The iPad Mini and the unexpected 4th generation iPad weren’t the only big news to come out of Apple’s special presentation yesterday. We also got an update to the iMac – one that left just as big of an impression as its mobile counterparts.
Then again, maybe “big impression” isn’t the right phrase. The new iMacs are outlandishly thin, at 5 mm. Keep in mind, these are all-in-one computers – this is full desktop power crammed into a 5 mm thick frame. The iMacs will come in 21.5” and 27” varieties, both of which will boast 2560 x 1440 resolution displays. Glare on that screen, thankfully, has been reduced by 75 percent.
The new iMacs will be powered by 3rd generation Intel core processors (i5 or i7), 32 GB of RAM, and as much as 768 GB of flash storage (expensive, to be sure). That flash storage will be part of what Apple is calling their Fusion Drive, but don’t let the Applespeak fool you – this is something we’ve seen before. It’s a combination SSD and HDD fused into one drive. The operating system and frequently used applications and documents will be cached on flash memory, while less commonly used files will be stored on the slower HDD. This all happens intelligently, and should improve the computer’s speed (although at this point, the changes we’re talking about are measured in very small amounts of seconds).
For ports, we’ll see four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, an SD card reader, and gigabit ethernet.
Given how thin this thing is, we also have to talk about what the new iMacs don’t have – namely, optical drives. Those who still use physical media should take note. There’s also the issue of overheating – there’s a lot of processing power packed into this thing, and from what I can tell, there isn’t much in the way of a cooling system that can possibly be squeezed into a 5 mm frame. iMacs have had this problem before, and it’s more than likely that it will be an issue with these, too. Then again, Apple isn’t exactly known for making products designed to last for a long period of time. Also, if this guy breaks down, just a heads up – that’s virtually no way you’re getting it repaired. If your new iMac goes down, you’ll likely be dealing with Apple and Apple alone, and you’ll probably need to get a replacement.
The prices seem reasonable enough, at least by Apple’s standards – the 21.5” model starts at $1,300, while the 27” model starts at $1,800. You can expect to get your hands on both sometime during December, just in time for the holidays (shocking, I know).