After a number of weeks of speculation it seems that Apple’s 21.5-inch iMac with 4K display is a reality. It may not have the large screen presence of its 27-inch counterpart within the iMac range, but the smaller version of Apple’s desktop machine has just undergone a refresh, bringing with it a hugely impressive 4K display, as well as significantly improved specifications under-the-hood. There has been no dedicated media event for the announcement, just a silent refresh that should appeal to those who wanted a little more out of the machine.

The biggest talking point is the fact that Apple has taken the 21.5-inch machine down the 4K display route. The design and aesthetics of the iMac remains consistent with the version that it ultimately replaces, but the inclusion of a 4K display makes viewing content and interacting with media an absolute delight. The 1080p display on the old iMac may have seen like a great addition at the time, but it looks old and dated in comparison to this 4K inclusion given that everything is now crisp and razor sharp.


Apple is also utilizing some clever new display tech within the 4K display on the new iMac to make everything look a lot more vibrant and appealing. According to the Cupertino-based company, the new underlying technology is capable of displaying 25-percent more colors than the older iMac. Those looking for an improved 27-inch 5K iMac can also expect to benefit from this technology as Apple now tells us that every 27-inch iMac will now sport the 5K display panel. If you take the display out of the equation, there are also a number of improvements to the internal specification of the smaller iMac followed by its larger sibling.


It’s an extremely welcome set of updates considering the lineup hasn’t really benefitted from a significant refresh in the last 24-months. The 21.5-inch iMac with Retina 4K display offering jumps into the big leagues by shipping with Intel’s Broadwell (5th gen) processor range internally, which may not be the chip manufacturers latest range of processors, but are a significant improvement over the old version. There’s also an improvement in the RAM used, moving from 8GB of 1600MHz LPDDR3 RAM to 8GB of faster 1867GHz LPDDR3, with the option to upgrade to 16GB.

Meanwhile the 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display will now be powered by Intel’s latest Skylake lineup of CPUs with the base model coming in with a Core i5 processor clocked at 3.2GHz, 8GB of RAM (expandable up to 16GB or 32GB),  1TB hard drive, and an AMD Radeon R9 M380 graphics card with 2GB of VRAM.


On the 21.5-inch iMac the 4K display will be offered as an additional option on the most expensive version – just like how when the first 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display was rolled out. Consumers can continue to save a little bit of cash by purchasing a 1080p model starting from $1,099. Bumping that up to a 4K display will take the price up by $400 to $1,499 for a 3.1GHZ quad-core i5.

For those interested in the updated 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display, the base model with set you back $1,799 while the top-end model can be had for a whopping $2,299. All updated models begin shipping today.

Complete spec sheet of the 21.5-inch iMac with and without Retina 4K display can be seen below.


Complete spec sheet of the refreshed lineup of 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display can be seen below.


Oh and yes, all new iMac models are now shipping with Apple’s new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 or Magic Trackpad 2 options out-of-box.

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