It's something of a miracle that Apple can continue to cram newer (and hotter) components into the tiny space behind the iMac's screen, but we're already ready for a bigger redesign.
The Apple Mac Mini 2018 continues to serve as a satisfying, gets-the-job-done desktop system that delivers surprising value when you want something designed to be seen and not heard.
While others have tried and failed, the iMac is still king of the hill when it comes to all-in-ones. All that's left to ask for is faster external storage and better SSDs, but for now it still comes highly recommended.
The Apple Mac Mini is an unquestioned winner among budget desktops, but HP has a small-form-factor PC whose feature set will woo many would-be Mac Mini buyers.
Apple radically re-imagines the professional desktop with the new Mac Pro, featuring a design that looks fantastic and offers genuine breakthrough advantages. But, consumer-level Apple enthusiasts should note that this product isn't specifically targeted at them and DIY upgraders will lament the loss of traditional desktop tower flexibility.
Apple's new Mac Mini includes an elegant new design and some long asked-for features, including HDMI output and user-accessible memory. The system still faces a value challenge for its given specs, but Apple has done enough to improve the Mac Mini's appeal for Apple loyalists and design fans looking for a living room computer.
With a few updates and the promise of a total revamp in the future, Apple is reaching out to the pro audience again.
The iMac with 5K Retina display now starts at $1,999, but keeps last year's CPUs.
With strong competition among small PCs on the Windows side of the aisle, the latest Mac Mini faces a greater challenge than older models. If you demand a small, relatively affordable Mac, we suppose the Mac Mini is your only option. Otherwise, you can find Windows-based small form factor desktops that offer more interesting features with better value.
Despite its good looks and a few useful new features, Apple's new iMac is all about business. You can find a larger screen for less, not to mention all kinds of digital entertainment features, but no other all-in-one at this price can boast similar performance. If you need a modestly priced all-in-one for getting work done, we'd recommend no other system.
The lower-cost Mac Mini offers respectable budget performance and Apple's usual compelling design, but a puny hard drive and a lack of HDMI hurt this system's value and overall potential. It's actually more versatile next to its budget-priced Windows competition than the higher-end Mac Mini, but this entry-level Mac is still best left to Apple loyalists.
Apple's Mac Pro has design innovations that we hope will cross over to other systems. Its performance is as strong as you'd expect for a system in its class, and it's priced right, too. You might need more flexibility in your config options, especially for 3D design, but otherwise, the Mac Pro is as solid a professional-class PC as we've seen.
Apple's new eight-core Mac Pro demonstrates marked improvements over the older model in high-intensity digital media and multitasking scenarios. We also love the design tweaks that improve on Apple's already industry-leading sensibilities. Any Apple-bound design professional would welcome this new tool in his or her arsenal.
Apple's Intel-based iMac Core Duo boasts an enviable combination of a first-rate design, an impeccable software bundle, and the newfound ability to run Windows in addition to Mac OS X. You simply won't find a more feature-packed, versatile mainstream computer.
The iMac Pro is everything we thought it would be -- good and bad.
While its sealed-case limitations will turn off power users, Apple's least expensive Mac delivers a solid OS X experience in a compact box with similar performance to the entry-level MacBook Air and iMac models.
The 21.5-inch iMac will be a compelling lower-cost all-in-one for Mac loyalists, but you can get more capabilities from similarly priced Windows all-in-ones.
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.