iMac Overview Updated April 4, 2017

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334 iMac stories

November 2008 - April 2017


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 April 4

AAPL: 144.77

1.07

Apple slightly updated the Mac Pro today and promised a radical new modular design coming next year alongside a pro Apple display. Within the news shared through Daring Fireball were also mentions of a new pro iMac coming later this year and a vague reference to possibly new Mac mini hardware.

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iMac Stories February 27

AAPL: 136.93

0.27

Earlier today, Zac offered up a full roundup of everything that we could potentially see at Apple’s spring event this year. While the event is generally much smaller-scale than Apple’s other events every year, there are a few things that most usually interest most people.

What rumored announcement for Apple’s April event excites you the most?

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iMac Stories January 23

AAPL: 120.08

0.08

Deciding between desktop Macs and laptop MacBooks can be challenging — you typically get more computer for your money with desktops, but notebooks aren’t anchored down to one location. Managing two Macs is getting easier with features like automatic software updates and iCloud Drive syncing Desktop and Documents folders across machines, but using one Mac is often easier to manage and more affordable.

My own setup has shifted over the years from laptop only to both desktop and laptop to desktop only. I’ve found that I’m most productive and comfortable when using a desktop with a large display and a dedicated mouse and keyboard, but I also benefit from being able to take my work out of the office.

Given the current Mac lineup and my own needs, I’m settling on a MacBook Pro with external display, mouse, and keyboard to balance portability and ergonomics. What’s your ideal setup? Desktops, laptops, or both?

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iMac Stories January 6

AAPL: 117.91

1.30

There seems to be no limits to what artists are able to create with Apple’s products. From Disney animators sketching classic characters, to an illustrator using an iPad Pro to design the New Yorker’s latest cover. In today’s latest artistic drive, Apple has partnered with five young Chinese artists to reinvent classic Nianhua folk art.

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iMac Stories October 26, 2016

AAPL: 115.59

-2.66

During Microsoft’s October Windows event today, the company did something I never expected them to do: surpass Apple’s own desktop solution and experiences. Microsoft announced the launch of their new Surface Studio desktop, an all-in-one system with a beautiful 28” touchscreen display. A powerhouse of a system with specs up to 32GB of RAM and a GPU with 4 GB video RAM, Microsoft is really pulling out all the stops here to make their desktop solution attractive to all creatives in a way normally seen as Apple’s place.

The iMac has maintained the same design for the past few years, and with the Mac Pro seemingly forgotten within the desktop lineup, Microsoft has a solid chance at stealing some of Apple’s customers away.

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iMac Stories October 18, 2016

AAPL: 117.47

-0.08

Apple is said to be introducing an entirely refreshed lineup of Macs later this month. The event is said to be on October 27th, which we first speculated earlier this month. The new Macs are expected to be available to consumers this month, as well.

As is often the case with Apple events, we already know a good portion of what the company has up its sleeve. Read on for a roundup of what to expect…

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