Apple unveils nextgeneration iMac with slimmer design and Ivy Bridge, starting at $1,299

Who said Apple's event was all about the little things? Apple just unveiled its first redesign to its iMac desktop in three years. The new all-in-one makes the widely expected leap to Intel's Ivy Bridge Core i5 and Core i7 processors, but also represents a much leaner and meaner replacement for the 2009-era template -- its edges are just 5mm thick, and it's constructed with "friction stir welding" as well as a gapless, less reflective display that's laminated together with the glass. Screen sizes remain the same and include both a 21.5-inch, 1080p model and a 27-inch, 2,560 x 1,400 model -- sorry, no Retina displays this year. They share 720p-capable front cameras with dual mics as well as NVIDIA's GeForce 600-era graphics, up to 32GB of RAM and a panoply of storage options that peak at 3TB of spinning storage, a 768GB SSD or what Apple calls a Fusion Drive that mixes both 128GB of flash with 1TB or 3TB of conventional storage (a hybrid drive, for those of us who've seen it before). There's no optical drive unless you plug in a USB option.

The 21.5-inch model ships in November, and will set you back $1,299 for a 2.7GHz Core i5, 8GB of RAM and a 1TB hard drive; pony up for the 27-inch model at $1,799 and you'll get a 2.9GHz Core i5 as well as the same memory and storage. Apple's larger iMac doesn't ship until December, however, which will give some impulse buyers at least a brief respite.

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All-New iMac Features Stunning Design, Brilliant Display & Faster Performance

SAN JOSE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Apple® today unveiled a completely new iMac® with a stunning design, brilliant display with reduced reflection, and faster processors.* With third generation Intel quad-core processors, powerful NVIDIA graphics and an innovative new storage option called Fusion Drive, the new iMac is the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made.

"With a stunning design, brilliant display and faster performance, we've made the world's leading all-in-one desktop computer better in every way," said Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. "The all-new iMac is unbelievably thin, yet packs an incredible amount of performance and technology into our most innovative desktop."

Redesigned from the inside out, the new iMac packs high-performance technology into an aluminum and glass enclosure with up to 40 percent less volume than its predecessor and an edge that measures just 5 mm thin. Built with an unprecedented level of fit and finish, the new iMac delivers an amazing desktop experience in a gorgeous design. The new iMac also features a completely reengineered display that reduces reflection by 75 percent while maintaining brilliant color and contrast. In the new design, the cover glass is fully laminated to the LCD and an anti-reflective coating is applied using a high-precision plasma deposition process. Every iMac display is individually calibrated using an advanced spectroradiometer.

The new iMac features third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to Core i7. The latest NVIDIA GeForce processors deliver up to 60 percent faster performance for advanced gaming and graphics intensive apps. Every new iMac now comes standard with 8GB of 1600 MHz memory and a 1TB hard drive, and customers can choose to configure their iMac with up to 32GB of memory and a new 3TB hard drive, or 768GB of flash storage for ultimate performance. With two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports, the new iMac delivers even greater expandability and support for high-performance peripherals.

Fusion Drive is an innovative new storage option that gives customers the performance of flash storage and the capacity of a hard drive. It combines 128GB of flash with a standard 1TB or 3TB hard drive to create a single storage volume that intelligently manages files to optimize read and write performance. Fusion Drive adapts to the way you use your iMac and automatically moves the files and apps you use most often to flash storage to enable faster performance and quicker access.

Apple also updated the Mac® mini with third generation dual-core Intel Core i5 and quad-core Intel Core i7 processors that are up to twice as fast and have integrated graphics that are up to 65 percent faster.** Mac mini comes standard with 4GB of 1600 MHz memory with support for up to 16GB. Retaining its amazingly compact aluminum design, the new Mac mini now includes four USB 3.0 ports in addition to its Thunderbolt, HDMI, SDXC, Gigabit Ethernet, and FireWire® 800 ports.

Both iMac and Mac mini meet stringent Energy Star 5.2 requirements and achieve an EPEAT Gold rating.*** iMac uses up to 50 percent less energy than the previous generation when idle, and features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. Mac mini retains its status as the world's most energy efficient desktop computer, using only 11W when idle. Both the iMac and Mac mini include PVC-free components and cables, contain no brominated flame retardants, and use highly recyclable materials and material-efficient packaging designs.

iMac and Mac mini ship with OS X® Mountain Lion, bringing Messages, Notification Center, system-wide Sharing, AirPlay® Mirroring, Dictation, Game Center and the enhanced security of Gatekeeper to your Mac. With iCloud® built into the foundation of OS X, Mountain Lion makes it easier than ever to keep your content up to date across your Mac, iPhone®, iPad® and iPod touch®.

Pricing & Availability

The 21.5-inch iMac is available with a 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 640M for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US); and with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M for a suggested retail price of $1,499 (US). The 21.5-inch iMac will be available in November through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The 27-inch iMac is available with a 2.9 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 660M for a suggested retail price of $1,799 (US); and with a 3.2 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.6 GHz and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 675MX for a suggested retail price of $1,999 (US). The 27-inch iMac will be available in December through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

The Mac mini is available with a 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.1 GHz, 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $599 (US); a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, 4GB of memory and a 1TB hard drive for a suggested retail price of $799 (US); and a 2.3 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, OS X Server, 4GB of memory and two 1TB hard drives for a suggested retail price of $999 (US). The Mac mini is available today through the Apple Online Store (www.apple.com), Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.

Additional technical specifications, configure-to-order options and accessories are available online at apple.com/imac or apple.com/mac-mini.

*Testing conducted by Apple in October 2012 using preproduction iMac configurations. For more information visit apple.com/imac/features/.

**Testing conducted by Apple in October 2012 using preproduction Mac mini configurations. For more information visit apple.com/mac-mini/features.html.

***Claim based on energy efficiency categories and products listed within the EPA ENERGY STAR 5.2 energy database as of October 2012. EPEAT is an independent organization that helps customers compare the environmental performance of notebooks and desktops. Products meeting all of the required criteria and at least 75 percent of the optional criteria are recognized as EPEAT Gold products. The EPEAT program was conceived by the US EPA and is based on IEEE 1680 standard for Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products. For more information visit www.epeat.net.

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Apple unveils next-generation iMac with slimmer design and Ivy Bridge, starting at $1,299