Apple unveils quad-core iMac with Thunderbolt and FaceTime

3 May 2011

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Computer giant Apple has launched a new all-in-one iMac with next-generation quad-core processors, FaceTime HD videoconferencing camera and the new Thunderbolt I/O technology.

Starting at €1,149 including VAT, the new iMac is up to 70pc faster and new graphics deliver up to three times the performance of the previous generation.

“Our customers love the iMac’s aluminum enclosure, gorgeous display and all-in-one design,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice-president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With next-generation quad-core processors, powerful new graphics, Thunderbolt technology and a FaceTime HD camera, we’ve made the world’s best desktop even better.”

The new iMac features quad-core Intel Core i5 processors with an option for customers to choose Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz. These next-generation processors feature an integrated memory controller for an amazingly responsive experience and a powerful new media engine for high-performance video encoding and decoding.

With new AMD Radeon HD graphics processors, the new iMac has the most powerful graphics ever in an all-in-one desktop.

The new iMac is the first desktop computer on the market to include groundbreaking Thunderbolt I/O technology. The 21.5-inch iMac has a single Thunderbolt port while the 27-inch model features two ports for even greater expansion.

Developed by Intel with collaboration from Apple, Thunderbolt enables expandability never before possible on an all-in-one computer.

Featuring two bi-directional channels with transfer speeds up to an amazing 10Gbps each, Thunderbolt delivers PCI Express directly to external high-performance peripherals such as RAID arrays, and can support FireWire and USB consumer devices, and Gigabit Ethernet networks via adapters.

Thunderbolt also supports DisplayPort for high-resolution displays and works with existing adapters for HDMI, DVI and VGA displays. Freely available for implementation on systems, cables and devices, Thunderbolt technology is expected to be widely adopted as a new standard for high performance I/O.

New iMac can video conference with iPads and iPhones

iMac includes a built-in FaceTime HD camera and Apple’s innovative FaceTime software for crisp, widescreen video calling. The new camera supports high-definition video calls between all FaceTime HD-enabled Macs and standard resolution calls with iPad 2, iPhone 4, the current generation iPod touch and other Intel-based Macs.

The iMac continues to feature its signature aluminum and glass design, IPS LED-backlit high-resolution display, SD card slot and comes with Apple’s innovative Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad.

The iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold rating. iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs.

The 21.5-inch iMac is available in two configurations: one with a 2.5 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6750M and 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of €1,149 including VAT (€949.59 excluding VAT); and one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of €1,449 including VAT (€1197.52 excluding VAT).

The new 27-inch iMac is available in two models: one with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6770M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of €1,649 including VAT (€1362.81 excluding VAT); and one with a 3.1 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, AMD Radeon HD 6970M and 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of €1,899 including VAT (€1569.42 excluding VAT).

Configure-to-order options include faster Intel Core i7 processors up to 3.4 GHz, additional hard drive capacity up to 2TB, a 256GB solid state drive, additional DDR3 memory and AppleCare Protection Plan.

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Editor John Kennedy is an award-winning technology journalist.

editorial@siliconrepublic.com