There had been a lot of speculation surrounding the potential upgrade of the MacBook Pro lineup before Apple’s iPhone 5s / 5c media event, but in a move that has managed to escape pre-release attention, it seems that the fruit company has temporarily ignored the pro notebook and instead updated the iMac lineup.
The new range of iMacs offers no significant aesthetic changes over the 2012 iMac, with most of the revamp being crammed in under the hood. The new iMac benefit immediately from the fourth-generation Intel Haswell processors of the quad-core variety, as well as enhanced graphics rendering. The same extremely thin and light external shell of the iMac is respected and continues to set the trend in terms of form and function. Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Marketing states that the new iMac “continues to be the example that proves how beautiful, fast and fun a desktop computer can be”.
In addition to bundling in Intel’s latest quad-core processing technology, the new iMac also features new graphics hardware, faster 802.11ac wireless capabilities and advanced flash storage options that make the whole experience so much faster. The base 21.5-inch model will ship with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 chipset with included Iris Pro graphics, that should dramatically improve performance. The top end 21.5-inch and 27-inch options offer quad-core processing up to 3.4GHz with NVIDIA 700 graphics on-board. Consumers who need more power also have the option of upgrading to a Core i7 offering.
The newly integrated PCIe-based flash storage works seamlessly with the optional Fusion Drive to offer speed boosts of up to 50 percent for the user. Apple has made the new hardware available immediately through their online and physical retail stores and is offering to check availability through carefully selected Apple resellers. The base 21.5-inch model is available for $1,299, rising to $1,499 when optional extras are added. The 27-inch range will start at $1,799 with a 3.2GHz quad-core i5 and rise to $1,999 for the more powerful option.
It seems a little strange for Apple pushing this new hardware out running OS X Mountain Lion when we are envisaging an OS X Mavericks 10.9 release next month. With that being said, history has shown us that those purchasing a new Mac at this point will be offered a free upgrade to the new OS on launch.