To Buy or Not to Buy? – 27-Inch iMac with 5K Display Turns Heads at Apple Launch


his week’s Apple media event saw the debut of the iPad Air 2 and the iPad mini 3, and if you felt those devices proved to be merely evolutionary, you’d probably consider the 27-inch iMac with 5K display to be revolutionary. But would you want to actually spend some money on such a machine? We all know 4K display tech, and how it’s now a common specification for HDTVs, but Apple’s new 27-inch iMac for the 2015 model year was one of the more underrated new product launches at Thursday’s media event. This is an all-in-one desktop that comes with an unprecedented display resolution of 5120 x 2880. And while that equates to “only” 218 pixels per inch, that’s more than what can be said about 4K HDTVs which have displays of 40 inches or larger, but display resolutions of “only” 3840 x 2160.

But here’s where the conundrum lies for buyers – 4K content is hard to come about as it is, so why would you want to splurge on a 27-inch iMac with 5K display resolution? If you’re the type of consumer who’s all hung up about having dibs on products with the highest-end specs and nothing more, then by all means, we’d suggest you go for this 2015 model year PC. But if you’re someone who’s more into unique features than bleeding-edge fundamentals, you probably would be better off passing. That said, we see the new 27-inch iMac as a great machine for design professionals, but not as much so for other work-oriented users, even less so for more casual users.

Those who want to buy the entry-level 27-inch iMac with 5K display will have to pay $2,500, and that base trim includes a 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core processor, 8 GB RAM, and a 1 TB Fusion Drive. That’s not too bad, but keep in mind that the top-of-the-line trim costs about $4,500, and comes with a 4 GHz Intel Core i7 chipset, and a whopping 32 GB RAM and a 3 TB Fusion Drive – the humongous storage space is great for high-powered executives who need a sophisticated productivity machine and the RAM more than enough for your average PC gamer, but a lot of it seems superfluous to most PC users.