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Monday, 28 April 2008 19:45

Apple breaks with Tuesday tradition and launches new iMacs

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Apple has just broken with its Tuesday policy of launching new products by launching updates to the iMac line – on a Monday (US time), with the fastest iMac now screaming along at a whopping 3.06 Ghz!

Want another reason to ditch your PC and jump on the Mac OS X bandwagon? Apple has just delivered it with a brand new set of iMac updates starting at US $1,199 – although the Australian price will sadly be much higher, and at the time of publication, it isn’t available, although we expect local pricing to be announced in a few hours – we’ll update this story for Australian readers as soon as we can, which we can verify is AUD $1,599. 

The improvements are across the board, with all three new iMacs getting a fast 1066 Mhz “front-side bus” – and Core 2 Duo processors with a 6MB L2 cache – with 2GB of RAM standard on all but the very cheapest US $1,199 / AUD $1,599 iMac, which only comes equipped with 1GB - but there's still no built-in Blu-ray drives.

The three new iMacs come in two screen sizes – 20-inches and 24-inches, with the 24-inch model able to not only be boosted to a whopping 3.06 Ghz in processor speed, but also able to be outfitted with an NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS graphics card with 512 MB of memory, which Apple says extends the “iMac’s lead as the ultimate all-in-one desktop computer for both consumers and professionals.”

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing happily boasted that: “The iMac’s gorgeous aluminum and glass all-in-one design has been an incredible hit with our customers and is just one of the reasons Mac sales are growing three and a half times faster than PC sales. With the latest Intel processors, a faster new graphics option and more memory, customers now have even more reasons to love the iMac.”

All three iMacs can be boosted to a total of 4 GB of 800 Mhz DD2 SDRAM, while all also come with the built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi adaptor, Bluetooth 2.1+EDR; Gigabit Ethernet; built-in iSight video camera; a total of five USB 2.0 ports (including two on the Apple Keyboard); one FireWire 400 and one FireWire 800 port.

Apple also happily reel off their green credentials, saying that the iMac “furthers Apple’s commitment to environmental progress with highly recyclable and durable materials including scratch-resistant glass and professional grade aluminium”.

In addition, Apple says that “every model in the iMac line is rated EPEAT Silver and the power-efficient iMac also meets the stringent Energy Star 4.0 requirements for power consumption”, and that “customers who purchase any qualifying Apple computer can recycle their old PC or Mac for free via the Apple Recycling Program.”

In addition, the rest of the usual software add-ons are there, including iLife ’08, Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard, compatibility with Time Machine, Back to my Mac, and more.

For details of the specifications of each new iMac, along with US and Australian pricing, please read onto page 2.


Apple say that the new iMac line is available immediately through the Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorised Resellers in the US, and 'this week' in Australia.  although whether or not the new line is immediately available in Australia is as yet unknown – we’ll update this story in a few hours with the details as we get them.

The new 20-inch 2.4 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of US $1,199 / AUD $ 1,599 includes:

    * 20-inch widescreen LCD display;
    * 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 1066 MHz front-side bus;
    * 1GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 4GB;
    * 250GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
    * a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
    * ATI Radeon HD 2400 XT with 128MB GDDR3 memory;
    * built-in iSight video camera;
    * built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
    * mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
    * built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
    * the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse and infrared Apple Remote.

The new 20-inch 2.66 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of US $1,499 / AUD $1,999 includes:

    * 20-inch widescreen LCD display;
    * 2.66 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 1066 MHz front-side bus;
    * 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 4GB;
    * 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
    * a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
    * ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
    * built-in iSight video camera;
    * built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
    * mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
    * built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
    * the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse and infrared Apple Remote.

The new 24-inch 2.8 GHz iMac, for a suggested retail price of US $1,799 / AUD $2,399 includes:

    * 24-inch widescreen LCD display;
    * 2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 1066 MHz front-side bus;
    * 2GB of 800 MHz DDR2 SDRAM expandable to 4GB;
    * 320GB Serial ATA hard drive running at 7200 rpm;
    * a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support (DVD±R DL/DVD±RW/CD-RW);
    * ATI Radeon HD 2600 PRO with 256MB GDDR3 memory;
    * built-in iSight video camera;
    * built-in AirPort Extreme 802.11n wireless networking & Bluetooth 2.1+EDR;
    * mini-DVI out (adapters for DVI, VGA and Composite/S-Video sold separately);
    * built-in stereo speakers and microphone; and
    * the Apple Keyboard, Mighty Mouse and infrared Apple Remote.

Please read onto page 3 for ‘build-to-order” options and accessories.


Build-to-order options and accessories include: a 3.06 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, up to 4GB DDR2 SDRAM, NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GS with 512MB of video memory and up to a 1TB Serial ATA hard drive on the 24-inch iMac; up to 4GB DDR2 SDRAM and up to 750GB Serial ATA hard drive on the 2.66 GHz 20-inch iMac; and up to 4GB of DDR2 SDRAM and up to 500GB Serial ATA hard drive on the 2.4 GHz 20-inch iMac.

Additional options include: Apple Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mighty Mouse; AirPort Express and AirPort Extreme Base Station; the AppleCare Protection Plan; and pre-installed copies of iWork ’08, Logic Express 8, Final Cut Express 4 and Aperture 2.

Apple says that its testing was conducted by Apple in April 2008 using preproduction 24-inch iMac units with 2.8GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processors. Based on Quake 4 using 1920 x 1200 High Quality setting. Performance tests are conducted using specific computer systems and reflect the approximate performance of iMac.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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