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Apple iMac

Apple Updates the iMac Line

Today Apple unveiled a new 27-inch iMac as well as updating the 21.5-inch iMac and iMac Pro with a couple of minor changes. Let us start with the 21.5-inch iMac.

21.5-inch iMac

The 21.5-inch iMac has received a minor change, all of the models will now come with an SSD standard. Previously the 21.5-inch iMac would come with a 1TB 5400-RPM spinning hard drive. That is now a thing of the past and the default storage is 256GB SSD. The base 21.5-inch iMac is configurable with a 1TB Fusion drive. The price does not change.

The two Retina 4K models of the 21.5-inch iMac also come with 256GB standard, but you can configure them with the same 1TB Fusion drive, again with a price change. You can also choose a 512GB or 1TB SSD, which was available previously.

This is the only change for the 21.5-inch iMac, but it is good to see Apple finally change the default storage to be SSD on the 21.5-inch iMacs. Next, let us look at the changes for the iMac Pro

iMac Pro

The iMac Pro is Apple’s professional iMac and is designed for those who need to have workstation-class hardware, including error-checking and correcting (ECC) RAM. The iMac Pro now comes with a 3.0GHZ 10-Core processor as the default. This is still the Intel W line of processors. This is the only change for the iMac Pro, but one that is welcome by those who can utilize the power of the iMac Pro. Finally, let us look at the 27-inch iMac.

27-inch iMac

The 27-inch iMac has had the same general design since its introduction in 2012. These are great machines and they can last for a while, but there have been some changes that will be welcomed by users.

Processor Changes

The 27-inch iMac has seen a much bigger change. It now comes with the 10th Generation Intel processors. The available options are a 3.1GHz 6-core, 3.3GHz 6-core, 3.8GHz 8-core, and a brand new 3.6GHz 10-core processor. The 10-core option is entirely new and it is the first time a 10-core option has been available on the iMac. Along with the processor that has been a change to some other aspects of the 27-inch iMac.

Audio/Video Changes

The first of this changes is the new 1080p FaceTime camera. This is a vast improvement over the 720p version that has been present in the iMacs for a while. This is a great upgrade, particularly since we are spending more and more time communicating over the internet instead of face to face. While you are on that conference call, you can use the upgraded speakers. These are now a higher fidelity than before. This includes EQ balancing and deeper bass sounds. Better speakers are great for you to hear others, but now others should be able to hear you a bit better with the improved microphones. These are similar to the “Studio Quality” microphones that are on the 16-inch MacBook Pro. All of this is powered by the new T2 chips that is inside the iMac.

Security Changes

The T2 is Apple’s security chip that is designed to provide not only the features above, but also provide security for Apple’s operating systems, particularly for macOS Big Sur, which will be available this fall. When using your iMac you will be getting an SSD. The base model starts at 256GB, but there are models that support 512GB, 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, and a new 8TB option. The biggest change though is to the glass.

New Display Option

The 27-inch iMac started off as a 1080p display when it was introduced. In 2014 Apple introduced a retina version of the iMac. The 27-Inch model included a 5K Retina screen. The 5K screen changed the game for desktop Macs, because you were able to have significant amount of screen real-estate to really be able to organize your computer and be productive. The 27-inch iMac now comes with True Tone technology, which will automatically adjust the color of the screen depending on lighting conditions. This is not new technology as it is available on iPhones and iPads, but this is the first time it is available on the iMac.

True Tone is not the only change to the display, today Apple is introducing a new display option for the 27-inch iMac, the Nano-Texture display.

Nano-Texture Display

The Nano-Texture display is a display that is based on Apple’s Pro Display XDR technology. The Nano-Texture display should be able to reduce glare and will work well in environments where you cannot control the lighting. From Apple’s 27-inch iMac Purchase page:

While both the standard glass and nano-texture glass options of iMac are engineered for extremely low reflectivity, it helps to consider your work environment when deciding which one is right for you.

If you’re in an especially uncontrolled lighting environment, there’s an innovative matte option with nano-texture glass. Typical matte displays have a coating added to their surface that scatters light. However, these coatings lower contrast while producing unwanted haze and sparkle. The nano-texture on iMac is actually etched into the glass at the nanometer level. The result is a screen with beautiful image quality that maintains contrast while scattering light to reduce glare to the barest minimum.

The Nano-Texture screen will cost an additional $500, however if you know you need this type of display it may be well worth the price. Additionally, since this is similar to

Closing Thoughts

The updates to the 21.5-inch iMac as well as the iMac Pro are minor updates, but they are ones that will be welcome, most particularly SSDs now being standard across the line. The 27-inch iMac is the machine that got the most upgrades, including a new 10-core processor option, as well as the the new FaceTime 1080p camera, improved microphones and better speakers are all great improvements. The biggest change is the new Nano-Texture display available on the 27-inch iMac. While it is not for everyone, for those who need it, it is likely to be a great upgrade. All of the updates are available in orders today, however the Nano-Texture screen will take a bit longer to ship.

Source: Apple.com