt port can also be used to connect up to five other extremely fast storage peripherals, but sadly none of these are available yet.

The rear of the 27in iMac showing the location of the ports

There are plenty of other ports for connecting peripherals though. There's a FireWire 800 port and four USB2 ports, all of which are available for use since the iMac comes as standard with a Bluetooth wireless keyboard and mouse. There's also a SDXC memory card slot next to the slot-loading DVD writer for using high-capacity memory cards. All the ports are located on the rear near the lower right hand side, which means you'll have to swivel the iMac round to access them which may not be ideal depending on your workspace.

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