This year, I really feel that finally a new iMac has hit the sweet spot when it comes to pro editing, music composition, and importantly, price. 

Below I’ll give you 5 reasons why you SHOULD buy the 2020 iMac right now!

shown with the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and Magic Mouse 2

The new 2020 iMac shown with the Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad and Magic Mouse 2


It’s fast!

First off, it’s fast, really fast. If you’ve got deep pockets and have bought a £15,000 12-core Mac Pro look away now.. Cinebench benchmark speeds put the 8-core model on a par with last year's 12-core Mac Pro.. and the 10-core iMac is faster!

I’d recommend starting with the 3.8 GHz 8-core system which can then be configured with the 10-core chip. 

You can add lots of RAM.. 64GB more than last year in fact. 128GB of 2666MHz DDR4 dual-channel RAM will be more than enough for 90% of users and too much for most! 

iMac running Logic Pro

With the 2020 iMac, running pro apps like Logic Pro is effortless.

Just make sure you don’t buy it from Apple! They charge a huge premium so either go to OWC for US users or in my case, I went to Mr. Memory in the UK, and got 64GB for around £300 - saving £700!!

New T2 chip

HEVC decoding and encoding

Originally included in the 2017 iMac Pro, the T2 chip is now inside the 2020 iMac. The T2 chip helps with many things - Security, the new 1080p camera’s image processing, and more. 

Importantly however it also encodes and decodes HEVC (H.265) material. I’ve seen this in action and it really flies! As more and more drones and cameras use this codec, this is a major benefit of this year's iMac.

Image showing Apple debuting the T2 chip at one of their Keynotes

The T2 chip. System management controller, video encoder, and much more.

Finally a decent graphics card (with Navi) 

At last… A decent graphics card in an iMac. Even if you’re not a gamer (think Elite Dangerous at 60fps in 4K with the 5700XT), this is a big deal. 

Built around the new AMD Navi architecture, this range of GPUs excel in H.264 and H.265 decoding and encoding.

A cgi render of the new navi chip

The new Navi based AMD 5000 series GPU’s.


If you’re a serious editor I’d definitely go for the range-topping Radeon Pro 5700XT. Unlike its consumer PC-based variant, this baby gets 16GB of RAM. Very useful for the graphics guys and girls out there. What used to max all 8-cores on my old Mac Pro, doesn’t even register with this new card.

A lot of that is because the software is now written to take advantage of this. When dealing with H.264 and H.265 footage, you’ll find this card is quicker in many instances than the massively expensive Vega II in the Mac Pro - a whopping £2,400 upgrade! This is because it’s built around the newer Navi architecture. 

Editing software on iMac

The new iMac runs video editing software like Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere much quicker thanks to the new AMD GPU's.

10Gb Ethernet 

This is a big deal because a lot of editors bought the iMac Pro back in 2017 because they used shared ethernet arrays. 

The iMac Pro came with a 10Gb Ethernet port, now so does the iMac. Great if you have (absurdly) fast internet or work using shared hard drive arrays.

The rear ports of the 2020 iMac

New 10Gb Ethernet now an option plus faster UHS-II card reader on the 2020 iMac.


New SDXC card slot

Now included (finally) is an SDXC card slot that supports UHS-II speeds. More than double the speed of last year's model. Going from around 100MB/s to 280MB/s. 

As editors we all spend far too much time watching blue bars copying material over, go make yourself a cup of tea instead…

Final thoughts

Of course, the elephant in the room is the impending release of Apple’s own silicon. Is it worth spending money on a new iMac now when they’re about to release their own Apple silicon CPUs? 

In a word, yes. How many of you upgrade OS immediately when a new one arrives? Not many. 

We wait until all the software developers have caught up. Our systems are our livelihoods, so if we upgrade prematurely and there are bugs, endless crashes, this affects our work and therefore isn’t worth it.


Image showing iMac in edit suite surrounded by monitors

The 2020 iMac, the centre of your Edit Suite.


With the other new features, such as an upgraded 1080p camera and microphones (at last!), Bluetooth 5.0, and the option of having Nano texture glass, this year 27 inch iMac is the first I’ve seen that seems to have been geared towards the pro-market and at a price point that’s hard to ignore.

Save yourself some cash, don’t spend £15k on a Mac Pro, spend £3.5k on a 10-core iMac instead and go on holiday! Oh no... wait... Damn you Coronavirus!

