iMac Continues Its Evolution

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iMac Continues Its Evolution

Since its launch in 1998 as Steve Jobs' remedy for the company's sales doldrums at the time, the iMac has morphed from a stubby, heavy, transparent-skinned PC into the elegant, relatively lightweight, wide-screen product that it is today. Apple unveiled 21- and 27-inch-monitor iMacs at the Oct. 23 launch.

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Star of the Show: iPad Mini

Of course, the iPad Mini was the No. 1 attraction at the Apple product launch. The company is counting on it to be its holiday sales leader this winter. You can go here to see another slide show with more details about the Mini from the launch event. eWEEK overall has published a number of stories on the Mini.

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13-Inch MacBook Pro

This little notebook packs a lot of power and usability into a small, lightweight body, with its new, more power-efficient 2.5GHz i5 processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB NAND flash and optional Retina display. They feature SD card, HDMI and USB 3 ports. The 13-inch size serves as an option between the current 11-inch and 15-inch MacBook and MacBook Air models. The MacBook Pro with Retina display will cost you $1,699. MacBook Air goes for $999 and MacBook Pro for $1,199.

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Inside a MacBook

Intel's Ivy Bridge i5 or i7 chip is the centerpiece of the faster, more power-conscious MacBooks. As shown here, the notebooks also feature 8GB of RAM, up to 768GB of NAND flash for high-performance requirements and Intel's HD Graphics 4000 card.

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MacBook Pricing

As shown by this chart, MacBooks run from $999 all the way up to $2,799, depending upon what requirements need to be met.

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21- and 27-Inch iMacs

Apple is offering more choices for graphics professionals with its two new desktop iMacs These feature the power-efficient Intel Core i5 processors, upgradable to Core i7, and a new hybrid NAND flash/SATA power drive called the Fusion drive, and 1TB (terabyte) or 3TB of storage capacity.

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Sleek Is One Description

The 21-inch iMac does look sleek and elegant atop a desk and doesn't take up a lot of real estate. Apple designer Jony Ive and his staff are extremely conscious of every aspect of how Apple products appear.

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Backside on the iMac

All the ports are close together and easy to reach on the back of the iMac monitor, including Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt, headphone, USB 3 and SD card. No HDMI on this one.

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Two Drives in One

Apple's new Fusion drive for iMac combines 128GB of NAND flash and either 1TB or 3TB of SATA hard-drive capacity. The elements are engineered together; Fusion Drives works with OS X to deliver two independent drives and presents them to the user as a single volume. This enables faster processing and more storage capacity at the same time.

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Fusion Drive Stats

There is no division between the NAND flash and SATA HDD portions of the Apple Fusion drive for iMac.

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A5 Processor

Apple CEO Tim Cook said the A5 processor needs only about 50 percent of the power from the wall that its predecessors required but offers 25 percent better performance at the same time.

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iMac's Thinner Display

The iMac is not only 8 pounds lighter than previous versions, but its display is 45 percent thinner.

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