8 things to know about Apple’s new iMacs and Magic accessories


Apple’s new iMacs are here and available to order now from the Apple Online Store — alongside a full family of new Magic accessories. You’re probably already familiar with the big changes, but here are some other important things you may not know about Apple’s latest offerings.

New iMacs

Then & Now

iMac then & now

Apple has published a new “Then & Now” page on its website, which showcases how far the iMac has come since the original iMac G3 made its debut in 1998. It notes that the latest models boast 14 million more pixels, 62,000 times faster graphics, 366 times more processing power, 1,000 times more RAM, and 750 times more storage.

4K iMac ships with a 5,400 HDD as standard

If you buy the entry-level 4K iMac, which is priced at $1,499, you get a 1TB hard-drive that runs at 5,400 RPM as standard. Hard drives that run at this speed are considered ancient in 2015, and will present a massive bottleneck in an otherwise speedy system.

It is recommended, then, that buyers upgrade to at least a Fusion Drive, which are priced at $100 extra for 1TB of storage, and $200 extra for 2TB of storage. 256GB and 512GB solid-state storage drives are also available for $200 and $500 extra respectively.

Fusion Drives come with less SSD storage

Fusion Drive

To make its Fusion Drives more affordable, Apple has reduced the amount of SSD storage that’s built-in. For instance, a 1TB Fusion Drive now consists of a 1TB hard drive with a 24GB SSD, whereas it used to be a 1TB hard drive with a 128GB SSD. To get 128GB of SSD storage now, you’ll need to choose the 2TB Fusion Drive option instead.

Support for up to 64GB of RAM

As we previously noted, the new 5K iMac now supports up to 64GB of RAM — twice as much as previous models. Apple only provides up to 32GB of RAM right now, but third-party component manufacturer OWC has managed to get 64GB running in one of the new machines.

Previously, the only Mac capable of supporting 64GB of RAM was the Mac Pro.

The 4K iMac, however, can only be purchased with up to 16GB of RAM, and its RAM is soldered in, so there is no option to upgrade later.

Magic Accessories

Fast charging

New Magic Accessories lineup

Apple’s new Magic accessories have a fast charging feature that provide you with hours of power from a quick top up when you need to get stuff done. Although it takes around two hours to charge each one to full capacity, you can get nine hours of use from the Magic Mouse 2 with just two minutes of charging.

This is particularly useful on the Magic Mouse 2, which has a Lightning port on its bottom and cannot be charged while it’s in use.

Wired or wireless connectivity

The Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 have Lightning connectors on their back edges, so they can be used while they’re charging. What’s more, you can use them as wired devices if you wish; simply disable Bluetooth connectivity and you can continue to use them via the Lightning cable.

Automatic pairing

Magic Keyboard's Lightning connector

Unlike their predecessors, the new Magic accessories do not need to be paired manually. Simply plug them into your Mac using the included Lightning-to-USB cable, and they’ll begin communicating via Bluetooth right away so that when you unplug them they will remain connected.

Magic Trackpad 2 requires Bluetooth 4.0

To use the Magic Trackpad 2, which is the first standalone Magic accessory to support Force Touch, you need a Mac with Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, while rules out some older machines. You will also need to be running OS X 10.11 or later.

[via MacRumors]