If you'd like to get some more buying advice or simply want to check out what we do here at LA Media, visit the rest of our website or give us a call on +44 (0)131 622 0220.

Whether or not you agree with Black Friday is not what’s up for discussion here… The fact that you can get some serious price reductions, however, is! Here’s a very quick round-up of the top 5 deals we think are great!!

1. Black Friday Amazon Echo Devices

2nd Gen Echo Show - £169.99 (was £219.99)

Echo Spot - £89.99 (was £139.99)

All-new Echo Dot - £24.99 (was £49.99)


Some really serious savings here on all their devices. Go check them out!


2. LG (at John Lewis)

Save £2,000 on this insane television. I’ve seen one of these in action and they are incredible. Flexible and thinner than a table mat it really does feel like you have an extra window in your wall.

- LG OLED65W8PLA Signature OLED HDR 4K Ultra HD Smart TV, 65" with Freeview Play/Freesat HD, Picture-On-Wall Design & Dolby Atmos Sound Base Unit, Ultra HD Certified, Black. -

Now - £3,999.00 (was £5,999)

4 grand is a lot to spend on a new TV sure, but with manufacturers starting to release 8K TVs (I know, I know, ridiculous!), some great deals on the ‘older’ 4K top of the pile lot can be found.

Head over to John Lewis for this one.


3. Black Friday at Sonos

Some pretty decent savings here if you’re in the market for some new Sonos equipment. They’re obviously aiming at someone who’s putting together a home cinema set up here…

Sonos One - £174 (was £199)

Beam - £349 (was £399)

Sub - £599 (was £699)


Check it out here.


3. Lakeland KitchenAid Black Friday Deal

For any keen cook who wants to keep the retro good looks and solid reliability of KitchenAid’s Artisan 4.8 Litre Stand Mixer, but not has it dominate the room, this Matte Grey version is ideal. And so is the current price!

KitchenAid Artisan 4.8L Stand Mixer - £299 (was £499)


For all the best Lakeland deals click here.


4. HTC Vive

For gamers and VR enthusiasts, this HTC Vive deal is up there with the best. Save £100 on this puppy, if you have the computer to run it...

If you don't... see No. 4 below!

HTC Vive - £499 (was £599)


Check it out at


4. Scan Computers


If you’re keen on the above HTC Vive but have an aging computer, head over to Scan Computers and take advantage of their huge sale on everything from graphics cards to full desktops and laptops. Some very good savings here!


So that's it for this brief round-up. Happy shopping!!



Visit our website and if you have any questions or simply want to let us know what we missed... e-mail us at or give us a call on 0131 622 0220.

It’s considerably easier nowadays to find some pretty useful kit to make your smart home dream come true. And the great thing is, a lot of it actually works. With these smart home articles, I will try and identify what, in my opinion, are the best smart options for your home as of this year (2018).

web cam and phone

The most recognised brands in the smart home market include; Amazon, Google, Philips, Nest, and Tado but there are many many more. The first thing to think about when creating your smart home is what will make your life easier. What will improve things rather than make things more complicated and thus defeat the point of the exercise! You should also consider, and this IS important, what ecosystem you’re entering into. By that, I mean are your devices going to all talk to each other. Will they be compatible and work WITH each other rather than having to use five third-party Apps… Which can be frustrating.

So what’s the best smart home ecosystem? We’ll start with ‘Works with Nest’.

Works with Nest

Nest has been in the smart home business since 2010, with the company’s first product – the original Nest Learning Thermostat – which hit the shops in late 2011. Since then, Nest Labs has expanded into multiple smart home categories and there is now a range of slick, well-designed connected devices on sale carrying the Nest name.

smart home

Nest Labs is owned by Alphabet (who owns Google) with the Mountain View giant splashing out over $3 billion for Tony Fadell's company back in 2014. The nest is now actually being rolled back into Google, so expect higher integration with Google Assistant. The nest is a huge player in the smart home market and a good place to start your smart home.


Nest smart home products

Nest Thermostat

Nests' first product which hit the shelves in late 2011, was the Nest Learning Thermostat. Marketed as the first actually ‘smart’ thermostat, its selling point was that it could learn your behaviour and then base your heating needs around you.

A very nice-looking device that connects to your boiler via the Heat-link, which arrives in the box. It controls your central heating and now (with the 3rd generation) control your hot water too. For the most part, it works very well. I still find the Auto Scheduling a little bit random, but I’m sure that will improve over time.

