PC Magazine reviews Apple’s new 21.5-inch iMac: Get the 4K version with an SSD

“The main improvements Apple has made to its 2019 iMac all-in-ones (AIOs) are their upgraded silicon engines. The best of these—an Intel Core i9 CPU and an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 48 GPU—are the sole province of the 27-inch 2019 iMac, and you have to pay significant upcharges for them. Apple’s smaller-sibling 21.5-inch iMac, on the other hand, doesn’t have quite the same lofty aspirations,” Tom Brant writes for PC Magazine. “The least-expensive model starts at just $1,099, but it hasn’t changed inside or out this go-around; it comes with a CPU that’s several generations old, behind a relatively low-resolution screen that doesn’t elicit the oohs and aahs that the Retina display does on our dialed-up $1,849 test model. If you’re in the market for an iMac but don’t have the budget or desk space for the 27-inch one, the 21.5-incher is worth a look, especially in a component- and screen-upticked version like our review unit. Otherwise, we recommend you go with the bigger model.”

“The thick black borders around the screen are the most ‘classic’ part of the iMacs, and if you’re used to the vanishingly thin screen borders (known as bezels) of Apple’s iPhone XR and iPad, you might think the nearly inch-thick black strips more antiquated than classic,” Brant writes. “The thick-bezel situation fuels, in part, my preference for the 27-inch iMac over the 21.5-incher. In the 27-inch iMac, the bezels are the same thickness as the ones on the 21.5-inch, but they surround a much larger screen, making them seem better proportioned. On the smaller iMac, they just look ungainly.”

iMac now delivers up to two times faster performance for a wide range of computing tasks.
iMac now delivers up to two times faster performance for a wide range of computing tasks.

“That said, the 21.5-inch model still has plenty of merits besides its niche-filling size. This design has endured so long for a reason. Our main quibble with the look — the big bezels — is largely a matter of personal taste, and many shoppers will not care how thick they are,” Brant writes. “If this describes you, and your budget allows you to spring for the 4K version with an SSD, you won’t be disappointed with this latest spin on a modern, compact classic.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Another iMac review that, like most of us, pines for an updated design.

CNET reviews Apple’s new 27-inch iMac: ‘Millennial trapped in the body of a Baby Boomer’ – April 1, 2019
Apple’s new iMacs see significant performance increases over predecessors, benchmarks reveal – March 29, 2019
Benchmarks confirm Apple’s new top-of-the-line iMac is screamingly fast – March 28, 2019
Hands-on Apple’s 2019 iMac 4K; benchmarks, too! – March 27, 2019
Apple’s first iMac update in nearly two years packs quite the punch – March 20, 2019
Apple’s new 2019 iMacs are better for consumers and enterprise pros alike – March 19, 2019
Apple finally updates the iMac with significantly more powerful CPU and GPU options, no T2 chip – March 19, 2019
Apple updates iMac line with dramatic performance increases – March 19, 2019


  1. Those people that want a new design have no sense of the perfection of the current iteration. Still light years ahead of the plastic junk that is regularly spewed out by dishwasher companies for those dopes that need a quick dopamine fix. The narrow bevels will come, as part of the evolutionary design process that is the hallmark of Apple’s best products. Maybe all those folks need is some stickers on the existing design…ya, that should do it.

    1. exactly. my 2017 iMac 4K i7 256GB SSD is an absolutely wonderful, gorgeous machine. The only gripe I have is that I have the Macbook-like keyboard with f***ing stupid arrow keys and no forward delete. I’m using my old 2008 keyboard instead. Do yourself a favour and order the bigger keyboard.

  2. Just say “lower priced,” geez. Even Apple enthusiasts say “least-expensive” or “not as expensive;” It gives the impression that all Apple products are fundamentally expensive thus unreachable which they are not.

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