Apple refreshes iMac lineup with upgraded displays


— 9:07 AM on October 13, 2015

Apple made Retina-display goodness available on its entire iMac lineup this morning. A refreshed 21.5" model can be had with a 4K display, while every 27" iMac now uses the same 5K panel as the former top-end model.

These Retina displays aren't just about resolution. Apple claims that its latest panels can reproduce the entire DCI P3 color space, a wider chromatic range than the more common sRGB gamut. To get there, the company used red-green phosphor LEDs in the display backlight, which can purportedly reproduce a greater range of, well, greens and reds than conventional white LED backlights.

The refreshed 21.5" iMac relies on Intel's Broadwell CPUs with Iris Pro 6200 graphics for processing power, while the 27" models get Skylake CPUs with a range of AMD discrete graphics options. Both models come with 8GB of RAM by default. The 21.5" model can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM, while the 27" versions get up to 32GB.

Apple still isn't putting solid-state storage in the base version of either iMac, however, which prickles given that the 21.5" model starts at $1,499 and the 27" model costs $1,799 and up. An upgrade to a 1TB Fusion Drive (Apple's blend of solid-state and mechanical storage) is a $100 option.

What's worse, Ars Technica says this entry-level Fusion Drive only includes 24GB of solid-state storage in its hybrid setup. To get the 128GB SSD of the Fusion Drives of old, buyers will have to step up to the 2TB tier—a $300 extra. 256GB and 512GB SSDs are also available for those who want to ditch mechanical storage entirely.

Apple also refreshed the wireless keyboard, trackpad, and mouse that it ships with iMacs. The Magic Keyboard, as it's now called, ditches AA battery power for an integrated juice box that charges over a Lightning connection. The move away from AA batteries makes the keyboard thinner and smaller overall. If you're not buying this keyboard with a new iMac, it's a $99 accessory.

The Magic Trackpad 2 and Magic Mouse 2 also ditch AA power. The Magic Trackpad 2 is bigger and slimmer than its predecessor, and it incorporates the same Force Touch features as the trackpads on Apple's latest notebooks. The Magic Mouse 2 doesn't get Force Touch, but Apple says it's lighter and contains fewer moving parts this time around. The Magic Trackpad 2 costs $129, while the Magic Mouse 2 is $80.

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