It’s incredibly convenient and works very well when connected to voice assistants such as Alexa and Google. There are also separate temperature sensors available in the US but unfortunately for us Brits, they have yet to make their way across the pond.


Nest Protect

The second-generation Nest Protect, the smart smoke, and CO detector boasts a spilled-spectrum smoke sensor to detect both fast and slow fires, and a feature called app silence, which allows you to silence the smoke alarm from your smartphone when you burn the toast. Amazing. New algorithms also help the alarm to tell the difference between steam, from the shower for instance, and actual smoke.

The new Nest Protect has a mic that turns on once a month to test the horn and the speaker in a soundcheck. It's also possible to do a manual check within the app. It lasts ten years, has a faster, brighter path light, is easier to mount on walls or ceiling, and is 11% smaller than the first-generation alarm. There are battery and wired versions – both cost £109.


Nest Security Cameras

Nest took-over Dropcam in 2014 and a year later the first Nest Cam went on sale – essentially a tweaked and rebranded version of the Drop. Since then, the Nest Cam has hit it's second-generation and we’ve seen two Nest Cam Outdoor versions hit the market as well.

That second-generation camera is still on sale and is now called the Nest Cam Indoor (£159). It, alongside the Nest Cam Outdoor (£179), offers a set of features you’ll find as standard on all Nest security cameras: 24/7 live streaming, 1080p videos, three-hour snapshot history, night vision, motion, and sound alerts, and a talk and listen to function.

The Nest Cam IQ Indoor (£299) and the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor (£329), Nest’s top of the range camera duo, add HD Talk and Listen to the mix for clearer two-way conversations, person alerts (with Familiar face tech learning people over time) and a supersight 4K sensor with HDR, for close-up tracking.

The Indoor version also has Google Assistant built-in – effectively turning it into a Google Home speaker. This feature, which is only in the US right now, takes advantage of the microphone and speaker that handles two-way audio to add Google Assistant functionality. If you subscribe to Nest Aware, the cloud-based service that adds a heft of smart monitoring skills to the mix, you can include stuff like 24/7 recording, sharing of clips and time-lapses, activity zones, and more intelligent alerts.


Nest Hello

Nest Hello is Nests answer to the video doorbell. Connected to your WiFi network, utilising existing doorbell wiring it acts as a normal doorbell but can show you who’s actually at the door via your smart device and now via the Google Smart Home Hub.

If you have a Nest IQ indoor cam, Google's smart assistant will announce any arrival through the camera speaker. Cool! Sadly Alexa wasn’t invited to this particular bit of the party… Not yet anyway. You can however ask Alexa to show you who's at the front door etc.. and, if you have an Echo Show, you will see the (by now slightly irritated) person in question standing waiting patiently for you.

The Nest Hello does require a professional installation and may not be suitable for all houses/flats. Living in Edinburgh, I’m on the 3rd floor of an old victorian block of flats. So unless I dangle a router or extender out the window, it’ll be unlikely that the wifi will stretch downstairs to the street. Although I have been assured that it’s possible to connect the Nest Hello into existing tenement intercom systems, this would be £150 on top of the £229 for the Doorbell itself.


Nest Secure

Nest Secure is a comprehensive alarm system, made up of four different components – Nest Guard, Nest Detect, Nest Tag, and the Nest app. Nest Guard is an alarm hub where you put in your security code, emitting a pleasant chime before your alarm goes off, turning to an ear-crunching siren when you need to be on alert. It works on your home Wi-Fi but also has backup cellular.

Nest Detect is a motion and door sensor you can place around your home, and Nest Tag is an NFC chip that you can use instead of your passcode to deactivate the system when you're leaving or coming home and can be given to trusted relatives. There's a button you can press to activate and deactivate individual Detects, so it won't turn off all the other Detects if the alarm is armed – handy if you just want to take the rubbish out the back door, for example.

You'll get a Nest Guard, two Nest Detects, and two Nest Tags in the Starter pack – $499 Stateside, not out in the UK yet – and you can buy additional Tags and Detects for $25 and $59 a pop.

The Nest app reminds you if you've forgotten to set the alarm when you left, or if you forgot to close a window or door. You can set the alarm to one of the three modes within the app, of course, and it integrates with the Nest Cam IQ Outdoor and Indoor.


