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Apple Refreshes iMac, Mac Pro

The Magic Trackpad, a wireless navigation device, and a 27-inch LED Cinema Display were announced in addition to the Mac updates.

Apple Refreshes iMac, Mac Pro
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Apple Refreshes iMac, Mac Pro

Apple has upgraded its iMac desktops with faster processors and graphics to entice back-to-school shoppers, while also refreshing the Mac Pro workstation to try to grab a bigger slice of an improving business market.

In addition, the computer maker on Tuesday unveiled the new Magic Trackpad, a wireless navigation device similar to the metal and glass trackpad found on MacBook and MacBook Pro laptops, and introduced a new 27-inch LED Cinema Display. All the new iMacs are available with the Magic Trackpad as an option.

The new all-in-one iMacs come in the same sizes as the previous models, but Intel's Core 2 Duo processors have been replaced with the chipmaker's more advanced Core i3, i5 and i7 processors. In addition, the systems are available with better discrete ATI Radeon HD graphics processors and a SD slot that supports the SDXC format to handle high-capacity storage cards.

The lowest-end iMac is a 21.5-inch model with a starting price of $1,199. The base configuration includes a 3.06 GHz Core i3, 4 GB of memory, a 500 GB hard drive, and an ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card with 256 MB of memory.

The highest-end of the line is a 27-inch model that starts at $1,999. The base configuration is a quad-core 2.8GHz Intel Core i5, 4GB of memory, a 1 TB hard drive and ATI Radeon HD 5750 graphics with 1 GB of memory. All the other starting configurations in the line have dual-core processors.

In the middle are a 21.5-inch model and a 27-inch version with the same base configuration, which includes a 3.2 GHz Intel Core i3, 4 GB of memory, a 1 TB hard drive and ATI Radeon HD 5670 with 512 MB. Prices start at $1,499 and $1,699, respectively.

All the new iMacs are available as of Tuesday.

The new Mac Pros will be released next month and comes as businesses are increasing spending on replacement systems. The professional workstation comes with either one or two sockets like the older models. The systems are available with either quad-core or six-core Xeon processors, which means customers can buy a Mac Pro with either 4, 6, 8 or 12 cores, depending on their power needs. The processors run at speeds up to 3.33 GHz and include Intel's Turbo Boost and Hyper-Threading technologies. The former feature can boost processor speeds to up to 3.6 GHz, depending on workload, while the latter creates two processing streams, or threads, per core.

For discrete graphics, the systems are available with either an ATI Radeon HD 5770 or the faster HD 5870. Both have 1 GB of memory. Configure-to-order options include up to two HD 5770 cards, four 1TB or 2TB hard drives and two 18x SuperDrives.

Prices start at $2,499 for the single-socket system and $3,499 for the dual-socket model.

The wireless Magic Trackpad costs an additional $69 and supports the same multi-touch gestures used on Apple's laptop trackpads, including pinch to zoom in and out and swiping to flip through Web pages or photos.

Finally, the new 27-inch LED Cinema Display has a resolution of 2560 x 1440, which is the same as on the 27-inch iMacs. Like the 24-inch model, the larger version is an LED backlit display that supports the Mini Display port found on Apple desktops and notebooks. Apple plans to release the new display in September for a price of $999.

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