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Categorized | Articles, Gear, Jason DiMichele

Gear — Apple iMac Pro (full review)

Apple iMac Pro

Reviewed by Jason DiMichele

Let’s face it, computers are a necessary part of life for most of us. Regardless if it’s for work or entertainment, many people have at least one in their home.

Spending money on computers is not a list topper for most people, but it becomes a real pain when your computer ages to the point of struggling with current tasks. I introduce you to the new Apple iMac Pro, a true speed demon, which just might blow your socks off! 

The iMac Pro (from $6,299 CAD) is a beautiful, exquisitely-crafted tool and comes very well equipped, regardless of which model you consider. Every model of iMac Pro includes the 27-inch, 5K Retina display, providing 5120×2880 resolution, one billion colours, 500 nit brightness and a wide colour gamut (DCI P3).

Weighing 9.7 kilograms and measuring 51.6 centimetres high, 65 cm wide, and 20.3 cm deep, it has a very solid build and a commanding presence. The entry-level unit I was sent for review included an 8-core 3.2 GHz Intel Xenon W processor, 32GB of DDR4 ECC RAM, a Radeon Pro Vega 56 (8GB RAM) video card, and a 1TB SSD drive. 

If you want a total beast, the iMac Pro can be upgraded to include 18-cores, 128GB RAM, 16GB video RAM, and a 4TB SSD drive, and you’ll want to be sitting down when you see that price tag! 

With the High Sierra operating system pre-installed, the iMac Pro also ships with a Space Grey Magic Keyboard (with numeric keypad), and Magic Mouse 2. You’ll also receive 90-day complimentary technical support and a one-year warranty.

The iMac Pro has very diverse connectivity support. You can add an additional 5K monitor or up to four 4K monitors. Also included is an SDXC (UHS-II) memory card reader, four USB3 ports, four Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 4.2, four microphones (for a better interactive experience), 3.5 mm headphone jack, blazingly fast 10GB ethernet, 802.11 A/C, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and stereo speakers.

The iMac Pro 5K Retina display is stunning. It’s amazingly readable even with such high resolution on a 27-inch display (27 inches is the minimum size I recommend for 4K/5K screens), and it calibrated very well with my X-Rite devices. The display has a wide colour gamut, being DCI P3 compliant. The DCI P3 colour space is larger than sRGB, and similar in size to AdobeRGB (with a slightly different colour distribution). Because of the wide colour gamut, post processing your images for both print and online purposes will be accurate and reliable. I do suggest always calibrating your monitor though, as no monitor ever leaves the factory with an ideal calibration for your environment.

iMac Pro specs

When using such a high-resolution monitor (5K is almost 15 megapixels), the first thing you’ll notice is that your images are a lot smaller on the screen than on a lower resolution monitor. 

You’ll have to zoom in further to see details, but you’re also able to see more of your overall image at once. For example, you can almost view a full 15-megapixel image on the screen at 100 per cent.

Even though the iMac Pro Retina display is gorgeous, it is glossy. An ideal photo-editing monitor is matte and non-glare. Apple has done a decent job controlling reflection on the 5K display, however you’ll want to make sure your critical post-processing is done in a dim room and ensure that you’re not wearing bright colourful clothes, nor have anything bright on the desk. Because you can add additional monitors to the iMac Pro, you do have the option to add a matte, anti-glare AdobeRGB monitor should it be a requirement for your workflow.

Since most people use a computer for multiple tasks, I not only tested it with imaging applications but made sure to test for a lot of additional computing requirements. I tested some video editing, music production, programming, general business tasks and web browsing. My experience was great, and the iMac Pro passed with flying colours and astounding speed. Other than perhaps a pricetag a little steep for some, I really can’t find anything about the iMac Pro that doesn’t impress me. It’s a really great product.

In recent years computers have slowly increased their performance offerings, focusing more on power management and efficiency. Apple has brought a true computing powerhouse to the market that is easy to configure and purchase without needing to know a lot of the gory technical details. The iMac Pro is also easy to use, highly capable for all your computing needs and is a very valuable tool — if it’s within your budget!

To read more of this not-to-miss issue please pick up the Fall/Winter 2018 issue today online or at your local newsstand. To never miss an issue you can subscribe here

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