So that’s Nest. Or Google.. no.. wait.. uh.. Anyway. Google do have their own ecosystem which, as you’d expect, integrates very nicely with all of the above. I’ve never had any problems with the Nest Protect and I have three of them but some people, particularly with the first generation models, found there were some false alarms. Not so with the current model.

The good thing about Nest as a whole, is that it plays nice with most of the major players, except Apple - Apple’s HomeKit app is terrible. Looks just as bad as it works, which it doesn’t - Rant over. I love Apple products, so don’t think I’m one of those Apple bashers, I’m not.

Nest on desk with a phone and plates beside it

The Nest ecosystem is a fantastic way to start your smart home revolution. It works brilliantly with Philips Hue products, Belkin, Alexa, Logitech, and almost all other main brands. The home/away function is better than most, as it doesn’t just rely on geofencing. For example, if you have your Logitech Harmony Remote connected, it will use the gyro in the remote as another way of confirming that you’re home or not. Clever stuff.

I’m sure we will see much more from Nest in the future, but for now, it’s a big thumbs up from me.

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Ok, so if you haven't heard of Apple AirPods and have been living in a cave for the last year or so, let me explain. Released at the end of 2016, these are Apple’s first completely wireless headphones. They use Apple’s glorious W1 chip to connect seamlessly to your iPhone and if you don’t have an iPhone then they'll use Bluetooth. I would however say that you won’t get the full benefit from them if you’re a non-iPhone user... So I will assume that you like to enjoy using a phone and therefore have an iPhone. Ok, next...

Design and Comfort

Shaped similarly to the EarPods, these are not to everyone’s taste or ears. Personally I like the simplistic design. You barely notice you have them in, so fatigue with these is not an issue. AND no more mucking about stuffing wires down your jacket! I do admit that the AirPod case, however, does resemble a dental-floss holder.

Depending on you ear size, some people have reported having issues with them staying in.. As I have small (but perfect) ears, I haven't come across this. But be warned, if your lugs are on a par with the BFG, some third party AirPod covers (like these) may be required. Covers for the AirPods case can also be found very easily too if you’re worried about scratching it whilst in your pocket.

apple AirPods beside a floss container


This really is where Apple have nailed it. Literally the easiest thing I’ve ever had to connect... I still occasionally feel like throwing my old Bose speaker against the wall when it insists on connecting to my phone in the kitchen and not the iPad I’m trying to watch Ultimate Beastmasters on... Or it decides to connect to my girlfriend’s phone (because she once used it a year ago). All very frustrating. This however, is a joy. Open up the case and they pop up on your iPhone, tap connect, done.

Sound Quality

I was actually very impressed with the AirPods. Yes, they're not a pair of Shure’s, and so Audiophiles will not, I suspect, be as kind. They have a quite pleasing/easy listening sound with enough bass to satisfy most users. Sure, the highs are not very high and the mids and bass are a bit muddy, but overall it’s an enjoyable sound. Commercial pop music sounds particularly good here. Turning up the volume to full, does somewhat diminish the aural pleasure, but that’s not a huge surprise. I tend to listen at around 80 percent, which is plenty.

My usual daily headphones are the £90 RHA in-ear MA750i’s. These are very nice sounding, reference quality (on-a-budget) in-ear headphones. I feel they match my Sennheiser HD650’s quite well with their flat (natural) frequency response. the AirPods are not what you’d call reference headphones. Does that matter? Well, for the majority of non-audiophile users, I don't think it does. It’s all about listening pleasure at the end of the day. You won’t get the clarity and soundstage of many lesser priced wired headphones, but that’s not entirely what you’re paying for.

What are you paying for?

Well, in a word, convenience. AirPods are just so easy to use. They’re fun to listen to and are excellent for making and receiving phone calls. Once you’ve got over the fact that there’s no volume button, you’ll be happily asking the vastly improved Siri to do your bidding. They have a great 5 hour battery life and work well with most bluetooth equipped devices. At a price of £159.99, they may seem expensive, but in my opinion are one of the best totally wireless (in- ear) headphones around.


1. Fantastic W1 chip - The future so it is... Great 5 hour battery life
2. Very easy to use
3. Ok sound quality


1. Ok sound quality
2. Might fall out if you have big ears

Visit our website and if you have any questions or think we got something wrong or simply want to let us know what we missed… e-mail us at [email protected] or give us a call on 0131 622 0220