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Photo: Courtesy Apple
Photo: Courtesy Apple

Apple refreshes iMac line-up

The iMacs get enhanced specifications, while there are updates to the keyboard, mouse and trackpad accessories

Apple has announced updates to the iMac desktop line-up, with the 21.5-inch and 27-inch machines getting the upgrades. The company has also released long overdue updates for the Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad accessories.

21.5-inch iMac: 4K screen option added

The smaller of the two iMac variants, a new 4K display option has been added to the line-up, which means there are now three configuration choices—the other two have Full HD (1,920x1,080 resolution) screens. The iMac with 4K Retina display has a 4,096x2,304 resolution IPS display, which combines over 9 million pixels. Incidentally, this is higher than the 3,840x2,160 resolution most 4K computing devices offer. It runs a fifth-generation “Broadwell" Intel Core processor with the updated Intel Iris Pro graphics.

The Full HD variants of the 21.5-inch iMac, along with the new 4K sibling, also get the new Fusion Drives. But there is a compromise—the 1TB Fusion Drive now only has a 24GB flash memory segment, which was 128GB earlier. However, the 2TB and 3TB Fusion Drive options still have a 128GB flash storage module. Despite the reduction in the flash component space, we feel the 1TB Fusion Drive may still be worth it on the 21.5" iMac purely because it will offer significantly better performance than the slower standard hard drives.

The Full HD variants of the 21.5-inch iMac are priced at 91,900 and 1,07,900, while the iMac with 4K Retina is priced at 1,23,900.

27-inch iMac: Newer innards

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K display boasts of a 5,120 x 2,880 resolution IPS screen. This is by far the highest spec screen in a computing device being sold to consumers at the moment. The processors have been upgraded to the sixth-generation “Skylake" Intel Core series. Graphics have been boosted too—the base and mid-tier model get the AMD Radeon R9 M380 (2GB) graphics, while the top spec gets the AMD Radeon R9 M395 (2GB) graphics as standard with the option to configure the AMD Radeon R9 M395X (4GB) graphics.

The 27-inch iMac lineup also gets the newer Fusion Drives, but the ones running in this compared to the 21.5-inch iMac are slightly faster.

The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5K Display is available in three models, priced at 1,48,900, 1,64,900 and 1,88,900 each.

New accessories: Much awaited updates

Apple has finally updated three critical accessories that are used in iMacs as well as MacBooks, after many years of waiting.

The Wireless Keyboard, last updated in 2007, now gets rid of one of the biggest annoyances of the previous version—the low battery warnings because of the higher power consumption. Now, the keyboard gets a rechargeable internal battery and runs on Bluetooth ver.4, which means it is going to consume much less battery. There is a Lightning to USB cable, and the keyboard has a Lightning port which allows full uninterrupted use while it charges.

The Magic Mouse 2 is an incremental update over the predecessor, with a new rechargeable battery (instead of swapping AA batteries every time) and charged using a lightning cable. The design largely remains the same though, but it is interesting that Apple has not added the Force Touch feature they had introduced with the new MacBook earlier this year.

The Magic TrackPad 2 has a bigger design change, with 29% more touch area available for the fingers to glide over. This also gets the Force Touch gestures, which detect the pressure of the finger touch to open additional options or execute tasks based on the app you are running at the time.

The Magic Keyboard is priced at 8,300, the Magic Mouse 2 will set you back by 6,600, while the Magic Trackpad 2 costs 11,200.

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