Apple updates iMac and MacBook lines, launches MacOS High Sierra
At its WWDC 2017 developer conference in San José, California Apple has just announced a number of upgrades to its iMac line of desktop computers. All new models will come with new displays. The current resolutions are retained but at 500 nits the new screens are 43% brighter than the previous generation and come with 10-bit dithering, offering one billion colors for even more realistic color rendering.
Faster processors are on board as well, and all iMacs come with Intel’s 7th generation Kaby Lake CPUs. The 21.5″ models will allow you to install up to 32GB of RAM, on the 27″ models up to 64GB which is twice as much as before. New SSDs will be available in sizes up to 2TB and will be 50% faster than current models. In terms of interfaces all new iMacs will feature two USB-C connectors with Thunderbolt 3 support.
Improvements in the graphics department include Intel Iris 640 Graphics on the 21.5″ base model, AMD Radeon Pro 555 & 560 GPUs with up to 4GB VRAM on the iMac Retina 4k 21.5″ and Radeon Pro 570, 575, 580 with up to 8GB of VRAM on the 5K 27″ model. That’s up to 3x faster graphics than before. Prices will start at $1099 for the base model and $1299 for the 21.5″ 4K model.
|The 2017 MacBook Pro: brighter, faster, still SD card-slot-less.|
In line with the iMac models, Apple has also upgraded its MacBook line. Like its desktop cousins, the Apple laptops will from now on come with Intel Kaby Lake CPUs and faster graphics cards. Something not added: an SD card slot.
|The big, bad new iMac Pro, due in December.|
In addition Apple has given a sneak peek of the iMac Pro that will become available towards the end of the year and deliver work station class performance in an 27″ iMac form factor. According to Apple the iMac Pro will be the most powerful Mac ever and be available with up to 18 core Xeon processors and AMD’s brand new AMD Radeon Vega GPUs.
Apple’s new MacOS version is called High Sierra and comes with a faster version of the Safari browser among other improvements. The Photos app offers new new organization and editing tools, including curves and selective color. There is also a new persistent tool side bar, filtering by keywords or favorites, and improved face recognition that is powered by neural networks. If you make the effort to name the people in your photos, those names can now be synchronized across devices.
On the video side of things, Apple has launched a new HEVC video codec that offers up to 40% better compression than H.264. High Sierra is available today as a developer beta and will come as a free upgrade to all Mac users this fall.