What To Expect With A 27 Inch iMac

27 Inch iMac retina

Ok, so you’ve finally given in and you’re going to treat yourself to a new, sleek, sexy iMac. Apple has finally roped you in with their “hip”marketing schemes on this beautiful monitor/computer combo. But you don’t want to be reckless, you want to do a little research first, don’t you?

Well then, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to lay out the specs as well as the pros/cons of a iMac.

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Retina 5K Display

Introduced by Apple in October 2014, the newest version of the 27 inch iMac features a Retina 5K display, Apple’s supreme high resolution screen. What this basically means is the screen is a whole heck of a lot clearer and crisper than previous screens. In fact its visual excellence is the only major difference between this current model and earlier versions of the iMac.

Compared to earlier Mac screens the pixelation on this screen is barely noticeable if at all. This is what the 5K Display offers. From the desktop to videos you won’t get enough of this vibrant, bright screen.

Yet despite the inclusion of this revolutionary screen tech it’s still only 5mm thin at the edge. To give you a comparison that’s 2 mm THINNER than an iPhone 6. Slick stuff here, huh?

But if you’ve never owned a Mac before you’re probably wondering what the specs are outside of the 5K Display.

27 Inch iMac Standard Specs

The specs, as I said, are the same as previous years so if you’re looking at buying an earlier, used iMac model, specifically the 2013, then these specs minus the 5K Display will be the same.

It’s got 8GB of memory but can be configured up to 16GB or 32 GB. That’s memory now, not storage space. It’s important to know the difference. Computer memory is storage for everything that needs to be accessed quickly by the computer like the programs and stuff you’re currently looking at or working on.

The storage space is 1 Terabyte but can be configured up to 3 Terabytes.

With a high-quality graphics processor and 2GB of dedicated graphics memory combined with the Retina 5K Display this guy is great for graphic design, photo editing, video editing, etc.

From corner to corner the screen is 27 inches and coming in at just 21 pounds it’s pretty lightweight especially considering that the computer and monitor are all in one.

Gaming

Gaming is another thing altogether. Macs have never been highly regarded as great gaming machines. Not to mention the fact that you’ll still find a larger selection of games for PC than you will Mac. But this view is steadily changing and Mac is starting to come into its own with regard to gaming. With better graphic cards and more and more games being supported on the 27 inch iMac you’ll have a decent experience gaming.

But if you’re specifically looking to buy a computer for gaming purposes there are better (and cheaper) options out there than an 27 inch iMac. When it comes to price, graphics and availability of games Mac is not leading the race.

Accessories, Ports, etc

Here’s the kind of configuration you’re looking at in the back of this bad boy:

  • Headphone Jack – This is a little complicated. To explain the headphone jack in layman’s terms it’s – who am I kidding? You know what a headphone jack does.
  • SDXC Card Slot – A fancy looking series of letters that basically means a slot that can read memory cards from digital cameras.
  • USB Ports – 4 to be exact. Ports for USB, obviously.
  • 2 Thunderbolt Ports – Sounds like something you plug into in order to tap into your superpowers. Unfortunately no, it’s just a lightning fast connector port that allows you to connect your iMac to other external devices and monitors and transfer large amounts of data with record speed.
  • Ethernet Connector – You know, so you can connect with a hardline to the internet instead of using WiFi.

 

Pros/Cons

Pros – Robust graphics displayed in an uncanny Retina 5K Display, high durability performance and speed, aesthetic. The 27 inch iMac is great for office or home use.

Cons – Not your first choice for gaming and incredibly pricey compared to others. It is Mac after all, they’re not known for keeping things cheap.

So What Are We Looking At Price-wise?


You can buy a 27 inch iMac for as cheap as $1799 without the retina display or as cheap as $1999 with the retina display. These are base prices and don’t include extra options to soup up your new toy. Of course you can always go for a refurbished iMac sold through Apple if you want to save a few bucks.

So there you have it, the rundown on the 27 inch iMac. Apple continues to up their game and don’t show any signs of slowing. Let us know what you think and your experience with the 27 inch iMac.

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HP DreamColor Z27x – A 27 Inch Monitor Made For Graphics

HP-DreamColor-Z27x

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If graphics are important for you when choosing a 27 inch monitor you might want to consider looking at the HP DreamColor Z27x. Specifically designed with color-critical projects in mind, this monitor can hang with the big boys.

Whether, you’re a graphics designer, a video or photo editor or just someone who works in black on white this monitor should pique your interest.

Follow me now as we dive into it.

