Apple has announced upgrades to their iMacs, moving the machines to Core 2 Duo processors and provisioning them with larger screens in some cases. Additionally, there has been a price drop on the entry-level iMac, making it a very attractive purchase for the budget market. The company has slashed the price of that budget iMac model by $300 to $999 USD, which will get you a 17-inch widescreen 1.83GHz Core 2 Duo machine with a 160GB hard drive and 512MB of SDRAM. The iMac line up has also been expanded to include a 24-inch model if that 20-inch screen just isn't cutting it for you any more.

Apple claims that the Core 2 Duo based systems should perform 50 percent faster than their original Core Duo counterparts, and that they also offer power consumption advantages. All models except for the entry-level iMac include SuperDrives and wireless keyboard, Mighty Mouse and Apple Remote.

"Every iMac-from the $999 model up through the new dazzling 24-inch widescreen model now features blazing Core 2 Duo performance," Apple's marketing senior vice president Philip Schiller said in the announcement. "And the new 24-inch widescreen iMac is the fastest, biggest and brightest iMac we've ever made."
It was not just the iMacs that got a welcome upgrade; the Mac Mini budget desktop was given a processor upgrade from an Intel Core Solo to a Core Duo (not Core 2 Duo, just the original Duo.) No announcements were made regarding upgrades to Core 2 Duo for MacBooks and MacBook Pros, but this is surely coming soon.