iMac Overview Updated June 21, 2016

iMac

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.

315 iMac stories

November 2008 - February 2016

iMac Stories February 29

AAPL: 96.69

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Microsoft is currently running a new series of ads featuring ‘The Bug Chicks’, with each ad directly targeting a weakness in Apple’s Mac operating system. Kristie and Jess, curiously labelled as ‘real people paid for real opinions’, walk through several ways that Windows 10 helps them teach kids about bugs and the microscopic world.

The ad series focuses on several different competitive advantages Windows currently holds over OS X, such as touchscreen-equipped laptops for sketching and drawing, Cortana as a personal voice search assistant and face recognition for hands-free account login. Some of the things Microsoft highlights, like the absence of Siri on OS X are expected to be addressed by Apple later in the year, of course. Watch all four videos after the jump:

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iMac Stories February 17

AAPL: 98.12

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New details on Apple’s ‘Reuse and Recycle’ trade-in program have surfaced in a new Bloomberg report. Tim Culpan details the break down and destruction process that each iPhone, Mac, and iPad receives at one of the many Apple recycling contractors’ plants. With over 50 agreed upon regulations and requirements, the contractors have a heavily imposed process to adhere to.

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iMac Stories January 20

AAPL: 96.79

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Siri percolated throughout all of Apple’s platforms in 2015. It started with iPhone in 2011, iPad in 2012, debuted on Apple Watch in early 2015 and Apple TV with the new model a few months ago. It’s quickly becoming a premier feature on these platforms, with live-as-you-speak transcription and radically new features like ‘Remind me about this’ contextual tasks when inside apps. Except for one platform of course. Mac OS X has been ignored and left abandoned with regards to true voice searching and Siri. It’s 2016, and I want Apple to bring Siri to the Mac.

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iMac Stories December 7, 2015

AAPL: 118.28

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Apple has had a busy year for product launches. In addition to the Apple Watch going on sale as a whole new product category, there was the 12-inch MacBook and iPad Pro, each representing quite a radical new take on an existing product category.

But Apple also made some notable improvements to existing lines. The iMac got a 4K and 5K display; the Retina MacBook Pro got Force Touch; and the Apple TV got opened up to a whole new range of software.

We also saw a new iPad mini which was essentially a smaller iPad Air 2, and a refreshed MacBook Air with Broadwell CPU and faster graphics.

Additionally, Apple launched five new peripherals – the Apple Pencil, Smart Keyboard, Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, Magic Mouse 2 – and we have a separate poll for those.

So it’s time to ask you to name your Apple Product of the Year and Apple Peripheral of the Year …  expand full story

iMac Stories November 26, 2015

AAPL: 118.03

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Welcome to 9to5Mac’s official Mac Holiday Gift Guide! This has been an exciting year for Mac lovers, thanks to the cool new 12″ Retina MacBook and 21″ Retina iMac, as well as great accessories from Apple and others. I’ve been canvassing all things Mac throughout the year, so what you’ll find inside are some great options at various price levels — everything from stocking stuffers and apps to “best gift I’ve ever received” material. Also included: the best (limited time only) prices I’ve found anywhere on new Mac computers.

Before you go further, I’d recommend that you bookmark and/or send this page to your favorite people, because either you or someone you care about is going to get a great gift from this guide. Beyond great Macs, apps, and accessories, some of my picks are designed to help an old Mac run better than new…

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