Specs

  • A 27-inch viewable screen makes this a perfect size for graphics nuts. The 2560 x 1440 resolution is up there with the great resolution displays of today.
  • It weighs only 19.4 poundswhich is fairly light compared to other 27 inch monitors.
  • The DreamColor Z27x from back to back is 2.5 inch thick (which is pretty thin) while the bezel (basically the screen) is only .8-inch deep.
  • The screen is lit by LED backlights-Anti-glare protection on the screen which will make it so you don’t go nuts trying to make out the display during daylight.
  • The screen is backed by IPS technology. I don’t want to get into anything too technical here but IPS or In-Plane Switching is a tech that allows you to experience a wider viewing angle.
  • Tilt. swivel, pivot and height-adjustment. So basically set it up in any position you want. If you work better while doing a handstand on a chair this monitor will accommodate you.

What are the best ways to use the HP DreamColor Z27x?

The HP DreamColor title is a good sign of what this monitor is good for. Any applications that deserve or requite color-rich content display or vivid imagery would benefit from this monitor.

Here are some of the things this monitor would work great for:

  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • High-end graphics applications
  • Gaming
  • General office use
  • Medical office use
  • Coding

Again if you are looking to do anything that requires vibrant colors that just pop out then this is your guy. Again it’s all in the name, “DreamColor“.

Not to mention HP makes it and if they can’t make color pop then they have a serious problem.

What kind of connectivity ports does it have in the back?

 

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This one surprised me as some equally awesome monitors don’t even have the type of connectivity compatibility that the Z27x has.

The ports in the back of the The DreamColor Z27x include:

  • 2 DisplayPorts
  • 3 USB 3.0 Ports – downstream (for flashdrives, printers, etc.)
  • 1 USB 3.0 Port – upstream (for connection straight to another computer or a USB hub)
  • 2 USB DreamColor ports
  • 1 HDMI Port
  • 1 analog and digital audio output

Enough ports for you? You’ll have no issue connecting this one up to just about anything. This should be the standard for connectivity in monitors as it covers pretty much all bases.

Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • The DreamColor Z27x has vivid color imagery that allows you to work with color-critical projects.
  • Not only vibrant colors but a fantastic grayscale with dark blacks
  • Custom color profiles makes this a got-to-have for any graphic designer.
  • Connectivity is jacked way up on this particular monitor. It’s like a normal port hub got juiced up on steroids and this was the result.

Cons:

  • Price is a little high but has come down recently, definitely making it more affordable.
  • No built-in speakers. This really isn’t the end of the world as a lot of professionals like to use headphones or external speakers.

What’s this thing going to cost ya?


As I said the DreamColor Z27x has come down in price recently. It was running around $1500 but now you can pick one up at hp.com for $1,185.99. But you want cheaper I can tell, so go check out Amazon where you can currently pick one up for $1,175.32 with free shipping. Ok, ok, it’s only a little over $10 cheaper but cheaper is cheaper, right?

Summary

If you’re looking to spend some real bucks on a 27 inch monitor that can handle robust graphics applications then this is one you should definitely consider. I’m not going to tell you that the DreamColor Z27x is the best 27 inch monitor out there but I’ll tell you it gets the job done and it does it well.

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U2715H: What To Expect From The Dell UltraSharp

Dell U2715H 27 Inch Monitor

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Dell U2715H Analyzed

There are a number of 27 inch monitors out there for PCs. Not all of them are really up to snuff. In fact plenty of them fall short of the job they were built to perform. But I’m not here to tell you about the sub-par tech out there. I’m here to inform you of the real hot stuff that you might want to consider investing your hard-earned cash in and the Dell UltraSharp U2715H is just that.

The feature that makes the U2715H really shine is the screen’s high resolution. After all, the one thing we must demand from our monitors is that the screen is superb.

The resolution is 2,560 x 1,440 pixels which offers an “ultrasharp” viewing experience. I guess that’s why they named it that, clever Dell!

In fact many claim this monitor stands up to the standard iMac display, which really is saying a lot.

Well let’s get into the specs of this guy.

U2715HM Specs

Often when laying out the specs for tech products I try to find the easiest way to tell you most about the monitor, information that is actually useful. I could tell you the Dynamic Contrast Ratio is 2 million:1 and the Brightness is 350 cd/m2 but that tells you nothing when you’re trying to find out what monitor is the best for gaming and watching your favorite flick especially when you’re not a techie.

Here’s the simple, important data:

  • Weight is 23 pounds with a 27 inch viewable monitor (obviously)
  • The screen display is backlit by LED
  • The screen has an antiglare coating
  • With 2,560 x 1,440 resolution you’re going to get a wicked sharp picture
  • The U2715H comes with a height-adjustable stand that tilts and pivots with a built-in cable management system



U2715H rear

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Your connectivity looks like this:

  • 2 HDMI ports-1 Mini DisplayPort
  • 1 DisplayPort
  • 1 DisplayPort out
  • 1 Audio Line out (for your speakers to connect to)
  • 5 USB 3.0 ports – Downstream (for flashdrives, printers, etc.)
  • 1 USB 3.0 port
  • Upstream (for connection straight to another computer or a USB hub)

What’s The Dell UltraSharp U2715H Good For?

