It’s easy to get an argument whenever anyone declares this or that to be the best of whatever. That said, take it from a very long time Mac user, Apple’s new iMac with 5K Retina display can be described as the best Mac ever made. Here’s why.
More For More Or Less
Way back in the day, farther back into the last century than I care to admit, I bought one of the original Mac models. It cost me $2,495 and came with a tiny 9-inch black and white display, an anemic 128k of RAM, and a paltry 400KB internal floppy disk drive.
Included in the package was MacWriter and MacPaint, two apps which gave but a glimmer of the future to come. Oh, and a ‘bomb’ icon which popped up on the screen whenever anything crashed. And things crashed often.
The whole package weighed less than 17-pounds.
Here we are nearly 30 years later, and $4 more– a total of $2,499– will get you what amounts to a supercomputer that absolutely dwarfs anything Apple has ever built, but weighs in barely four pounds heavier.
That $4 extra gets you a 27-inch iMac with a 3.5GHz CPU with a 5K Retina display. That’s more than 14.7-million pixels. Storage is a 1TB Fusion drive that’s almost as fast as any solid state computer you can buy.
RAM? 8GB. Display resolution? Compare 5,120 x 2,880 pixels to the original iMac’s screen at 512 x 342 pixels. Where the original Mac came with MacWrite and MacPaint, today’s Mac comes with iPhoto, iMovie, Garageband, Pages, Numbers, Keynote, Maps, iBooks, Safari, Mail, FaceTime, Messages, Calendard, Contracts, Time Machine, iTunes… and you get the idea.
Much has changed in 30 years, and absolutely all of it– All. Of. It– For the better.
Everything in this new class of iMac screams speed. USB 3 ports. Thunderbolt ports. 802.11ac Wi-Fi. Bluetooth 4.0. And Apple’s Fusion Drive which marries the speed of solid state drives (SSDs) with the increased storage capacity of larger, traditional hard disks– baked into OS X Yosemite.
What really sets this iMac apart from everything else is the display. It’s not a 4K display. It’s a 5K display– more than 5,000 pixels across. That’s seven times the number of pixels on the 1080p HD television sitting in your living or family room. Text and photos are rendered in near magazine quality (your eyes will have trouble telling the difference).
Yet, as Macs go, the iMac with 5K Retina display marks yet another watershed moment toward the future. Already iPhone 6 Plus has screen resolution that exceeds 400 pixels per inch. Word on the streets that a newer, faster, lighter MacBook Air with a Retina display is on the way.
For now, Apple’s latest iMac can rule as the best Mac ever made. Until the next Mac gets made.