The iMac 27 is no longer available from Apple and that's not a bad thing

With the release of the Studio display, Apple quietly discontinued the 27-inch iMac leaving home users with different options

apple imac 5k
(Image credit: Apple)

The iMac 27 was Apple's flagship home computer. It was the bigger brother to the 21.5-inch model and a significant upgrade, both in terms of screen and specs. However with the introduction of the 24-inch model last year, with its superior M1 chip, the benefits of the old Intel-based 27-inch were waning. 

Many suggest that we could see the return of the iMac 27, perhaps with an M1 Pro or M1 Max chip later this year. There's certainly a chance it's not the last we've seen of the all-in-one behemoth but my question is, will we really miss it?

I loved the iMac 27. I was lucky enough to have it as my work computer for a few years and it was a pleasure to use. That 5K screen was simply stunning and it never lacked power for what I needed. My parents bought one too and still love it. 

If I was looking for a similar machine today, I would have two main options. I could go with the slightly smaller, but still very impressive iMac 24 or opt for a Mac mini with an external monitor. 

Apple Studio Display and Mac Mini

(Image credit: Apple)

Unless you're really hung up on the lack of Apple badge on the front, the iMac 24 looks better than the iMac 27, and it comes in an assortment of colors in addition to that Apple silver. The 3-inches of screen loss is unlikely to make a huge difference for most people and nor is the drop from 5k to 4.5k resolution. Performance-wise, the iMac 24 is leaps ahead, and what's more, the price is much lower, starting from £1249/$1299 rather than £1799/$1799.

For those that really want that larger 27-inch screen, Apple now offers the Studio Display. This external monitor can be paired with the Mac mini to make what is not only a very capable system but also an easier one to upgrade. The Studio Display costs £1499/$1299 and the Mac mini starts at £699/$699, that's a bit more than the iMac 27 but has a far superior performance. It also means that should you want to upgrade, you can simply upgrade the Mac mini rather than the whole system.

Plus, should you want to keep the cost lower, you can opt for a non-Apple display like the Dell UltraSharp U2720Q.

There are always benefits to a modular system when it comes to longevity and upgradeability. Yes, the addition of the Mac mini box means your desk might look as clean but it's not like this is a full-size desktop – it will fit neatly underneath your monitor and can be paired with an adapter hub to give you more port access.

And if you really do still miss the iMac 27, I'm sure it will be back soon enough.

As T3's Managing Editor in the US, Mat has his finger on the pulse for the latest advances in technology. Originally from the UK, he has written about technology since 2003 and after stints in Beijing and Hong Kong, is now based in Chicago. He’s a true lover of gadgets, but especially anything that involves cameras, electric cars, musical instruments or travel.