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

 
 
By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 2015-10-14
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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    Apple's Latest iMac Models Pack More Power, Higher Resolutions
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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.
 

The 2015 fourth quarter is shaping up to be a busy one for Apple. The device maker now has new iPhones on store shelves, and on Oct. 13 it announced that it has updated its iMac product line, delivering 4K video resolution to one of its 21-inch iMac models. In addition, all of Apple's 27-inch iMacs now feature 5K resolution, making them among the most visually sharp all-in-one machines on the market. But the iMacs' appeal goes far beyond their screens. Apple has made them more powerful while maintaining a design favored by both consumers and enterprise customers hoping to save some room on the desktop. The new iMac line, in other words, took all of the things that folks like in the previous models and added in some new features to keep attracting new customers. This slide show covers those new features and explains why anyone ready to buy a new computer or replace an older iMac models might take a close look at Apple's new iMacs. Read on to learn more about what features you will find in the latest iMacs.

 
 
 
 
 
Don Reisinger is a freelance technology columnist. He started writing about technology for Ziff-Davis' Gearlog.com. Since then, he has written extremely popular columns for CNET.com, Computerworld, InformationWeek, and others. He has appeared numerous times on national television to share his expertise with viewers. You can follow his every move at http://twitter.com/donreisinger.
 
 
 
 
 
 

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