Apple launches new iMacs with Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt

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As previously anticipated, Apple has unveiled a fresh batch of iMacs with the latest chips from Intel and AMD. The all-in-one systems are available in the familiar 21.5 and 27-inch form factors and each size comes in two base configurations. The former starts at $1,199 and jumps to $1,499 with a hardier spec sheet while the latter kicks off at $1,699 and second configuration is $1,999.

The least expensive version is outfitted with a 1080p LED-backlit display, a 2.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, an AMD Radeon HJD 6750M discrete graphics chip, and a 500GB 7200RPM HDD. Another $300 bags you a 2.7GHz Core i5, a Radeon HD 6770M, and 1TB of storage. The $1,499 21.5-incher also gains options for a 2.8GHz Core i7, 2TB of storage and a 256GB SSD.

The base 27-inch iMac invites a 2560x1440 display to the party, but it has the same default CPU, GPU, and HDD configuration as the premium 21.5-inch model. The two 27-inch tiers are also separated by $300, with the pricier model gaining a 3.1GHz quad-core Core i5 and a 1GB 6970M. The max manual configuration has a 3.4GHz Core i7, 16GB of RAM, and a 2GB 6970M.

All of the machines are equipped with a built-in "FaceTime HD" camera, integrated speakers, a slot-loading DVD burner, an IR receiver, an SDXC card slot, four USB 2.0 ports, audio in/out jacks, one FireWire 800 port, Gigabit Ethernet, as well as 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1. The 21.5-inch iterations receive a single Thunderbolt port, while the 27-inchers have two.

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