Previous-generation iMacs were able to drive both the internal and an external display at the same time, but the newly released iMacs are capable of driving two external displays simultaneously – in addition to the built-in display – thanks to the inclusion of Thunderbolt ports. Apple confirmed to GigaOM’s Darrell Etherington that the new 27-inchers’ two Thunderbolt ports (21.5-inch models only have one) can drive a dual external display setup.

Now, using two Mini DisplayPort adapters plugged in to the 27-inch iMacs Thunderbolt ports, users can simultaneously output to two monitors in addition to the main built-in screen of the iMac. It won’t necessarily clog up your Thunderbolt ports, either, since the tech supports daisy-chaining. That means you should be able to connect to Thunderbolt-compatible storage and then on to a display after that, too, without any loss of quality.

Macrumors was able to verify that the Thunderbolt ports can still make the iMac an external display for Blu-ray or video gaming or a cable box.


An Apple sales representative has confirmed to us that the new 27-inch models do continue to support the feature through the new Thunderbolt ports.

Engadget tested out a dual external monitor setup, seen below.

Apple also offers touchpad options allowing you to replace the included MagicMouse with either a Magic Trackpad or a wired Apple Mouse or go with both wireless MagicMouse and Magic Trackpad for $69 extra.

Also, MacStories explain that you can order a solid state drive in the second drive bay that will boot your operating system.

If you configure your iMac with both the solid-state drive and a Serial ATA hard drive, it will come preformatted with Mac OS X and all your applications on the solid-state drive. Then you can use the hard drive for videos, photos, and other files.

(we’re doubting Apple is supporting symbolic links to the hard drive for media – but maybe in Lion?)

MacRumors also notes that Boot Camp upgrade is available for new iMacs that also addresses issues with Japanese and Korean keyboards on early 2011 iMac.