Apple updates iMac with Core i7 and huge displays

by Reads (7,252)

Today the popular Cupertino PC maker unveiled a new suite of desktops, including an updated iMac line.  Setting the standard in just about every imaginable way, the new all-in-ones feature 21.5- and 27-inch IPS panel options, Core 2 Duo, Core i5 and Core i7 CPUs, NVIDIA and ATI graphics as well as wireless…everything. Almost.

The new offerings comprise the sleekest, and possibly the largest, all-in-one computers to date. The iMac line is still only two models, but while one of those is 21.5 inches diagonally, the other is a whopping 27.  Both displays use IPS panels, which offer superior color reproduction and 178 degree viewing angles.  The 21.5-inch model offers up 1920×1080 pixels of resolution while the 27-inch model shows off a curious (and impressive) 2560×1440 resolution.

 

 

NVIDIA’s GeForce 9400M is standard across all models, but higher-end configurations can instead choose to take advantage of stronger graphics options like ATI’s Radeon HD4670 or 4850.

Specifications for the 21.5-inch model:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.06 or 3.33GHz
  • Operating system: Mac OS X 10.6 – Snow Leopard
  • Display: 21.5-inch 1920×1080 IPS panel
  • Memory: up to 8GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1066MHz
  • Hard drive: up to 2TB SATA
  • Optical drive: 8x DL SuperDrive DVD+/-RW
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wireless networking: 80211/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M with 256MB DDR3 or ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB GDDR3
  • Wireless keyboard, wireless multitouch mouse
  • Dimensions: 17.75 x 20.8 x 7.42 inches (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 20.5 pounds

Specifications for the 27-inch model:

  • Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo @ 3.06 or 3.33GHz, Core i5 @ 2.66GHz or Core i7 @ 2.8GHz
  • Operating system: Mac OS X 10.6 – Snow Leopard
  • Display: 27-inch 2560×1440 IPS panel
  • Memory: up to 16GB DDR3 SDRAM @ 1066MHz
  • Hard drive: up to 2TB SATA
  • Optical drive: 8x DL SuperDrive DVD+/-RW (still no Blu-ray, sorry)
  • Networking: Gigabit Ethernet
  • Wireless networking: 80211/a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR
  • Graphics: ATI Radeon HD 4670 with 256MB GDDR3 or HD 4850 with 512MB GDDR3
  • Wireless keyboard, wireless multitouch mouse
  • Dimensions: 20.4 x 25.6 x 8.15 (HxWxD)
  • Weight: 30.5 pounds

 

Both models come equipped with one FireWire 800 port as well as four USB2.0 ports and an SD card slot.  Audio is taken care of by built-in 17W stereo speakers as well as combo headphone/optical out and line in/optical in jacks.  The new iMacs also feature built-in microphones and iSight webcams.

The 21.5- and 27-inch models each offer a mini-DisplayPort out that can connect to DVI, VGA and dual-link DVI ports through separately available adapters.  Up to a 30-inch, 2560×1600 external display is supported.  More interesting, however, is the 27-inch iMac’s ability to take in a DisplayPort input and use the built-in 2560×1440 IPS panel as a display for a secondary device, whether it’s a PC, home theater component, or even another Mac. 

It’s a very smart move by Apple, and adds tremendous value to the computer – Apple’s 30-inch displays offer a 2560×1600 resolution and cost $1799. The 27-inch iMac offers an outstanding IPS screen with a resolution of 2560×1440 – 90% that of the 30-inch cinema display – and it starts at a hundred dollars less.  That’s like getting a free Mac desktop with the purchase of a monitor.

Both new models come with Apple’s wireless aluminum keyboard, which is essentially a desktop version of the keyboards made famous in their Macbook and Macbook Pro notebook computers. Additionally, the new iMacs come with the Apple Magic Mouse, a replacement for the love-it-or-hate-it Might Mouse.  The unibutton peripheral features a built-in multitouch surface.

The new iMacs are available starting today in both Apple retail stores and online at store.apple.com.  21.5-inch units start at $1199, while the larger 27-inch desktops start at $1699.  Expensive, yes, but still fair, especially considering the quality and expensive of a high-resolution external IPS display.

Credit to Apple Computer for all images.

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