The introduction of the Retina display into the 21.5-inch iMac fills out the Retina iMac line that formerly featured only a pair of 27-inch models with Retina 5K displays.
The Retina 4K display sports a resolution of 4096 by 2304 resolution—that’s over 9.4 million pixels on the screen, which is 4.5 times the number of pixels that appear on the standard 21.5-inch iMac and its 2 million pixels.
The Retina 4K display also features a P3-based colour gamut that Apple says provides a 25 per cent larger colour space, leading to better image detail and colour accuracy. P3 is a colour output standard for digital cinema – and Apple hasn't revealed how much of the common standard for professional creative tools it can output – Adobe RGB, as used by Creative Cloud tools such as Photoshop or After Effects.
The 21.5-inch Retina 4K iMac uses an Intel Broadwell processor, not a Skylake processor that Intel introduced in August. According to Apple, the newer Skylake sixth-generation processors aren’t yet available with the integrated graphics processors that Apple has chosen to drive these models, so it’s sticking with Broadwell.
The base configuration for the 21.5-inch Retina 4K iMac come with 5,400rpm hard drives. Fusion Drives (which combine the mass storage space of a hard drive with flash storage for speed) are available to buy as an upgrade option at the time of purchase. Customers also have the option to replace the hard drive with complete flash storage for an extra fee.
Apple offers three standard configurations of the iMac. The one Retina 4K iMac standard configuration is priced at £999 plus VAT. Apple also offers two 21.5-inch iMacs priced at £749 and £874 with standard displays that have a resolution of 1920-by-1080 .
Intel’s new Skylake processor have made their way into Apple’s 27-inch Retina 5K iMac, replacing the Haswell processors in the two previous 27-inch Retina 5K iMacs.
There's a choice of 3.2GHz or 3.3GHz Core i5 processor – or a 4GB Core i7 chip if you need maximum performance. Alongside this the new 27-inhc iMac offers up to 32GB of RAM, a Fusion Drive with up to 3TB of storage (or 1TB Flash storage if you prefer).
The new 27-inch models also have separate AMD graphics processors: R9 M380, M390 or M395 chips, each with 2GB of graphics RAM.
Apple new input devices are made with built-in rechargeable lithium-ion batteries; removable, disposable batteries are no longer used.
The Magic devices each have a Lightning connector used for recharging, and a fully-charged Magic battery lasts about a month. Apple says the new devices reach a new level of comfort.
The Magic Trackpad 2 (£91) replaces the Magic Trackpad, which was released five years ago. The main new feature of the Magic Trackpad 2 is Force Touch support, which was introduced in the trackpad for the Early 2015 13-inch MacBook Pro.
The Magic Trackpad 2, which is 29 per cent larger than its predecessor, has sensors to detect how hard you’re pressing. You can press to click like usual, but press harder, and you’ll perform a Force Click. Force Click has different functions; it can be used for Quick Look in the Finder; it shows a preview when you Force Click a web link; and more.
Apple’s Wireless Keyboard is a low-profile keyboard; the new Magic Keyboard (£66) has an even lower profile and is 13 per cent smaller. The Magic Keyboard also uses a new scissor mechanism for the keys.
The new Magic Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2 are included with the new iMacs. Customers can also upgrade the new iMac with a Magic Trackpad 2. All three devices are also available in the Apple Store.
According to Apple, the new Magic Mouse 2 (£54) is lighter and sturdier. Apple also claims that the Magic Mouse 2 has a smoother glide than the original Magic Mouse.