Apple 21.5-inch iMac
There’s little doubt that 2010 is the year of the iPad and iPhone for Apple, with the company largely focusing on the new kids on the block.r
Roman Loyola | Tuesday, September 28 2010
Product type: Desktop computer
RRP incl GST: $2499
- 21.5 inch, 1920x1080, 16:9 display
- Intel Core i3 3.2 GHz processor
- ATI Radeon 512MB HD 5670 graphics card
- 4GB DDR3 SDRAM
- 1TB, 7200 RPM hard drive
Modest improvements of its immediate predecessor but discrete graphics might sway owners of older iMac models
There’s little doubt that 2010 is the year of the iPad and iPhone for Apple, with the company largely focusing on the new kids on the block. But the Mac isn’t entirely out of the picture. While the Mac business is a more mature product line than Apple’s mobile device line up, it remains an important segment. And though the four new iMacs (two 21.5-inch models and two 27-inch models) released in July provide only small speed boosts, these latest desktops will make most customers very happy.
The Intel Core 2 Duo processors found in the lower-end iMacs of the previous generation are gone. Apple now uses dual-core Intel Core i3 processors with 4MB of Level 3 cache in three of the new iMacs. The $2,499, 21.5-inch iMac reviewed here has a 3.2GHz Core i3.
It’s worth noting here that the 3.2GHz Core i3 CPU in this model supports Hyper Threading, which allows the processor to use virtual cores to better handle heavy workloads, but doesn’t support Turbo Boost, where the processor shuts down unused cores and boosts the speed of the active core.
Memory comes courtesy of 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM installed as a pair of 2GB SO-DIMMs. With a total of four memory slots, you can add more SDRAM without having to replace the memory that comes with the iMac. The iMac supports a maximum of 16GB of memory.
Storage is via a 1TB, 7,200rpm hard drive and a slot-loading 8X SuperDrive takes care of optical discs. Right next to the SuperDrive slot is a SD card slot, which has been upgraded to support SDXC, a new format that allows for SD card capacity up to 64GB currently (and 2TB in the future).
Apple includes its Wireless Keyboard and the Magic Mouse with the iMac, but if you order online from the Apple Store, you can switch the keyboard to a wired version with a numeric keypad and switch the mouse to an Apple Mouse, both for no extra fee. You can also add Apple’s new Magic Trackpad for $119 (see the review on page 26).
The external ports haven’t changed from the previous generation of iMacs. There’s a headphone/optical digital audio output mini-jack, an audio line in/optical digital audio input mini-jack, four USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, a Mini DisplayPort (only the 27-inch iMac offers video-in support with this connection), and a Gigabit Ethernet port. The iMac also comes standard with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, built-in speakers, and a built-in iSight camera.
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