Also, when the pad is placed farther away from the keyboard as opposed to right below it , that has an effect on where I rest my hand, and it puts my wrist in a more natural position. Between that and the quieter "button" feedback I'd otherwise get on the Magic Mouse, I ended up getting a lot of use out of the trackpad -- even if I'm otherwise indifferent to Force Touch.
This would make sense, since Intel doesn't yet seem to have any sixth-gen desktop chips that work with Iris Pro; as of this writing, the list is limited to five fifth-gen processors , all of which were released not long before the refreshed iMac came out. Which is to say, these processors aren't exactly old , per se. What's vexing is that until today, Apple was in fact selling the Aside from trying to keep the smaller model affordable for casual users, I imagine the company is trying to incentivize folks to pay more for the bigger version -- and it's betting power users will be willing to do just that.
That's a shame, because a 4K display is probably at its best with a dedicated GPU. The unit I've been testing is one of the higher-end Performance was fine for web browsing and light multitasking, with benchmark scores that matched the flagship 5K iMac I tested last year. The I did unfortunately encounter the occasional bout of sluggishness. One time, for instance, Spotlight search paused before displaying results, leaving some artifacting on the screen.
I also sometimes found that if I tried to do something immediately after boot-up -- say, open a file in Finder -- I'd be met with a short delay. In moments like this, I felt as if I hadn't fully regained control of the system, even though the desktop appeared to have loaded. Thankfully, at least, hiccups like these were the exception, not the rule.
If you're not careful, you also might end up with frustrating disk speeds. Seriously, what year is this? I routinely waited through a lengthy startup of around 47 seconds, with the machine taking seven seconds just to show the splash screen. In contrast, an iMac with a Fusion Drive that I tested last year and the year before that , booted up in just 15 seconds or so.
What's more, in the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, the new iMac rarely broke megabytes per second on either read or write speeds, not even when I simulated the lightest-possible workload. That would be fine for basic use, like email and Facebook, but people who intend to use their 4K iMac to do things like edit 4K video shot on their new iPhone 6s might be disappointed.
From Apple's perspective, the company is doing shoppers a favor by offering Fusion Drives on more configurations, and charging less for an up-sell. To me, this feels like the "16GB iPhone" debate , redux: Both the Starting with the From there, you have some configuration options. While I have you here, let's go over what you get on the inch version -- after all, many of you will want the same color range as on the unit I reviewed, just with more screen real estate and stronger performance. Across the board, you get a 5K 5, x 2, display with the expanded P3 color range and 8GB of memory.
Real quick, the inch iMac has some up-sell options of its own. The two higher-end configs can be had with a 4. You will find that storage options vary somewhat: The upgraded iMac doesn't have much competition, especially for the smaller The problem, though, is that as of this writing, the XPS 27 listed on Dell's site runs fourth-generation Core processors, compared with sixth-gen in the refreshed inch iMac.
Meanwhile, Dell's XPS 18 is actually a battery-powered, portable all-in-one, putting it in a different category altogether than the iMac. It's a similar story with Lenovo: If anything, your best alternative might come from HP. The company just last week unveiled a pair of refreshed Envy-series all-in-ones, with They're not on sale yet, but they will be soon: The iMac is still the best all-in-one, with an attractive if predictable design, near-standard 4K and 5K screens, and even better color accuracy than before.
That's good news for people who are willing to pay a premium for a sharper screen, but don't quite have the desk space for the bigger inch model. In addition to the computer itself, the peripherals come close to stealing the show: They're finally rechargeable, for one, and the keyboard in particular takes up less space, despite having larger buttons. The Magic Trackpad now supports Force Touch too, so if you happen to enjoy those pressure-sensitive gestures on the MacBook Pro, Apple Watch or iPhone 6s, you can now have the same experience here.
As you can see, then, the iMac mostly hits the right notes, although I wish Apple were more generous with the other specs -- besides display quality and resolution, that is.
