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Tuesday, May 03, 2011, 05:35 am PT (08:35 am ET)

Apple unveils new quad-core iMacs with Thunderbolt and FaceTime HD

Apple on Tuesday updated its all-in-one line of iMac desktops, adding Intel's powerful new quad-core Sandy Bridge processors, as well as the new high-speed Thunderbolt input/output port.

Starting at $1,199, the new iMac is up to 70 percent faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.

"Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With next generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we've made the world’s best desktop even better."

The new iMac features quad-core Intel Core i5 processors with an option for customers to choose Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz. These next generation processors feature an integrated memory controller for a more responsive experience and a powerful new media engine for high-performance video encoding and decoding. With new AMD Radeon HD graphics processors, Apple said the new iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop.

iMac is the first desktop computer on the market to include Thunderbolt I/O technology. The 21.5-inch iMac has a single Thunderbolt port while the 27-inch model features two ports.

First introduced in new MacBook Pros in February, Thunderbolt is a high-speed input/output technology co-developed by Intel and Apple. Featuring two bi-directional channels, it offers speeds of up to 10Gbps, which is 12 times faster than FireWire 800, and 20 times faster than USB 2.0. It's even twice as fast as Intel's USB 3.0 specification, which the company still plans to support. Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices, and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters.

Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Apple said Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.

iMac 1


iMac includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera and Apple’s FaceTime software for crisp, widescreen video calling the whole family can enjoy. The new camera supports high definition video calls between all FaceTime HD-enabled Macs and standard resolution calls with iPad 2, iPhone 4, the current generation iPod touch and other Intel-based Macs.

The iMac also features its signature aluminum and glass design, IPS LED-backlit high resolution display, SD card slot and comes with Apple’s Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

iMac 2


The iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold rating. iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses highly recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

Tech Specs

21.5-inch iMac
  • 21.5-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy widescreen display with support for millions of colors
  • Resolution: 1920 by 1080 pixels
    • $1,119
      • 2.5Ghz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
      • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM (configurable to 16GB)
      • 500GB hard drive
      • AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory

    • $1,499
      • 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache (configurable to 2.8GHz quad-core Intel Core i7)
      • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 memory (configurable to 16GB)
      • 1TB 7200rpm hard drive (configurable to 2TB hard drive or 256GB solid-state second drive)
      • AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory

27-inch iMac
  • 27-inch (viewable) LED-backlit glossy widescreen TFT display with support for millions of colors
  • Resolution: 2560 by 1440 pixels
    • $1,699
      • 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache
      • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 memory (configurable to 16GB)
      • 1TB 7200rpm hard drive (configurable to 2TB hard drive or 256 solid-state second drive)
      • AMD Radeon HD 6770M graphics processor with 512MB of GDDR5 memory

    • $1,999
      • 3.1Ghz quad-core Intel Core i5 with 6MB on-chip shared L3 cache (configurable to 3.4Ghz quad-core Intel Core i7)
      • 4GB 1333MHz DDR3 RAM (configurable to 16GB)
      • 1TB hard drive (configurable to 2TB hard drive or 256GB solid-state second drive)
      • AMD Radeon HD 6970M graphics processor with 1GB of GDDR5 memory (configurable to AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB DDR5)

All configurations of the new iMac include:

Video Support and Camera
  • FaceTime HD camera
  • Simultaneously supports full native resolution on the built-in display and up to a 30-inch display (2560 by 1600 pixels) on an external display
  • Support for extended desktop and video mirroring modes

Audio
  • Built-in stereo speakers
  • Two internal 17-watt high-efficiency amplifiers
  • Headphone/optical digital audio output (minijack)
  • Audio line in/optical digital audio input (minijack)
  • Built-in microphone
  • Support for Apple iPhone headset with microphone

