Apple announce new 21.5″ 4K iMac and boost all 27″ models to 5K

After languishing for almost two years now, the 21.5″ iMac is finally getting the update it deserves, while the 27″ range is all being boosted up to 5K. 

The 2015 21.5″ iMac

As well as getting bumped up to Retina 4K display with 4096 x 2304 resolution, the new 21.5″ models also feature new colour display technology that widens their colour gamut by 25% (or “the new Retina 5K and 4K displays feature a wider P3-based color gamut that provides a 25 percent larger color space”, in the official parlance), and include Intel’s Broadwell processors.

Why Broadwell rather than Skylake? That’d be to ensure that the higher end 21.5-inchers can work with Intel Pro graphics. The processors in the 4K models start at 3.1GHz quad-core i5 and support 8GB of 1867GHz LPDDR3 RAM, upgradable to 16GB. You also get two Thunderbolt 2 ports for faster local storage, and the chance to upgrade to a new Magic Trackpad, although this will cost slightly more than the usual keyboard-and-mouse affair.

“From the first iMac to today, the spirit of iMac has never wavered — deliver the ultimate desktop experience with the latest technologies, gorgeous displays and cutting-edge designs,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “These are the most stunning iMacs we’ve ever made. With our gorgeous new Retina displays, more powerful processors and graphics and all-new Magic accessories, the new iMac continues to redefine the ultimate desktop experience.”

The 2015 27″ iMac

If you need more screen space, you’ll be pleased to hear that every 27″ model now comes with a Retina 5K display, “the world’s highest resolution all-in-one display with a stunning 14.7 million pixels, 7 times more pixels than an HD display”, Apple tell us.

These models do get Intel Skylake processors, ranging from 3.2GHz quad-core i5 to 4GHz quad-core i7, and these are paired with AMD Radeon R9 graphics that deliver up to 3.7 teraflops of compute power. Like the smaller models, this is used to support a wider colour gamut, and is complemented by two Thunderbolt 2 ports.

Your iMac’s Fusion Drive is now available with 2TB and 3TB configurations, with 128GB of fast flash for more demanding workloads. For what we’re assured is the “ultimate in storage performance” you can opt for all-flash storage in capacities of up to 1TB, which should make your Mac up to 2.5 times faster.

Magic accessories

“The all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 are more comfortable, capable and environmentally friendly”, we are assured by Apple.

They’re designed around a built-in rechargeable battery and are Lightning-chargeable. The new Magic Keyboard features a full-size keyboard but takes up 13% less space on your desktop thanks to a new scissor mechanism under the keys (we’ve seem similar innovations at work on the MacBook) and lower profile.

However the big talking point accessory-wise is the new Magic Trackpad 2, which features a 29% larger surface and brings Force Touch to the desktop for the first time (that’s the haptic feedback thing that’s also on MacBooks, and which lets you perform different actions based on the amount of pressure you apply and how long you apply it for).

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