Hands-on with the brand new, thin and stunning iMac

iMac October 2012 event

Apple launched a series of products today including the widely expected iPad Mini and a new Macbook Pro. However, the product that stood out most in my mind is the new iMac, which is thinner than supermodel Kate Moss. It was hard to figure out where the screen ended and computer started in this manufacturing marvel.

While rest of the crowd was taking time playing around with the iPad Mini, I spent my time with both the 27-inch and 21.5-inch models of the new iMac. And after 10 minutes, I knew I wanted one. First, the display screen, while not eligible for Apple’s Retina label, is drop-dead gorgeous. The color and the contrast is amazing. The dreaded reflections are almost nonexistent. You cannot resist the urge to reach out and touch the screen and flick things around much like on an iPad.

Apple new iMac October 2012

The two models on display were top of the line and it was easy to imagine that they would be speedy. However, nothing prepares you for the hybrid Fusion Drive Apple is using in this device. Apple’s iTunes by far is the worst application on my old iMac and that is why I clicked on it first. And it open almost instantly — it felt faster than the iTunes on my flash-drive based Macbook Air.

The other two major applications on a computer for me are the browser and the email client, and both of those were breezy fast with no lag in either of them at all. Of course, both these apps (like other pre-installed Apple apps) reside on the flash-part of the hybrid drive. Ten minutes after using the new iMac, I know I want to spend more time on one.

Here are some of the facts about the new iMac from Apple’s press release.

  • It occupies 40 percent less volume than its predecessor and an edge that measures just 5 mm thick.
  • The new iMac reduces reflection by 75 percent.
  • The cover glass is fully laminated to the LCD and an anti-reflective coating is applied using a high-precision plasma deposition process.
  • It features third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to Core i7.
  • It used the latest NVIDIA GeForce processors deliver up to 60 percent faster performance for advanced gaming and graphics intensive apps.
  • It comes standard with 8GB of 1600 MHz memory and a 1TB hard drive and can be upgraded to 32GB of memory and a new 3TB hard drive, or 768GB of flash storage for ultimate performance.
  • It has two Thunderbolt ports and four USB 3.0 ports.
  • Fusion Drive combines 128GB of flash memory with a standard 1TB or 3TB hard drive to create a single storage volume.
  • The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 for $1,299; 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 for $1,499.
  • The  27-inch iMac is available with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 for $1,799 and 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 for $1,999

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