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Apple iMac 2020 Review: The Last Intel Core iMac?

Without a glance at the official website, you may not know where the new iMac will change in 2020.

At least in appearance, it is indeed basically the same as the design of previous years, with the familiar thick frame, large chin, and a semi-curved back cover.

If we start from 2012, the iMac has not changed its design style for eight years. During this period, the iPhone has evolved from 5 to 11, the iPad has moved from the black side to the full screen, and even the Mac Pro has changed from the “trash can”. Become a “grater”.

Many friends who are on the sidelines don’t understand, even if it’s an enduring design, should it be replaced?

▲ In early August 2020, Apple updated the 27-inch iMac

However, as a device placed in a home study or office, I still have a slightly higher tolerance for the appearance of the iMac. Those who really need to buy it are probably not looking at the design, but will pay more attention to the time efficiency improvement it brings.

Considering that Apple’s self-developed chips will land at the end of the year, this new iMac may also be the last wave of products designed in the Intel era.

  • The appearance has not changed, but the new nano-textured glass is really easy to use

Since it is the reuse of old molds, the appearance of the new iMac will not be introduced in detail. Although the old design is not ugly, this thick frame is indeed uninteresting after a long time.

The same is true for the back interface, there are still 4 standard USB-A interfaces, two USB-C based on Thunderbolt 3, a Gigabit Ethernet port (optional 10Gb), a UHS-II SDXC card slot, and a 3.5 mm headphone jack.

iMac Pro will have two more Thunderbolt 3 ports than 27-inch iMac

Of course, there are still changes in details. This time the iMac screen supports the original color display technology, which can automatically match the ambient color temperature to provide a more comfortable browsing experience. Its main function is to protect the eyes, but as far as I know, some people don’t like the “warmer” tone of the original color.

Another upgrade point I like more is the Nano-texture glass panel, which can greatly reduce the reflection of the iMac screen without affecting the image quality and contrast.

The contrast between nano-textured glass and ordinary matt screen, the reflection phenomenon is greatly reduced

This is also the first time Apple has introduced nano-textured glass on the iMac product line. Before that, you can only enjoy similar technology on Apple’s top display Pro Display XDR.

In terms of touch, the screen of nano-textured glass is a bit similar to a mobile phone screen with an atomized film, but it is not a coating, but a nano-level etching process, which realizes the divergence of light.

To be honest, a large-screen all-in-one machine like iMac, as long as you put it next to the window, or in an environment with more complex light sources, it is easy to leave white light spots on the screen and the reflection of the lamp tube. Sometimes you have to adjust the angle of the screen back and forth to avoid the light source.

But after adding nano-textured glass, no matter if you are looking straight or squinting from other angles, you will no longer see the specular reflection. Not only does the work save worry, it also greatly improves the immersion of the entire screen, which can be said to be very Thoughtful design.

In the future, when the cost of nano-textured glass is further reduced, maybe Apple will introduce similar technology to other computers such as MacBook.

  • Integrate T2 chip, standard solid-state drive for all series

The configuration of the new iMac is basically a regular upgrade, including a 5K resolution P3 display, the 10th generation Intel Core processor, a new generation of Radeon Pro 5000 series graphics cards, etc., which are divided into three configuration positions: high, middle and low, and they also retain The DIY upgrade part of the memory stick.

The 27-inch iMac we got started this time is equipped with a ten-core i9-10910 processor, a Radeon Pro 5700XT with 16GB of video memory, 32GB of DDR4 memory, and a 1TB solid state drive.

Here are some commonly used softwares to run the test data again. Compared with last year’s i9 top version, the new iMac has no significant changes in the CPU part. The difference is mainly in the multi-core part. After all, it is 8 cores to 10 cores, which still brings about a 20% increase in multi-threading.

Radeon Pro 5000 series GPU is dedicated to Mac, the top iMac graphics card is Radeon Pro 5700 XT, with 16GB of video memory, while the commercially available RX 5700 XT is only 8GB

The GPU upgrade is quite impressive. In the default mode of Unigine Heaven, the new iMac has a score increase of about 55%, and the average frame rate has also increased from 68fps to 107fps.

According to the official data provided by Apple, this year’s new iMac has a speed increase of about 50-55% in Maxon Cinema 4D rendering and Unity Editor scene demonstration. It is mainly due to the new Radeon Pro 5000 series GPU.

It is faster and saves time running professional software, which is basically the main axis of the new iMac every year.

After switching to solid state drives, the read and write speed of iMac has been significantly improved

What’s more friendly is that this time iMac finally catches up with the times, abandoning the outdated Fusion hybrid hard drive, all systems come standard with solid state, which greatly improves the read and write performance of the system, and users can also have less entanglement when buying.

