Apple's ultrathin iMac available November 30

Apple's ultrathin iMac available November 30

Summary: Apple will ship its extraordinarily thin 21.5-inch iMac on Nov. 30, with the 27-inch model following in December.


Apple announced this morning that its new, lithe iMac will be available on Friday, November 30.

If you're unfamiliar, you're not alone: the all-in-one desktop computer was announced at the same time as the company's new iPad mini and revamped iPad, and as such was overlooked a bit. Aside from the latest Intel processors, the model is much thinner in appearance (5 millimeters at its thinnest), eight pounds (3.6 kilograms) lighter and carries less reflected glare than its predecessor.

So, the details: the 21.5-inch model will be available in stores, online and at authorized dealers on Nov. 30. The 27-inch model can be ordered soon (Apple didn't say) and will ship in December.

Specifications if you're interested:

  • Memory: 8GB, 1600 MHz
  • Storage: 1TB with 128GB of flash ("Fusion Drive")
  • CPU: Third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 (can be upgraded to Core i7) -- 2.7GHz or 2.9Ghz Core i5 for the smaller model; 2.9 or 3.2 GHz Core i5 for the larger.
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce (GT640M, GT650M for the smaller; GTX 660M or GTX 675MX for the larger)
  • Pricing (U.S.): $1,299; $1,499; $1,799; $1,999

Topic: Apple

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

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  • Given that the 2010-2011 models can roast a chicken in front of them,

    a thinner 2012 model means the internal cooling systems have to be even more efficient. And since previous models are not...

    And I've not mentioned the 2009 model's screen burn-in-thanks-to-overheating that a person who bought my imac eventually got to see (he was glad I bought the extended warranty plan)...

    Given the imac's rather long history of overheating-related problems, due to poor design and manufacture quality, forget 2012 until Apple can convince customers the innards have as much substance that the price tag compels customers to believe. "Style over substance" is getting too hot to handle. Stop stealing our money and put out something right for a change. Even my 2012-built quad-core PC notebook, using the same ivy bridge CPU in the 2012 macbooks, gets up to 70C while macbook users are still reporting upper-90s. Cooling sucks. Apple's designs are poor for anything system-intensive, and if I need a 17" laptop just to view web pages and write documents, a $400 plastic thing is far more efficient than a comparable $2600 thing.

    I might be doing a CS6 crossgrade from Mac to Windows... the innovations I adore in OS X no longer justify poorly built, planned obsolescence devices that go kaput after 3 years. Especially for the prices being commanded for such pretty junk.
    • What a clueless bitter troll...

      It's painfully obvious that you know nothing about Macs other than the ignorant prejudice you so desperately cling to. We get it, you have been an Apple bashing toad for years and years and Apple has made you look like the fool you are time and time again. That's not Apple's fault, it is your fault. Own your ignorance and stand up, be a man instead of a cowering wuss, and go face your fear. iMacs are awesome machines, they are not going to bite you. I have 60+ of them at work and 2 at home. They are incredibly solid quality and I haven't had any problems with any of them (work or home). I'm sure I will be picking up at least a couple of these new iMacs and I look forward to it. They look like really nice machines.
      • Personal attacks usually reveal a lack of substance

        My experience with 4 iMacs at my company is that they overheat regularly. As a result I've had disk drive failures, optical drive failures, and even a display failure. To solve this problem, I've installed additional software to speed up the fans when the machine gets too hot, which has resulted in fan failures (and they have really noisy fans if they speed up beyond idle, since they're tiny and have to spin very fast to move a lot of air.) If you have not had any problems with your iMacs, either you're unbelievably lucky, or you're overlooking quite a few problems - and for sure, your're able to keep your offices perfectly air-conditioned, since the iMac overheats rapidly above about 75 degrees, making it completely unsuitable for use in homes without air conditioning.

        Yes, it's a beautiful machine, but the incessant failures and the fact that OSX is falling behind Windows rapidly (three of our engineers have dual-booted their iMacs and use them almost exclusively with Windows now) means that it certainly isn't a perfect choice, and if you like reliable, quiet operation, you're far better off getting a machine that has a more traditional form factor, either a mac pro or a traditional windows box (at 1/3 the price.)
  • I wonder, can you...

    ...fold it up and stick it in your pocket?

    Love this part of the article:

    "the model is much thinner in appearance (5 millimeters at its thinnest)"

    Where is that measurment, at the outer edge of the bezel where it tapers out to a curved edge? More important in my opinion is this: How thick is it at it's THICKEST there Mr Andrew?
    • That's why I wrote "in appearance"

      We don't just regurgitate PR fluff here, Mr. Proteus.
  • 27" Model

    I Just contacted Apple and the 27" Model can not be ordered now since it will not even be out till December. So Andrew was wrong.
    • My mistake

      Apple was unclear about when this model would be available for order; the original announcement did not specify. I've corrected the overreach. Apologies for the inconvenience.
  • The blogosphere is such great Apple marketing

    Claim: "iMac is 5mm thick."
    Reality: iMac is MUCH thicker than 5mm.

    Think I'm making up the headline or that it is from some tiny little no name blog? You'd be wrong.
    "Apple's redesigned iMac is 5mm thin with edge-to-edge glass"

    That's the headline. It is only later on that they add the word "edge" in there:
    "an edge that measures 5 millimeters thin"

    Even this blog just regurgitates the Apple PR line:
    "5 millimeters at its thinnest"

    Since when is ANY other technology measured at its thinnest? Only Apple is given this benefit and only Apple's measure at its thinnest is put through the Internet Echo Chamber until it comes out the other end without the "at its thinnest" disclaimer.

    Using that logic, the Surface + keyboard is just 3mm thin. After all, that's how thick the keyboard is. The Nokia Lumia 920 is a couple mms thin because that's how thin the side buttons are and they are on the edge of the phone. Yet all we ever hear about is how thick and heavy the Surface is (it is actually the same as the iPad in thickness and weighs 4 sheets of paper more) and how the Nokia Lumia 920 can't even be lifted by Olympic weighlifters. There is no "at its thinnest" echo chamber.

    So the question is: why? I'm not one for conspiracy theories but Apple is able to get their PR quoted word for word and huge blogs, even when it is absolutely ridiculous PR material like "thinneness at its thinnest". That doesn't happen by accident. This is consistent behavior on the part of huge, for profit bloggers. So where is this profit coming from? Hmm, I wonder.
  • Do people really need it thin?!

    This is a desktop! What about making it cheaper?
  • New iMac

    "Do people really need need it thin" is a very important question. The answer of course is no. However if Apple or any other computer manufacture does not make "changes" if not for changes sake alone, they will have problems. People want "new" even if it's not really better. And if you are the premium computer manufacture like Apple, "new" is required/expected to sell. I will admit it really does look nice, but with units shape it dose not take a CD/DVD's so you will need an add on unit if you require such.