Again, I love the improved screen, but having faster storage for the money and the option of more robust graphics would have improved my boot time and maybe eliminated the few hiccups I experienced. It's great that more iMacs now have 4K and 5K panels, but until Apple redesigns the hardware, which has looked the same for several years now, the best thing the company can do is double-down on performance. All products recommended by Engadget were selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, Verizon Media.
If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. The Buyer's Guide. US Edition. Log in. Sign up. Show More Results. Teenage Engineering OP-Z review: Small synth, big dreams. Google Keep puts notes on your Apple Watch.
Latest Reviews. See all articles. How we score The Engadget Score is a unique ranking of products based on extensive independent research and analysis by our expert editorial and research teams.
That's probably enough speed to leave the MacBook Pro in the dust, and should give the Mini some serious CPU processing power, but it won't improve the graphics performance at all. For a sense of how poor the graphics performance is, I tried one more test, Unigine's Valley benchmark.
This is the most recent test available for macOS, and while Unigine's benchmarks are intended as extreme stress tests for gaming graphics performance, Valley is from , so it's not exactly cutting-edge. Even so, on the lowest "basic" settings, at 1, x resolution, the Mini could only manage 20 frames per second. Switching to "Extreme" at x, that dropped to a pitiful four. Four frames per second. This is definitely not a system for gaming. Beyond the processor, there are a few other components you can upgrade.
What it does have is one of Intel's new Kaby Lake G chips. They pack a remarkable amount of performance into a small SoC, and it's frankly odd this chip isn't an option in the Mac Mini, considering AMD graphics are already used in the higher-end iMac and MacBook Pros. If you're in the market for a new system and are committed to macOS, the Mini does have a few selling points. Aside from 3D modeling and video editing, Apple mentions XCode and Music production on their website, and these actually seem like compelling use-cases for the Mini.
CPU-dependent tasks like coding and audio engineering make sense for this system and wouldn't be held back by its specs. When Apple unveiled the Mini, it floated the idea of chaining multiple Minis together into a "Mini" server, and for serious CPU-based number crunching, that's actually an intriguing idea. You would need a pretty specific workload to take advantage of a setup like this office server?
Code compiler? Render farm? Apple's own marketing materials refer to the new mini as "part racehorse, all workhorse," and though they didn't go as far as branding this the "Mac Mini Pro" Apple is clearly positioning it as a high-performance computer. This makes the lack of a reasonable GPU all the more confounding. These types of GPU-driven number crunching are increasingly useful for scientific computing and data analysis tasks like encryption, image recognition, optimization and machine learning. For music producers and people writing apps in Xcode, maybe the new Mini makes sense, but I don't imagine most other "pro" users will be happy with this level of performance.
I can't help but shake my head at Apple's charts and graphics showing off how much faster the new Mini is than the model.
Four years later, I'd certainly hope the new model would be faster. Maybe this highlights the best professional use case for the new mini. A rendering machine that can handle CPU intensive tasks like compiling code and rendering graphics, but that you wouldn't actually want to do your daily work on. For general consumers, the Mini seems to fill the role of the family computer in the living room; a small, reliable desktop that should feel speedy and take care of basic work.
But with many people having laptops or tablets, how essential is that any more? If performance doesn't matter to you at all, then the new MacBook Air or even an entry-level MacBook Pro might be a better choice.
All of those caveats aside, I actually like this machine. The design is terrific, and I love the options for add-ons and expandable storage, but I wouldn't want to have to work on it. It's possible that there's a cohort of people out there who are looking for an inexpensive macOS desktop with a ton of useful ports, who don't care about GPU performance and have been waiting for the past four years for a new computer.
For them, the Mac Mini is the perfect fit. Chris Schodt Script Editor: Terrence O'Brien Camera: Kyle Maack Editor: Chris Schodt. All products recommended by Engadget were selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company, Verizon Media. If you buy something through one of our links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Don't call it an HTPC.