Apple Announces New, Thinner iMac

The eighth generation iMac was unveiled Tuesday during a press event. At first glance, the iMac appears to be almost paper thin, but this is actually just a camera trick due to some clever angle work by Apple.

A 5 mm edge on the iMac was accomplished by cutting 5 mm off the thickness of the display glass. The optical drive has been removed, and some special trickery went into building the frame and reducing the gap between the glass and the backing, which Apple boasts reduces glare by as much as 75%. If that’s indeed true, it’s undoubtedly a welcome addition to the design.

As with the previous generation of iMac, two sizes are available.

The 21.5″ iMac has a 1920 x 1080 display (matching the previous generation), while the 27″ is also sticking with its previous resolution of 2560 x 1440. No Retina displays were announced, despite the rumor mills stating the strong possibility of such.

A 720p FaceTime HD camera sits on top along with two microphones for stereo video conferencing. Apple also claims the stereo speakers in the new iMac are vastly improved over past generations despite a reduction in size.

Here are some of the specs we now know about the new iMac.

  • Processor: Quad-core i5 or i7 ‘Ivy Bridge’
  • RAM: 8-16 GB (32 GB Available on 27″ iMac)
  • Audio: Stereo Microphone and Speakers / Audio I/O Ports
  • Storage: 1 TB (5400-rpm) on 21.5″ and 1 TB (7200-rpm) on 27″ / Fusion Drive Available
  • Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M / 650M / 660M / 675MX
  • Supports External 30″ Display (2560 by 1600 pixels)
  • SDXC Card Slot
  • 4x USB 3.0
  • 2x Thunderbolt
  • Mini DisplayPort
  • Gigabit Ethernet
  • 802.11n Wi-Fi (a/b/g Compatible)
  • Bluetooth 4.0

One of Apple’s more interesting announcements is the Fusion Drive, which is a hybrid drive combining a flash drive with a standard HDD. The Fusion Drive would run OS X Mountain Lion and all included software on a faster flash while storing third-party apps and additional software via the standard media. Fusion drives are available with up to 3 TB of total storage on higher-end iMacs.

Apple announced two standard builds, along with prices.

21.5-inch: 2.7GHz

  • 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.2 GHz
  • 8GB (two 4 GB) memory
  • 1 TB hard drive1
  • NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M with 512 MB
  • $1,299
  • Ships in November

27-inch: 2.9GHz

  • 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz
  • 8 GB (two 4 GB) memory
  • 1 TB hard drive1
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M with 512 MB
  • $1,799
  • Ships in November

Do you think you’ll be picking up the new iMac? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think.

Photo: Apple

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Ryan Matthew Pierson has worked as a broadcaster, writer, and producer for media outlets ranging from local radio stations to internationally syndicated programs. His experience includes every aspect of media production. He has over a decade of experience in terrestrial radio, Internet multimedia, and commercial video production.