Apple has updated its all-in-one iMac line, adding the latest Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors and improved graphics. 

Starting from £850 plus VAT, the new iMac line is billed as the fastest ever, with dual-core processor speeds up to 3.6GHz and quad-core speeds up to 2.93GHz. 

"We took the world’s best all-in-one and made it even better," said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. 

"With the latest processors, high-performance graphics and signature aluminium and glass design, customers are going to love the latest iMac."

As with its predecessor, the new iMac comes in two models: 21.5-inch and a 27-inch. The 21.5-inch model has three processor options: a 3.06GHz Intel Core i3, a 3.2GHz Intel Core i3, and a 3.6GHz Intel Core i5. All three processors sport a 4MB level 3 cache and support Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost. On the 27-inch, you can choose from four different processor: the same 3.2GHz or 3.6GHz chips as the 21.5-inch or a 2.8Ghz Quad-Core Intel Core i5 with a 8MB level 3 cache that supports Turbo Boost or a 2.93Ghz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with a 8MB level 3 cache that supports Hyper-Threading and Turbo Boost.

The new processors feature an integrated memory controller to access the system memory directly, allowing the new iMac to take full advantage of its faster 1333 MHz memory insists Apple.

Apple iMac

New discrete ATI Radeon HD processors promise smooth, crisp graphics for the demanding 3D games, creative software and technical applications. 

The iMac displays feature IPS technology to deliver images across a wide 178 degree viewing angle. 

The SD card slot on the iMac now supports the SDXC format to handle the latest high-capacity storage cards. 

By default, all models ship with 4GB of 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM in two 2GB SO-DIMM modules. There are a total of four SO-DIMM slots in the machine, which support up to 16GB of RAM. The 21.5-inch 3.06GHz model ships wih a 7,200rpm 500GB SATA hard drive while the 21-inch 3.2GHz model, 27-inch 3.2GHz model, and quad-core 27-inch 2.8GHz model all ship with a 1TB 7,200rpm SATA hard drive. All models also offer a 2TB 7,200rpm SATA hard drive as an option.

Customers of the 27-inch iMac have the option to order a 256GB solid state drive (SSD) as a primary or secondary drive. The iMac SSD supports up to 215 MB/s data transfer rates for faster startup and application launch times. All models ship with the slot-loading 8x SuperDrive.

All models come with one FireWire 800 port capable of powering up to 7 watts, four USB 2.0 ports, an SDXC memory card slot, AirPort Extreme 802.11n Wi-Fi that’s compatible with 802.11a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR, and a 10/100/1000BASE-T Gigabit Ethernet connector. They also sport built-in stero speakers, headphone/optical audio output minijack, an audio line-in/optical digital audio input minijack, and a built-in microphone.

For video, a Mini DisplayPort output supports DVI, VGA, and dual-link DVI; as previously, the 27-inch models can also use the DisplayPort as an input port. As always, there’s an iSight camera embedded in the top of the bezel.

A new Apple Battery Charger provides a "convenient and environmentally friendly way to always have a fresh set of batteries for your Magic Trackpad, Magic Mouse and Wireless Keyboard". The Apple Battery Charger is available for £21 plus VAT and comes with six long shelf life rechargeable batteries.

Apple notes the iMac meets stringent Energy Star 5.0 requirements and achieves EPEAT Gold status. The iMac features LED-backlit displays that are mercury-free and made with arsenic-free glass. iMac uses PVC-free components and cables, contains no brominated flame retardants, uses highly recyclable materials and features material-efficient system and packaging designs. 

(Thanks to Dan Moren at Macworld US for additional tech specs)