Connections and Expansion
  • One Thunderbolt port on 21.5-inch iMac
  • Two Thunderbolt ports on 27-inch iMac
  • Mini DisplayPort output with support for DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI (adapters sold separately)
  • One FireWire 800 port; 7 watts
  • Four USB 2.0 ports
  • SDXC card slot
  • Slot-loading 8x SuperDrive with 4x double-layer burning (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW)
  • Audio in/out
  • 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet (RJ-45 connector)
  • IR receiver

Input
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Full-size keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys, including 12 function keys, 4 arrow keys (inverted “T” arrangement), and embedded numeric keypad
  • Magic Mouse: Smooth, seamless Multi-Touch surface with support for simple gestures (scrolling and swiping). Click and double-click anywhere. Ambidextrous construction accommodates left- and right-handed users.
  • Magic Trackpad: Solid-state scrolling trackpad for precise cursor control; supports inertial scrolling, pinch and expand, swipe, three-finger swipe, four-finger swipe, tap, double-tap, rotate, screen zoom, scroll, click and drag, click drag and lock, secondary click A and B

Wireless
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11n Wi-Fi wireless networking;2 IEEE 802.11a/b/g compatible
  • Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR (Enhanced Data Rate) wireless technology

Size and Weight
    21-inch
    • Height: 17.75 inches (45.1 cm)
    • Width: 20.8 inches (52.8 cm)
    • Depth: 7.42 inches (18.85 cm)
    • Weight: 20.5 pounds (9.3 kg)

    27-inch
    • Height: 20.4 inches (51.7 cm)
    • Width: 25.6 inches (65.0 cm)
    • Depth: 8.15 inches (20.7 cm)
    • Weight: 30.5 pounds (13.8 kg)

Electrical and Operating Requirements
  • Line voltage: 100-240V AC
  • Frequency: 50Hz to 60Hz, single phase
  • Maximum continuous power: 205W (21.5-inch models); 310W (27-inch models)
  • Operating temperature: 50° to 95° F (10° to 35° C)
  • Storage temperature: -4° to 116° F (-20° to 47° C)
  • Relative humidity: 5% to 95% noncondensing
  • Maximum altitude: 10,000 feet
  • Typical acoustical performance
  • Sound pressure level (operator position): 18 dBA at idle

Limited Warranty and Service

Your iMac comes with 90 days of free telephone support and a one-year limited warranty. Purchase the AppleCare Protection Plan to extend your service and support to three years from your computer’s purchase date. Only the AppleCare Protection Plan provides you with direct telephone support from Apple technical experts and the assurance that repairs will be handled by Apple-authorized technicians using genuine Apple parts. For more information, visit Apple support or call 800-823-2775.

Environmental Status Report

iMac is designed with the following features to reduce its environmental impact:
  • Arsenic-free display glass
  • BFR-free
  • PVC-free5
  • Mercury-free LED-backlit display
  • Highly recyclable aluminum and glass enclosures
  • Meets ENERGY STAR 5.2 requirements
  • Rated EPEAT Gold6

In the Box
  • iMac
  • Apple Wireless Keyboard
  • Apple Magic Mouse
  • Power cord
  • Install/restore DVDs
  • Printed and electronic documentation

Included Software
  • Mac OS X Snow Leopard: Includes iTunes, Time Machine, Quick Look, Spaces, Spotlight, Dashboard, Mail, iChat, Safari, Address Book, QuickTime, iCal, DVD Player, Photo Booth, Front Row, Xcode Developer Tools, and more.
  • iLife: Includes iPhoto, iMovie, GarageBand, and iWeb.

iMac 3


Pricing and Availability

The new iMac is available through the Apple Store (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two configurations: one with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,199 (US); and one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US).

The new 27-inch iMac is available in two models: one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,699 (US); and one with a 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6970M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US).

Configure-to-order options include faster Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 2TB, a 256GB solid state drive, additional DDR3 memory and AppleCare® Protection Plan. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/imac.

AppleInsider reported on Saturday that Apple would introduce its new Sandy Bridge-powered iMacs this week. The company's all-in-one desktop was last upgraded nine months ago, in July, when they were equipped with Intel Core i processors and ATI Radeon graphics.