From the Blackmagic Disk test, it can also be seen that after switching to a 1TB solid state drive, the average write speed of the new iMac will be about three times higher than that of a 1TB hybrid hard drive, and the read speed will also be about twice as high.

To some extent, the T2 chip can be regarded as an advance “training” done by Apple abandoning the Intel camp and switching to a custom processor. It has already developed from the initial security protection to a “co-processor” positioning similar to the M series, step by step it has received many key permissions into Apple’s own hands.

The only problem is capacity. This entry-level iMac is only equipped with a 256GB solid state drive, which is faster, but the space is much lower than the previous 1TB hybrid hard drive. If you don’t want to add money, you can only rely on an external hard drive to solve it.

There is also the WIFI part. The new iMac is still 802.11ac and does not support WiFi 6. It is a pity that the Bluetooth specification has been upgraded from 4.2 to 5.0.

In addition, the new iMac also supports a studio-grade three-microphone array similar to the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which mainly improves the quality of video calls, audio content recording and playback.

Another important change is the introduction of the T2 chip, which also means that this security chip developed by Apple has completed the coverage of all Mac computers.

Many people think that the T-series chip on the Mac is only related to security. For example, its built-in AES encryption engine can protect SSD hard disk data from being stolen, and the design of the isolation zone can prevent rogue software from stealing cameras and microphones.

However, from the perspective of rights management, the status of the T2 chip in the Mac is not lower than that of the CPU/GPU. As for the integrated ISP controller, the audio and video experience of the iMac, and even HEVC video transcoding will also bring a lot of work benefit.

The first is the camera part. This time the new iMac upgrades the front FaceTime camera to 1080p (previous generation or 720p). While the resolution is greatly improved, it also supports the optimization of exposure and white balance during video chat, mainly due to the T2 chip. .

If you often want to hold video conferences, the built-in camera of iMac is definitely enough. Of course, I personally would prefer to have a face recognition verification system similar to Face ID instead of having to type the keyboard every time.

The new iMac supports “Hey, Siri” calls

Secondly, the built-in audio controller of the T2 chip can make the iMac speakers get better balance and fidelity, as well as the “Hey, Siri” voice wake-up function.

To some extent, the T2 chip can be regarded as an advance “training” done by Apple abandoning the Intel camp and switching to a custom processor. It has already developed from the initial security protection to a “co-processor” positioning similar to the M series, step by step it has received many key permissions into Apple’s own hands.

It is foreseeable that when the Mac is equipped with its own processor in the future, the T series chips will definitely have a deeper linkage with the CPU and GPU. Many of the functions we see on the iPhone and iPad should also be implemented at that time. .

  • Buy now? Or continue to wait for the next time?

Overall, this year’s 27-inch new iMac is more like a technology decentralization of the Pro product line. After all, the T2 chip, 1080p camera, or nano-textured glass that originally existed on the iMac Pro, or the nano-textured glass that only existed on the Pro Display XDR, are now transplanted to the iMac.

Not to mention the microphone array, original color display and other technologies, even the iMac Pro itself is greedy.

However, for users who want to start any new Mac this year, there is a problem that cannot be avoided anyway: Am I waiting for Apple’s custom chip Mac? Do I buy a Mac with Intel chips now?

But in my opinion, at least for the 27-inch iMac, friends who have replacement needs this year can still start with confidence and boldness. There are two reasons:

First, considering that the ARM architecture pays more attention to the balance of performance and power consumption, it is currently more suitable for use on thin and light products such as 13-inch MacBook Pro or MacBook Air, rather than high-performance devices such as iMac.

This is not only a low-risk test, but also a responsibility to professional users.

Second, the replacement cycle of an iMac is about 1-2 years. Just as Apple has said, it takes two years to transform the architecture. This means that if you want to buy this “Apple Core iMac”, you will have to wait until after 2022 at least.

  • The “full screen iMac” concept map made by designer Daniel Bautista supports Face ID and the base can also be charged wirelessly.

In the process of architecture transfer, maybe we can actually see a next-generation iMac with an “Apple core”, ultra-narrow bezel, and a new mold. But you can’t guarantee that this ARM version of iMac can be used in software. Compatibility and stability are better than the Intel version.

If your workflow is relatively fixed, and you usually use a large number of professional software such as video rendering and 3D modeling, the Intel chip-based iMac is still the safest choice at this stage, and there is no pressure to stick to it for two or three years.

And if you are just a home user, and you only need internet access and light office work, you can wait for the 21.5-inch model that may be updated in the future (maybe the first ARM version iMac), or buy a Mac mini and the external display.

Hope we can see the arrival of a full-screen iMac as soon as possible.

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Dyson Digital Slim Experience: Lightweight flagship

In my opinion, Dyson’s greatest contribution to mankind is not to make girls curl more natural, but the vacuum cleaners they make.

