Apple announces iMac speed bump with super-sleek profile

Apple announces iMac speed bump with super-sleek profile

Summary: At a special event Apple today announced a substantially thinner iMac with an entirely new industrial design in the same 21.5 and 27-inch screen sizes (and four other new pieces of hardware.)

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TOPICS: Apple, Hardware
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Apple announces new iMac with 5mm thin profile - Jason O'Grady

Apple held a "little" media event today at the California theatre in San Jose that turned out to be anything but "little" -- at least as far as hardware is concerned. Apple announced five (count 'em!) new hardware devices, including:

In this post I want to discuss the new iMac (press release) which was last updated in May 2011.

The new model features:

  • Thinner industrial design built from aluminum and glass with up to 40 percent less volume
  • Upgraded display with reflection reduced by 75%
  • Every iMac display is individually color calibrated using an advanced spectroradiometer
  • 2.7 - 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, or
  • 3.4GHz Intel Core i7 processor
  • NVIDIA Kepler graphics architecture - up to 60 percent faster performance
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M, or
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680MX - best graphics available in an all-in-one computer
  • 8 - 32GB of 1600 MHz memory
  • 1 - 3TB hard drive, or
  • Up to 768GB SSD, or
  • Fusion Drive with 128GB of flash and a 1TB or 3TB hard drive
  • Two Thunderbolt
  • Four USB 3.0 ports

The new iMac isn't yet available for ordering, but Apple provided the following base prices:

  • 2.7GHz with 8GB and 1TB - starting at $1299 - available in November
  • 2.9GHz with 8GB and 1TB - starting at $1799 - available in December

So, are you buying?

Topics: Apple, Hardware

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10 comments
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  • Great

    And it's pretty cheap. Nonetheless, it's quality that matters :)
    shellcodes_coder
  • The desktop machine without an optical drive...

    ...pure genius.

    Or is it just that it is a MacBook Pro with a big screen and a stand?

    Yes you can buy a "SuperDrive" for it, but even then, that's old tech. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the bizarre resistance to sticking a Blu-Ray drive into their machines (which Windows PCs and laptops have had for somewhere in the region of FIVE years now) doesn't make Apple progressive, it just makes them look petty.

    Anticipated responses to this comment:
    1. "You don't know what you're talking about, no-one uses an optical drive any more".
    2. "Why not just stream?"
    3. "Why not just rip your existing DVD/Blu-Ray collection?"
    4. "No-one is forcing you to buy it!"

    Answers:
    1 + 2. Yes people do use optical drives. Not all software comes as a download. Not everyone has a fat pipe to the internet - in some places it is still below 2Mb, and download caps are real - traffic shaping and throttling can occur if you do a big download that pushes you over your daily (or even weekly or monthly) limit. On top of that, the storage in these things is limited. On a machine with a 250Gb HDD or SSD, an HD download from iTunes takes up over 10Gb (eg Prometheus: 4.1Gb for the HD copy of the film, 2.04Gb for the SD version that downloads alongside it, 4.06Gb for the "Extras" package). That's a huge chunk of disc space for a machine that almost certainly has other media and applications stored on the drive.

    3. The new machine may be the only computer in a household. How are you supposed to rip a DVD or Blu-ray without an optical drive? Never mind the dubious legality of such an action.

    4. No, no-one is. But Apple's machines are increasingly trailblazers for the rest of the industry (admittedly, laptops more than desktops). And if my current computer gave out tomorrow, or needed replacing for whatever reason, I am more likely to stick with a Windows desktop than continue my move over to the Mac.

    People will have a different opinion to me, I get that. But quite frankly they strapped a MacBook Pro to stand, took an existing 2-3 year old technology from Intel H, P and Z67 motherboards and called it a Fusion drive, removed an optical drive when it should have been upgraded, put a new thin display on it and called it the best thing since sliced bread. It's the first time they have properly annoyed me, that's all.
    Ben_E
    • Not a dood idea

      I agree 100% with Ben_E,and We still need an optical drive on a desktop. I think that apple is beginning to launch to many silly products out there.
      Ed Velasquez
    • Dying tech

      These optical drives are dying tech. In fact, anything that spins is dying tech. Why base your entire product on such things?

