iMac Overview Updated May 7, 2018

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347 'iMac' stories

November 2008 - May 2018


Originally released in 1998 with its most recent redesign in 2012, the iMac ($1,099 and up from the Apple Store) started life as Apple’s fun all-in-one computer, evolving into a more serious “right for practically everyone” option over time. Currently available in 21.5″ (1920×1080-pixel) and 27″ (2560×1440-pixel) versions, the iMac is effectively a non-portable MacBook Air or MacBook Pro with a larger screen. The lowest-end model ships with a slow Air-like 1.4GHz Core i5 processor, quickly stepping up to 2.7GHz and 3.5GHz i5 and i7 chips as the price climbs; hard drives range from a slow 500GB disk to a fast 1TB SSD, with better graphics processors at higher prices. You get most of the Mac Pro’s performance, ports, and features, plus an integrated screen, all at a lower price.

The iMac tapers to only 5mm thin at its edges, a design change that required the loss of optical drives and the movement of card readers to the computers’ rears, near their ports. It’s also impossible to upgrade the 21.5″ model’s RAM after purchase, so you’ll need to buy the machine customized with the amount you want. But those are the only compromises, as the thin iMacs feature top-grade internal specs like fast processors, USB 3 ports, and optional SSD or Fusion Drives. A Fusion Drive combines an SSD with a standard Hard Drive in order to provide the benefits of flash storage, while still providing the 1TB or 3TB of storage space that many customers would expect from the iMac.

Apple last updated the regular iMac in September 2013, but in mid-2014 introduced a minor update to the 21.5-inch iMac offering MacBook Air-quality chips at a more affordable price point. If you’re looking to save a comparable amount without compromising on performance, Apple sells refurbished iMacs at a discount, and they’re indistinguishable from new machines.

In the fall of 2014, Apple introduced a top-of-the-line 27″ iMac that looks identical from the outside, except for the addition of a “Retina 5K display.” With a $2,499 price tag from the Apple Store, the iMac with Retina 5K display includes a 3.5GHz Core i5 processor, and sells for a $500 premium over a comparably-equipped standard 27″ iMac. In addition to the sharper display, the 5K iMac can be customized with a faster 4.0GHz Core i7 processor, a 4GB graphics card, and up to 32GB of RAM. Like with the Retina MacBook Pros, it’s likely that the Retina iMac prices will come down over the course of the next few years. We expect to see a 21.5-inch Retina model in the future.

Need extra cash to upgrade? Sell your old iMac to Gazelle.

iMac Stories May 7

Tim Cook yesterday tweeted in celebration of 20 years of iMac.

20 years ago today, Steve introduced the world to iMac. It set Apple on a new course and forever changed the way people look at computers.

Even twenty years later, I still like the design of the original iMac. In fact, despite not being a desktop guy, I love all the various iterations of iMac designs through the years …

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iMac Stories May 6

20 years ago today, Apple officially introduced the world to the iMac. It’s easy to look at the iMac today and take it for granted – but Steve Jobs’ introduction is one that’s worthy of rewatching two decades later. In honor of the anniversary, Tim Cook took to Twitter today to share a clip of that event…

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iMac Stories May 3

Twenty years ago this Sunday, Apple introduced the first iMac to the world, a radically inventive computer that reshaped the consumer market and helped re-establish Apple as the industry leader in design and usability. Yesterday, we documented the iMac’s design evolution from 1998 through today.

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iMac Stories May 2

A 20th anniversary is a milestone worthy of celebration in its own right, but even more so when describing a computer. Few technology products boast such a feat in an industry where changing customer preference and exponential technical advancement can quickly obsolete even the most well-considered plans.

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iMac Stories January 25

Apple showcases Hollywood High School students using Macs and Final Cut Pro for filmmaking

In a new Apple Newsroom report, the company has shared how a group of ten students from Hollywood High School were able to create short films on tight budgets with Apple products. The students worked alongside creative professionals and Apple retail experts in a month-long film-making project. Apple also says that it worked with two other independent movie studios, We Make Movies and Mobile Film Classroom.

iMac Stories December 26, 2017

iMac Pro — Apple’s most powerful Mac yet — is hitting stores and arriving for customers today, and a special black Lightning cable isn’t the only surprise in the box. iMac Pro includes a new macOS desktop wallpaper as seen on the box, and 9to5Mac alumnus Dom Esposito has shared the source image with us below.

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