The V11 cordless vacuum cleaner is undoubtedly the master of this category, regardless of the suction power of up to 185 AW, the battery life of up to 1 hour or the price.

If you have to pick faults, V11 may have deeply hit the three major pain points of contemporary young people: not that big house, not that big arm, and not so much money.

Dyson, who knows the aspirations of consumers well, decided to launch a vacuum cleaner that combines performance and weight with a price conscience-Dyson Digital Slim, a lightweight cordless vacuum cleaner.

  • Lightness is a kind of productivity in itself

From carrying the box upstairs to unpacking and playing, the first impression Digital Slim gave me was that it was light and so good.

Although not marked with the V series, this Digital Slim shows the shadow of the predecessor V11 everywhere. It has a similar appearance, the same horizontal dust bucket design, and is also equipped with an LCD screen.

Compared with V11, the weight of the Digital Slim is reduced by 30%. In the handheld mode, it is only 1.9kg, and the volume is reduced by 20%.

In order not to become a fitness equipment, Dyson did not clean up any inventory parts this time, but redesigned all the components. For example, the fuselage adopts an integrated molding design, the fuselage and the hand-held handle are combined into one, and the vacuum rod becomes shorter and thinner.

Even the volume and weight of the main tip have been reduced by 40%, which is actually a key to the user experience. Many people choose not to sweep the floor robot, because the flexibility of the vacuum cleaner can be artificially cleaned in more complex scenes. This requires frequent lifting of the suction head, bypassing the power strips and cables, and crossing the threshold and steps. The brush head is the furthest away from the fulcrum, and every lighter, it can be doubled easily.

Dyson didn’t let go of the fulcrum. Digital Slim redesigned the buttons and handles. The buttons became a curved design that fits the fingers. The diameter of the handle was shortened, and a groove was made under the handle.

If you use Dyson for a long time, you will find that every time you lift the vacuum cleaner with one hand, you actually use your middle finger and index finger as a fulcrum. When the handle of Digital Slim is held, the index finger can be tightly attached to the button. Obviously save effort when exerting force.

With a lighter weight, a shorter vacuum rod, a better grip, and a more flexible operation, Digital Slim is very friendly to girls and elderly people with delicate statures. Even for me who has used V11 for a long time, Digital Slim has given me some unexpected value.

V11 is basically a land weapon to me. After all, it is not easy to lift a nearly two kilogram weight over my head. Digital Slim allows me to covet the old gray on the wall. The idea of ​​cleaning up was started.

Being light is a kind of productivity in itself.

Light without sacrificing suction

The motor is the key to driving the impeller to produce vacuum suction. Its speed determines the core ability of vacuuming-suction power.

This time, the Hyperdymium rotating speed motor of Digital Slim is 15% smaller than that of V11, but the speed is still as high as 120,000 rpm, which can drive 100AW of suction.

If you only look at the nominal parameters, 100AW is in the first echelon of vacuum cleaners, but it is not the highest in Dyson’s own home, even less than its own V8, let alone V11’s outrageous 185AW.

Is the suction power of 100AW enough?

I evenly mixed 5g of oatmeal, 5g of millet, and 5g of salt to simulate daily garbage. I used V11 and Digital Slim to perform two rounds of vacuum tests on the tiled floor respectively.

From the naked eye, the cleaning ability of the two is the same. The slight difference is that when inhaling oatmeal with larger particles, Digital Slim may bounce the oatmeal due to the relatively narrow air intake, while V11 is calmer.

▲ Digital Slim

▲ V11

For cleaning tiles or wooden floors, the suction power of 100AW is actually more than enough. You know, sweeping robots on the market are usually only 30-40AW.

So to some extent, it is a bit redundant to use Dyson V11 to clean hard floors, but this does not mean that high suction power is meaningless. If you have the need for deep cleaning of the whole house, dust mite’s removal or large area carpet, you should try to buy more High-power products

Compared with the peak suction power, there is actually another core indicator that determines the vacuuming effect but is often overlooked, that is, the suction power attenuation. The fine dust sucked together with the garbage will not only block the filter, but may even enter the motor, resulting in a drop in suction. This is like when we are testing a mobile phone chip, we can not only look at the peak performance, but also look at its durability.

The “on protracted war” of suction is closely related to cyclone design. In fact, the principle of the vacuum cleaner is very simple. The dust is thrown around with tornado-like air, and then the big beads and small beads fall on the jade pan, fall into the dust bucket under the cyclone, and discharge clean air from the middle. In theory, the greater the centrifugal force, the better the separation effect.

Digital Slim adopts the horizontal dust collecting bin design since V10, which not only makes it easier to dump garbage, but also reduces airflow consumption and friction.

The size of the centrifugal force = mass x radius x angular velocity². When the dust quality is established, a larger airflow velocity and a smaller dust bucket radius can increase the speed and enhance the centrifugal force.