      If you absolutely need an optical drive, just attach one via USB. USB3 is plenty fast for any such (slow) peripheral.

      I simply cannot get it why people are to agitated that obsolete hardware gets removed from new designs. Do you still miss your 3.5" floppy? What about the 5.25" floppy? Or the 8" floppy? Haven't heard of them? The Apple ][ computers had an 8" floppy option... bad Apple, why don't they keep backwards compatibility?! (grin)

      By the way, if you don't like these products, just don't buy them. There are plenty of companies that produce plenty of weird products that we haven't even heard of, and it's no big deal anyway.
      danbi
      • I think I already answered most of your points...

        ...but as to the point regarding do I miss floppy drives? No.

        But DVDs and Blu-rays are still current tech. And unlike floppies which were data only, they are a cross media platform. Maybe things are different in the US but here in the UK we are still transitioning across to hidef, and people are still going out and buying their first Blu-ray players.

        People weren't as agitated by the removal of floppies because they were already unwieldy with some installs coming on nearly 20 of the things! CDs got to the point where software was coming on 6 or 7 and then we transitioned to DVD. It's very rare still to find software that needs ore than one DVD. But for media, Blu-ray won the format battle, and now it is the standard for home cinema. And you probably are aware that despite the large file sizes, the HD files you get through iTunes etc. are not of the same quality, either audio or visual, as a proper Blu-ray movie, and for the cinephiles, the iTunes extras just don't cut it - there is no equivalent to the branching structure of the Alien Anthology for example.

        TLDR: I do not lament the passing of floppies, they were retired long after they ceased their usefulness. Blu-rays are still current and arguably even still next gen.
        Ben_E
  • Not a good idea

    I agree 100% with Ben_E,and We still need an optical drive on a desktop. I think that apple is beginning to launch to many silly products out there.
    Ed Velasquez
  • needs an optical drive ...

    If you're gonna do Bootcamp, and have a heap of legacy Windows software to re-install, then you NEED an optical drive on a Mac. Else you're locking out a significant degree of useability and convenience for form factor. Second, Blu Ray has never been catered for on a Mac ... So Apple has bypassed a significant opportunity. Third, with the non-standard port interfaces now only available on a Mac, buying an external optical drive has become both expensive and problematic. My analysis ... A bit of a fail Apple.
    Frank O'Connor
  • if you guys need an optical drive so bad

    if you guys need an optical drive so bad... then get one and plug it in...
    its a desktop... not hard to sit a little blu-ray USB3 drive or something under it by the stand?

    I honestly believe less people need that drive than people that actually want it.
    doh123
    • Why?

      @doh123 Why should we have to buy a separate device for a desktop? It DOES NOT need to be as thin as they are making it. It's not a laptop. The optical drive is still useful and relevant, unlike floppy drives when they were finally dropped. The only thing making it irrelevant is Apple sticking their fingers in their ears and going "la la la la you don't exist any more".

      For a laptop it's possibly even more important. By removing the optical drive you get to boast about how thin your computer is. Ain't that nice? But if you are in the situation where you do need an optical drive (and it is possible that you will) you now have to cart around an external drive, one based on 10 year old tech nonetheless.

      Apple are a great company, but their obsession with thinness and sleek lines has put form over functionality. If they want to be the be all and end all of PCs in the home, as the "updates/boasts" at the beginning of every keynote implies, then they will have to start lookng at more usage scenarios.

      And anyway, it's not like external Blu-rays are common for the Mac. Or any decent software with which to play them. They would have had an open run at it.
      Ben_E
      • I have a Blu-ray external read-write unit (a nice one) for my iMac

        It doesn't get much use. (hardly any, in fact) What gets more use is wireless data transfers or streaming network video.
        kenosha77a