Rumor: Sandy Bridge iMacs due out this week

— 6:00 AM on May 2, 2011

Apple is on the verge of refreshing its iMac lineup with Sandy Bridge processors from Intel, according to AppleInsider. The site, which claims it was tipped off by folks "familiar with the matter," expects the product refresh to take place tomorrow.

Along with Sandy Bridge CPUs, the new iMacs are said to feature Thunderbolt connectivity, just like the new MacBook Pro laptops that came out in February. AppleInsider also talks of new Radeon HD 6000-series graphics processors and different-sized displays, but it says those last two features "could not be confirmed with any degree of certainty."

DigiTimes reported last December that the upcoming iMac refresh would see the arrival of a system with a "new panel size and a price point for the mainstream market." Currently, the cheapest iMac has a 21.5", 1080p display and a $1,199 price tag. Users in need of more screen real estate must step up to the $1,699 model, which has a 27" panel with a 2560x1440 resolution.

The iMac may be a well-crafted and iconic machine, but I think a lower price tag on the entry-level model wouldn't hurt, even if the machine comes out guns blazing with Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt in tow. While I'm at it, I'll throw in a request for a cheaper Mac tower with some PCIe slots. And a pony, which is probably a more reasonable demand.

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