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

18 comments On Apple Announces New, Thinner iMac

  • It’s pretty sexy looking. I haven’t used a desktop in about 4 years though. I use my MacBook as if it were a desktop 90% of the time (it sits on my desk, hooked into a speaker system, with HDMI out going to my TV) but it’s nice to be able to throw it in a bag and carry it with me the other 10% of the time.

  • Wow looks cool but technically its not going to save any more space because of the stand

  • 740p camera? I thought it was 720p?

  • I want them all and I want them now.

  • As cool as this looks I’m not in the least bit excited by a computer in a monitor any more. Back in 1984 yeah, the Macintosh was the coolest thing I’d ever seen! But today in 2012 I’m happy being entirely laptop and server based, I see no room for desktop machines in my digital life.

    Big monitors yes… desktops inside monitors. No.

  • Does it have a DVD drive? That’s critical for any kind of design work, sending out samples, authoring DVD’s etc. Can’t send memory sticks to clients, too expensive!

    A desktop computer without a DVD drive is fairly lacking, I can’t see the uptake being particularly high, especially amongst business, and don’t even give me an external DVD drive option, that’s ludicrous for a desktop, and no business will do it.

    It is a beautiful machine though, extremely beautiful. I’d like to shake Jonathan Ive’s hand (the guy that designs all the Apple devices). He’s British by the way.

    • Aren’t we getting to the point where DVD drives are fairly specialized bits of equipment that the vast majority of people don’t need?

      I still use mine to watch movies (quite often cheaper than streaming online), but other than that I have very little use for one. You as a designer obviously do, that’s a fairly specialized task… Although, I have to admit the only people I know who buy iMacs all the time are companies for their design teams… So you may actually be 100% correct 🙂

      • Exactly, DVD drives are pointless on the portable Macbooks I agree, and maybe even on the Mac Mini, but an iMac really needs one.

        It’s the ONLY affordable Apple business machine, and DVD drives are still necessary for tonnes of things in business. I must get several DVD’s in the post weekly. I don’t want to be a dinosaur but this will backfire on Apple. Bet the end up giving away external superdrives at discount.

    • You can get an external drive from Apple which can be added to your order or you can use a Windows Formatted one which will work with it.

    • That’s SIR Jonathan Ive to you and I.

  • Have the money in the bank, ready to pull the trigger once they’re available. Slightly disappointed in price bump in the 27″.

  • Where are the DVD drives? Where is the new iTunes?

  • I like it. In fact, I’m glade I didn’t buy a iMac in the passed, because I would be kind of disappointed because this one is really cool. Some people complaining about not having a drive, but I think it is about time that some company starts to kill it off, and I’m glade Apple is doing this. If you really need one, you can use a external drive. But sometime in the future, all drives will be gone. So, it’s good that Apple is doing this now.

    I’m excited for Windows 8, and I can only have one computer at my small desk with my money. But if I weren’t waiting for Windows 8, this would be something really cool to get.

  • I guess that I will be waiting for yet another generation, good thing the gap is quick. I still need to check out the mac mini though 🙂

  • I am most definitely going to be buying one of these. Couldn’t be much more happy with the upgrade to be honest. Shame about the optical drive but I won;t miss it too much and I have an external one I can use anyway. Great to see a drop in the prices though, the specs i wanted with the previous model were going to cost me about £1300, but I can get this now on the base model at just £1099! 🙂 bazinga!

  • Oh yeah because everyone wants to buy a desktop so they then have to buy an external DVD drive. Totally logical.

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