Because of the high-resolution screen you’re looking at a monitor that is good all around whether for home or office use, medical office use, for video editing, photo editing, watching movies, code writing and of course gaming. The U2715HM is especially great for gaming because some PC games are the only thing that’s going to fully utilize that kind of resolution output. The general consensus amongst gamers is that this is definitely one of the good ones in terms of getting the most out of your gaming. Especially with first-person shooter games where enemies are way more easily identified.

Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • Excellent, high resolution images
  • Very little to no backlight bleed
  • Compact size and thin bezel so you’re not dealing with some big clunky piece of equipment
  • Tilt, swivel and pivot allows you to arrange the monitor anyway you want for optimum space saving
  • Price is significantly less than the earlier U2713H

Cons:

  • Not compatible with earlier computers that use VGA input so make sure your computer is compatible before purchasing.
  • Some have reported significant backlight bleed but this seems to be an occasional case here and there. If you do purchase one and you notice a significance problem consider returning it for a non-dud.

What’s This Bad Boy Going To Cost You?


If you go to dell.com you can get the U2715H monitor for $599 but you can pick it up on Amazon for as low as $519.99.

So, whether you’re looking for a gaming monitor or just something for the office the Dell U2715H is definitely worth considering.
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Asus ROG Swift PG278Q – The Ultimate 27 Inch Gaming Monitor

Asus-ROG-Swift-PG278Q

Don’t let the title fool you, the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q may be a gaming monitor but it can do so much more. It stands to reason that if a 27-inch monitor is great for gaming it should be able to do a lot more when it comes to graphics and performance features.

Designed with gaming in mind this is not a “throw-away” monitor, this one’s a beast. If you were to bust open the panel on the back you’d find some additional hardware in there that powers this thing up like something out of Mad Max.

Why am I still babbling? Let’s get into it!

Specs

  • A 27-inch viewable screen. The 2560 x 1440 resolution is about as good as it gets in today’s monitor world.
  • The PG278Q weighs 23 pounds which is about average when it comes to 27 inch monitors.
  • While the whole monitor is 2.5 inch thick (which is pretty thin) when you include the full cabinet that houses the guts in the back, the bezel (basically the screen) itself is only .25-inch deep.
  • Response time is where it’s at. This one has a response time when measured in gray to gray time of 1 ms (milliseconds). That’s pretty impressive. That’s the first sign that the PG278Q is a true gamer’s monitor.
  • The PG278Q has 144Hz refresh rate. I know what you’re thinking, “What the hell does that mean?!”A game will spit out a certain amount of graphic displays each second which when coming at you really fast looks like real-time movement and action. Similar to how a movie shows you 24 picture frames a second which looks like movement. The refresh rate is how many “frames”are being displayed or “refreshed”each second. In this case it is 144 a second. That’s a pretty solid refresh rate. This is due to G-Sync technology. More on that later.
  • 3D technology integration. This monitor will work with 3D Vision kits 1 and 2 from Nvidia.
  • Tilt. swivel, pivot and height-adjustment. The mighty four that allows this monitor to be truly versatile when setting up the perfect monitor arrangement. Especially when you’re gaming.

G-Sync Technology

What is this mysterious G-Sync technology? Is it dangerous? First off, that’s a weird question to ask me. Second, no it’s not dangerous.

G-Sync was developed by Nvidia in order to solve the gaming problem of tearing and stuttering. This was a particular problem with graphics-heavy games when the monitor would go out of sync with the GPU (graphics processor unit). To break it down simply, G-Sync takes the burden off the monitor in talking to the GPU and handling refresh rates. What this results in is the monitor being able to have a real-time variable refresh rate creating a smoother experience with way less lag.

It may sound technical but trust me this is an awesome feature.

The PG278Q is equipped with this tech and so is a superior gaming monitor.

What can you use the Asus ROG Swift PG278Q for?

Gaming is obviously its main function but no monitors are built solely for one activity. They are first and foremost COMPUTER monitors.

So here are some things this one works well with:

  • Gaming
  • General office use
  • Medical office use
  • Coding
  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Really any high-end graphics applications

The PG278Q has an amazing refresh rate and high resolution screen which expands its functionality across most tasks. If it can handle the huge workload of a high-graphics, real-time game then it’s sure to work well with almost anything else.

What’s the connection situation in the back of the PG278Q?

Ok, great it’s got a fantastic screen and an amazing G-Sync tech integration but how’s it do in regards to connecting to external devices?