On the one hand, Digital Slim improved the width of the air inlet, increased the airflow speed, and reduced the friction of the airflow. This made the centrifugal force of a single cyclone even exceeded V11, reaching more than 100,000G.

  • Suction head, dust collector and battery life

As a part that directly deals with trash and dust, suction heads are often overlooked. Dyson Digital Slim is equipped with a slim soft velvet tip and several tips and accessories.

This time I got the matte purple Digital Slim Fluffy Extra. The standard slim soft velvet tip, electric mattress tip, bottom conversion tip, slit soft fur wide mouth dual purpose tip and accompanying tip holder. In addition, compared with the Fluffy version, there are 4 more tips and accessories-wide-mouth fabric tip, extension hose, narrow slit lighting tip and high-altitude conversion tip.

If you don’t have much need for cleaning the bed, high places, deep places and dark places, the basic version is enough.

This time, the standard bottom conversion head of the whole series is worthy of praise. It can more easily allow the suction head to penetrate deep under the furniture without making users “kneel their knees.”

However, due to the bendable nature of the conversion head, the first time it is operated, it is not as easy to control as the original one, so you need to be familiar with the operation.

Another improvement is that the tip of Digital Slim can be removed with bare hands, and does not need to be opened with a coin like V11.

Since Digital Slim targets hard floors, it is not equipped with the high-torque carpet nozzles on V11.

As for the filter, it is no different from V11, and it can still filter 99.97% of fine dust as small as 0.3 microns to avoid secondary pollution. Both the filter screen and the brush strip can be cleaned directly, including the narrow slot lighting tip.

As a user who used to pick hair from the cleaning dust bucket with bare hands, I especially value the design of dumping garbage.

Digital Slim continues the design of the horizontal dust bin since V10. This catapult-start design is easier to dump garbage than before V10, and dumping garbage is also cleaner. Compared to V11, the damping feel promoted by Digital Slim seems to be smoother, and the elasticity of the dust collector cover seems to be optimized.

In addition, like V11, Digital Slim is also equipped with an LCD screen, which can display the remaining power while switching between automatic, energy-saving and powerful modes, and can also monitor 12 states such as airway blockage or the need to clean up garbage.

It’s just that the switch button at the bottom of the screen has changed from metal to plastic.

The battery is also the key to Digital Slim’s “slimming”, reduced to 18650. Following the V11 Absolute Extra, Digital Slim unsurprisingly also adopts a replaceable battery design, which not only makes old Dyson users envy , but also reminds countless smartphone users nostalgic for the past.

With a button, the user can easily remove the battery module like a “magic clip” and charge it separately.

The measured Digital Slim single battery can run for 40 minutes in energy-saving mode, which is 20 minutes shorter than V11, the use time of medium mode is 28 minutes, and the use time of strong mode is about 9 minutes.

The battery life is not high in stand-alone mode, but because of the existence of the detachable battery, you can double the use time and expand the use area by replacing the “magic clip” in the middle. It not only solves the problem of portability, but does not reduce the dust collection area.

  • Digital Slim is the flagship of small cups in vacuum cleaners

Digital Slim is like the “small cup” flagship popular among smartphone manufacturers in recent years. The weight and price are greatly reduced, but the core performance is not sacrificed. As for the battery life problem that has always existed in the small cup, Digital Slim has also creatively solved it with the design of a removable battery.

It is not only suitable for users who have requirements for weight perception, even if they are used to reinstalling users, the invigoration of Digital Slim is an experience that can’t go back after using it.

For Dyson Digital Slim, a lightweight and compact vacuum cleaner, I also had the first hands-on experience.

In terms of appearance, Dyson Digital Slim and Dyson V8 Slim are similar in size and volume. Both the box and the actual size of the machine are much smaller than standard flagship versions such as V8 and V11.

For the same main compact Dyson V8 Slim, I have also experienced it before. For petite girls, Dyson V8 Slim is already a vacuum cleaner with a good experience, and at the same time, the price is relatively good. The positioning of Dyson Digital Slim is to be higher.

The design of Dyson Digital Slim is like a mini version of Dyson V11. The dust bin is also opened in the same way as the Dyson V11. It can easily penetrate into the trash can without causing any problems secondary pollution.

However, Dyson has also made some changes to the design on this model. For example, the cyclone part on the Dyson V11 uses the usual gray design, while the Dyson Digital Slim design has become more colorful Purple, with a metallic luster texture. I feel that it enhances the sense of refinement, this purple looks quite charming.

In a word, Dyson Digital Slim is mainly improved in terms of light weight and ease of use, and the core capabilities of digital motors, cyclones and suction are also the best in the current volume, considering different people, the environment used is more targeted.

If you think Dyson V11 is still a bit heavier, then this Digital Slim can take a good look.

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