The Good With the addition of Intel's Haswell chips, plus 802.11ac wireless, faster SSD hard drives, and new Nvidia GPUs, the latest Apple iMac is a thoroughly up-to-date desktop.
The Bad Other big-screen all-in-one systems have handy extras missing here, such as touch screens and HDMI inputs.
The Bottom Line Anyone who bought last year's redesigned iMac doesn't need to upgrade, but for owners of older models or anyone looking to switch, the latest 27-inch Apple iMac offers a wide-ranging set of internal upgrades.
New processors and faster Wi-Fi for Apple's slim desktop
It's telling that the latest set of updates to Apple's iMac all-in-one desktop were not announced at one of the company's regular stage shows. Instead, the new iMac slipped quietly into Apple's Web site, the news announced via an understated press release posted early in the morning.
That's because the updates are internal, putting new hardware inside an iMac body that received a major makeover in 2012. From the outside, this is the same slim screen sitting on top of an aluminum stand and minimalist base. The design was controversial last year, with the iMac's razor-thin edge and bulging center creating an optical illusion that the entire system was as slim as an iPad. We're not quite there yet, but even in its second year, the iMac's design still feels modern, and unlike anything else on the market.
Inside, you'll find exactly the kind of revisions one would expect from a quiet hardware update. Intel's latest fourth-generation Core i-series processors are here, also known by the code named Haswell. In our tests with other Haswell systems, we've found modestly improved performance and greatly improved battery life, although the latter won't matter here.