Apple's Latest iMac Models Pack More Power, Higher Resolutions

Apple's Latest iMac Models Pack More Power, Higher Resolutions
The iMac Design Is Still Solid
Bring On the 4K Screen Resolution
The Higher-End Line Is All About 5K
Apple Saves Room on the Desk
They Are Equipped With Fifth- and Sixth-Generation Processors
Graphics Power Is Good, but Not Top Shelf
Apple Offers Plenty of Storage Capacity
OS X El Capitan Comes Bundled
Apple Improves iMac Accessories
Pricing Is What You'd Expect From Apple
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Apple's Latest iMac Models Pack More Power, Higher Resolutions

Apple has updated its iMac all-in-one line with more power and higher resolutions while maintaining its solid design. Here's a close look at Apple's new iMacs.

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The iMac Design Is Still Solid

Apple didn't make a major change to the design of its iMac line because it didn't need to do so. The iMac is easily among the best-looking all-in-one desktops on the market, featuring a thin design and metal finish. In fact, the iMac is a step above the many boring plastic PCs it competes with, which is likely why Apple stuck with its design concept.

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Bring On the 4K Screen Resolution

Apple decided to deliver 4K resolution in a 21.5-inch version of its new iMac. By doing so, Apple is bringing a next-generation technology to the smaller iMac that the previous version didn't have. More importantly, since Apple's new iPhones are capable of capturing video in 4K video, users can send their content to their iMacs and see the video in full resolution. The 4K add-on is a smart one.

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The Higher-End Line Is All About 5K

No surprise here, but Apple's commitment to 5K in the 27-inch iMac hasn't changed. Now, however, Apple says that its entire 27-inch iMac line will come with a 5K display. Previously, the cheaper version didn't have 5K resolution. By adding 5K to all big iMacs, Apple is making its 27-inch devices more appealing and putting more pressure on competitors to keep pace.

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Apple Saves Room on the Desk

The iMac is extremely thin and saves plenty of desktop space. At its edge, the iMac is just 5mm thick and with the stand is just 6.9 inches deep. The 21.5-inch iMac is also short at 17.7 inches and weighs only 12.5 pounds, making it easy to pick up and move. The larger iMac model is 20.3 inches tall and has an 8-inch stand depth. It weighs 21 pounds.

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They Are Equipped With Fifth- and Sixth-Generation Processors

According to Apple, customers will find both fifth- and sixth-generation Intel Core processors in its new iMac line. The 27-inch iMacs will feature sixth-generation Intel Core processors, while the 21.5-inch model will feature fifth-generation chips. That, of course, means that the 27-inch version will deliver some added power, but both models should have power that suffices for most customers.

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Graphics Power Is Good, but Not Top Shelf

When it comes to graphics processing, the iMac shouldn't be the first choice for those who want to play video games or encode lots of high-res video. That said, Apple is offering solid graphics performance in both iMacs. The larger version will come with AMD graphics chips that deliver up to 3.7 teraflops of compute power. The 21.5-inch iMac, on the other hand, has Intel's Iris Pro graphics processor, which is a bit underpowered compared with the larger model's option. Those who want higher-end graphics will need to go with the 27-inch iMac featuring the AMD chip.

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Apple Offers Plenty of Storage Capacity

Apple is once again offering a wide range of storage drives in the iMac line. The standard 21.5-inch builds will come with 1TB 5,400-rpm hard drives. Apple bumps that to 7,200 rpm on the base 27-inch version. However, customers who want better performance can choose Apple's Fusion Drive with storage sizes of up to 3TB, depending on the model. In addition, Apple is offering solid-state drives with up to 1TB of storage, depending on the model.

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OS X El Capitan Comes Bundled

As one may expect, Apple's latest operating system update, El Capitan, comes bundled with the new iMacs. Unlike Windows PC vendors, Apple doesn't need to provide operating system options. Apple bundles OS X El Capitan with all models. Those who want to run Windows or Linux can do so, but will need to have virtualization software or know how to dual-boot the platform to make that work.

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Apple Improves iMac Accessories

In tandem with the announcements of its new iMacs, Apple said that it updated the accessories that are available for these models. The new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 have built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. The keyboard is 13 percent smaller than its predecessor, while the Magic Trackpad 2 adds 29 percent more surface space. The Trackpad 2 also comes with Force Touch technology, allowing users to press down with varying degrees of force to create different software reactions. The Magic Mouse 2 is slightly lighter than the previous version and, according to Apple, glides better across the desk. The new iMacs come with the Magic Keyboard and the Magic Mouse 2.

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Pricing Is What You'd Expect From Apple

Apple is still pricing its products toward the higher end of the all-in-one PC market, but that's not necessarily a bad thing, given the experience it's offering. The base 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,099, while the 4K version goes for $1,499. The base 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799 and goes up to $2,299 for the highest-end model. Customization on both versions will change those prices, depending on what features customers want.

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