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Apple updates the iMac with new Intel processors and a better webcam
08-05-2020, 12:16 AM,
Post: #1
Apple updates the iMac with new Intel processors and a better webcam
Apple is announcing updates for both the 27-inch and 21.5-inch iMacs. It’s updating the processors inside to Intel’s 10th Gen Comet Lake processors and also switching out the webcam to a higher-resolution 1080p HD sensor instead of the low-res 720p found in other Macs. SSDs are now standard across the line, and there will be a bunch of new configuration options — including a “nano-texture” version with less reflective matte glass. The 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799, is available to order today, and will ship this week. The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,099 and will ship next week. Apple is also giving the iMac Pro a small spec bump, making the 10-core Intel chips the new baseline for $4,999 — also shipping next week. (Oddly, the iMac Pro is not otherwise getting updated.) This is not the major redesign that has been rumored (and hoped for), nor is it the first ARM-based Mac. Instead, the 2020 iMacs look identical to the last generation, including the large black bezel all the way around the screen and the big metal chin at the bottom. Apple says that, as it noted at WWDC, it intends to support Intel-based Macs for many years to come.

The webcam might be the biggest day-to-day upgrade for most users. It’s 1080p, but Apple says that the new T2 chip enables some new features beyond the improved resolution like tone mapping, exposure control, and face detection. Apple says the improved camera features will work in any videoconferencing app, not just FaceTime.

Don’t get too excited about that face detection, though. It’s just for ensuring your face is properly exposed in video calls. It can’t unlock the iMac. In fact, despite the new T2 chip inside, the new iMac doesn’t have any biometric login options; there’s no Face ID nor is there a fingerprint sensor. Apple says many of its customers use the Apple Watch to automatically log in.

The T2 chip does allow for some other new features, though, including support for “Hey Siri,” a new audio controller that should improve audio bass and fidelity at lower volumes, and True Tone for the display. Note that the actual hardware for the speakers and display is unchanged. The updates come from the T2 controller. The microphones are updated, though, with a three-mic “studio quality” array.

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