Tech

Apple announces new 27-inch iMac with lots of big upgrades for the same price

Key Points
  • Apple on Tuesday announced a big update to its 27-inch iMac. While the design remains the same as in previous years, Apple upgraded the internal hardware across the board. 
  • It's targeted at people who want a bigger, 5K screen at their desks and who, now working from home, may prefer an all-in-one desktop computer instead of a laptop.
  • Apple said it focused on a few key areas to improve the experience for people at home, including the cameras, speakers and microphones.
Apple iMac
Apple

Apple on Tuesday announced a big update to its 27-inch iMac. While the design remains the same as in previous years, the company upgraded the internal hardware across the board. 

And it's a good time to be doing that. Apple said in its earnings report last week that the Mac had its biggest fiscal third quarter in history, with Mac revenue up 22% now that people are working and learning from home due to the spread of the coronavirus. So far, Apple has appealed to customers with upgrades to its MacBook Pro and MacBook Air this year, and now it's the 27-inch iMac's turn.

It's targeted at people who want a bigger, 5K screen at their desks and who, now working from home, may prefer an all-in-one desktop computer instead of a laptop.

Apple said it focused on a few key areas to improve the experience for people at home, including the camera, speakers and microphones.

The 27-inch iMac finally has a 1080p HD webcam, a feature users and reviewers alike have been asking for from all of Apple's Macs, which usually ship with lower-resolution 720p cameras. It will improve lowlight performance while video chatting in darker rooms, but the higher resolution also means you should expect a sharper picture.

Apple is also adding the studio microphones found in its 16-inch MacBook Pro, which provide clearer sound while speaking on video calls or recording things like podcasts. The speaker hardware is the same as before, but Apple says it added an audio controller that will improve balance at higher volumes and bass at lower volumes.

Apple also upgraded the 27-inch iMac to Intel's latest 10th-generation processors and is adding a new AMD Radeon Pro 5300, 5500XT and 5700XT graphics, depending on the model and any upgrades you make. Pricing for the three standard configurations remains the same:

  • The entry-level $1,799 model ships with a 6-core Intel Core i5 processor AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics, 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB hard drive.
  • The $,1999 model includes a slightly faster 6-core Core i5 processor, AMD Radeon Pro 5300 graphics and twice the storage.
  • The $2,299 model ships with an 8-core Intel i7 processor, a 512 GB hard drive, AMD Radeon 5500 XT graphics.

You'll be able to upgrade the screen to a fancy new nanotexture option for $500. This helps with reflections from light and is technology borrowed from Apple's $4,999 Pro Display XDR monitor. 

Finally, Apple said it's making some small changes to the 21.5-inch line, which will get faster SSD hard drives across the line at the same price point. The iMac Pro will also now start with an 8-core processor at the entry-level price. 

Even though this new Mac will use an Intel processor, Apple announced in June that it would transition its Mac line to processors it makes itself, called Apple Silicon. Macs with Apple Silicon are expected to start shipping next year. In the meantime, developers are working to update their apps so they're compatible with the new Apple chips.

Apple's new 27-inch iMac is available to order Tuesday and will be in stores this week.

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