It includes:

  • 2 USB 3.0 Ports – downstream (for flashdrives, printers, etc.)
  • 1 USB 3.0 Port – upstream (for connection straight to another computer or a USB hub)
  • 1 DisplayPort

So no HDMI Port. Surprising that this is all it has going on with regard to connectivity. Especially seeing as though it’s a gaming monitor.

Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • A kick-ass refresh rate with G-Sync tech built right into it.
  • High-resolution will churn out vivid imagery.
  • The price will not break the bank.

Cons:

  • No built-in speakers. Not the end of the world but just seems odd. I guess most hard-core gamers will have their own external speakers anyways.
  • No HDMI ports and limited USB ports.

Price


You’d expect a machine like this to run north of $1000 but surprisingly it doesn’t. You can pick one up for $738.17 on Amazon. There are even used ones going for as low as $553.35.

Is this the PC monitor for me?

Answer these questions:

  • Do you want a monitor that can handle high-graphics applications?
  • Do you want to dominate in the gaming world, especially first-person shooters?
  • Are you willing to spend somewhere around $600 for a monitor?

If the answer was “yes”to any of those questions then the PG278Q is your baby.
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Acer H276HL – A More Affordable But Still Quality Monitor

Acer-H276HL2

I’ve spent a few articles going over a some high-end 27 inch PC monitors that are geared towards those willing to drop some extra coin. The type that when you switch them on to play a game or edit your videos and photos your jaw drops at the mere sight of the graphic resolution.

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But what about those of you out there who don’t want or can’t drop $1000 or more on a PC monitor? Don’t worry I’ve got you covered. Let’s look at the Acer H276HL, a 27-inch monitor that will deliver quality images without breaking the bank.

Acer H276HL Specs

  • The viewable screen is obviously 27 inches. The resolution is 1920 x 1080 offering a pretty crisp viewing experience.
  • Weighs about 16 pounds which is on the lower side of 27 inch monitors. This comes in handy when you’re having to re-locate the office or find yourself having to reposition it often.
  • Response time, which is measured in milliseconds gray to gray time, is 5 ms which isn’t too bad. You won’t see too much motion blur when watching a video or playing a game.
  • The Acer H276HL uses IPS technology. To avoid getting into anything too technical, IPS or In-Plane Switching is a screen tech that allows you a wider viewing angle. Remember when you couldn’t really view a monitor screen from anywhere except for right in front of it? You can thank IPS for solving that.
  • Tilt ability allows it to tilt forward and backward.
  • The Acer H276HL has Built-in speakers – an unexpected bonus for a monitor at this price.

What kind of things can you do with the H276HL?

This guy’s going to be pretty good for some things and not so much for others. While it’s got a pretty decent HD display it doesn’t have the highest resolution out there especially compared to the Dell UltraSharp U2715H and NEC PA272W which both have 2560 x 1440 display. With a decent response time and a decent graphic display you’ll find gaming and general office use are a good fit with it but more high end graphics work like professional video or photo editing isn’t.

The Acer H276HL is good for:

  • Gaming
  • General office use
  • Medical office use
  • Coding

Not so good with:

  • Video editing
  • Photo editing
  • Any other high-end graphic applications

What kind of connectivity are we looking at here?

Not a great connectivity arrangement here. You’re a bit limited with only the following.

  • 1 VGA port
  • 1 DVI port
  • 1 HDMI port

So no USB or DisplayPort. But again some things have to be sacrificed for a monitor this cheap.


Acer H276HL2 rear ports

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Pros/Cons

Pros:

  • A decent HD experience that’ll make your gaming and video watching parties a success.
  • An unbeatable price. Seriously, this is a good deal.

That is really what grabbed my attention about this guy, the quality for the price you’re paying is currently unrivaled by any other PC monitor.

Cons:

  • Not a large array of connection options.
  • Speakers are pretty weak. Your best option is to use headphones instead of the built-in speakers.
  • Lack of mobility affects its versatility. There are no pivot or swivel options here, only tilt. That’s like having Snap without Crackle and Pop.
  • A lack of anti-glare protection on the screen can be a nuisance during day hours. Not made for high-graphics applications.

Price



Now, this is where it gets interesting. You can pick up the Acer H276HL for $249.99 on us.acer.com and as low as $244.27 on Amazon. And with 4.6 stars out of 5 from 449 users, can see that this is a pretty well-liked monitor.

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Upshot of the whole thing

So taking into account all of the above, is this a monitor you should buy? The answer is – yes if you’re looking to keep it within a low budget. Again if you are looking for something that works well with high-graphics applications like professional video editing and photo editing software then this is definitely not the monitor you should be looking at. Save up some more money and look at investing some more bucks into a more robust graphics machine.

But if you’re looking to keep it under $300
without being totally shafted by some low-quality, knock-off monitor than this is your guy.

Come on, now 449 users on Amazon(.com) can’t be wrong, can they? Wait…can they?