Apple iMac review: two sizes of Retina – The Verge

So consider the $100 Fusion Drive upgrade to be a mandatory one if you’re buying these machines. Thankfully it’s a less expensive add-on this year, but that’s partly because Apple has gotten stingy with flash storage. The 1TB Fusion Drive contains just 24GB of SSD space, down from 128GB, which is still what you’ll get with the 2TB ($200 extra) and 3TB ($300) Fusion options. 24GB is enough to make OS X and its core apps run swiftly, but you may notice hangups elsewhere since the cache for your frequently used files is so much smaller. All of this is to say that you should ignore the introductory prices seen on Apple’s website; expect to pay between $1,800 and $2,300 for an iMac that’ll hum along and do everything you need for several years.

The 27-inch iMac has been outfitted with Intel’s latest Skylake processors, with a 4.0GHz quad-core Core i7 chip as the top option. Our review unit is a more sensible 3.3GHz Core i5 processor, which makes a direct comparison with the $4,399 iMac we tested last year somewhat impractical. It benchmarked a bit lower, sure, but felt plenty brisk throughout my time testing it with Lightroom, iMovie, and other creative apps. Newly refreshed AMD GPUs also help boost the bigger iMac’s performance in Final Cut Pro and when gaming, but you get integrated graphics (and fifth-generation Intel processors) on the 4K model, so it won’t get you very far as a gaming rig.

Along with the new iMacs come a trio of new accessories. Apple has refreshed its “Magic” keyboard, mouse, and trackpad, and all three are now rechargeable; no more hunting for AA batteries. The Magic Trackpad has seen the biggest changes, with a much larger touch surface (that’s now white) and support for Force Touch.

It’s got a force-sensitive trackpad that’s very similar to the one in Apple’s MacBooks, even down to the Taptic Engine that makes it feel like you’re clicking a traditional trackpad even though it’s really a non-moving wedge of glass. But the uses for Force Touch in OS X still seem somewhat throwaway. You can press harder to preview a link in Safari, or view an address in Maps, or look up a word in the dictionary. These are maybe useful things for power users, but it’s stuff most people will either never use or immediately forget about.

No more hunting for batteries to put in your mouse and keyboard

The Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Keyboard have received smaller tweaks. The keyboard isn’t as angled — your wrists will appreciate that — and has wider key caps. There’s a bit less key travel, but it still feels fine. The Magic Mouse 2 is basically identical to its predecessor aside from the lithium ion battery inside, which you charge with a Lightning cable plugged into the bottom of the mouse. That’s a pretty weird design choice that clearly prioritizes aesthetics over utility, but thankfully all of these accessories will last for an entire month once charged up. By default, you get the Magic Mouse bundled in, and opting for the trackpad costs $50 extra.


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