It’s an iMac. Again. This latest revision to the line that saved Apple won’t win any prizes for an innovative form factor.

Apple nonetheless believes this latest iteration of the iconic desktop still has what it takes, calling its all-in-one “the all-in-one for all”. But is it a case of ‘hats off’ or just old-hat?

Design: Case the joint

The iMac’s design hasn’t changed in eight years. In 2012, it felt like the future. Now, it’s almost retro-chic. It’s still sleek, but the chunky bezels and massive chin can’t help but look dated.

If you favour a fully adjustable display, you won’t get one here. The iMac’s only tilts. With a 27in iMac, this shouldn’t be a problem if you’ve set your workspace up properly – unless you’re really tall, in which case you’ll have to stand the thing on a book.

You might also grump about connectivity all being on the iMac’s rear – unless you prize neatness over convenience. Still, there’s a solid selection, including an upgraded UHS-II SDXC card slot. These days, the balance of four USB-A to two USB-C seems odd, though.

A/V: Ts are good

Apple’s finally put a 1080p camera in a Mac, which is great for video chat – but there’s still no Face ID. The stereo speakers are balanced, with plenty of bass oomph, but a bit thin compared to dedicated bookshelf units. Apple calls its new three-mic array “studio quality”. It’s fine for talky input, but you’re not going to use these mics for pro audio recording.

Interestingly, Apple’s T2 chip – known for making Macs more secure and encrypting your data – noticeably improves the camera and speaker experience over previous iMacs. When on video chats, the T2 enhances face detection and exposure, keeping you front and centre. And when blaring bangin’ choons from the speakers, the T2-enabled advanced variable EQ helps the iMac output better balance and higher audio fidelity – until your neighbours demand you stop.

Verdict: iMac Retina 5K (2020)

This iMac has few surprises. Unlike 1998’s bondi blue model, this computer is not aiming to be radical. And that’s fine. What we have here is revamped innards inside a familiar design. Buy one of these iMacs and it should be a robust, reliable workhorse that lasts for years.

Bang per buck, as ever, depends on your needs. The display is a bargain – equivalent standalone units cost north of a grand on their own. The form factor is proven. The unit is mostly whisper quiet and great to work with. But some of the spec updates punch your wallet in the face.

The biggest question, though, surrounds Apple’s move to ARM. Apple silicon will be a game-change and almost certainly result in a new take on the iMac – assuming the line survives. So before you click ‘buy’, decide whether you want to wait for the iMac’s future or throw a couple of grand at an impressive but in some ways dated specimen that feels like the end of an era.

Tech Specs 
27in Retina 5K 5120×2880 with P3 and True Tone / optional nano-texture
3.1GHz–3.8GHz Intel Core i5/i7/i9
macOS Catalina
802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 5.0; 3.5mm headphone; SDXC (UHS-II); 4×USB-A; 2×Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C); 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (configurable to 10Gb)
51.6×65.0×20.3cm; 8.92kg
Stuff says... 

iMac Retina 5K (2020) review

Another good iMac. Buy one if you’re again happy with refinement rather than revolution
Good Stuff 
Superb display
Solid performance
Quiet in use
1080p camera
Bad Stuff 
Dated design
No Face ID
Miserly SSD in entry-level model
Spec updates can quickly get pricey