iMac line refreshed by Apple

The new iMac hit the Apple Store earlier today.

iMac machines get a boost in firepower and the new Thunderbolt technology, Apple announced today. For now, the look of the iMac remains the same.

Apple took the wraps off a refreshed iMac line today, and as of this morning the new desktop computer is available for purchase at the online Apple store, or in brick-and-mortar outlets around the country. So what sets this generation of iMac machines apart from the last? Well, the biggest change, perhaps, is the addition of a quad-core Intel Core i5 processor –– the zippiest Apple chip to date. (Consumers can also opt for the pricier, and faster, Core i7 unit.)

But the new iMac will also come equipped with Thunderbolt, a new technology, developed by Intel, that lets you transfer data between your computer and a range of peripherals. (Think FireWire or USB, but much, much faster. Click here for a quick primer on Thunderbolt.) The 21.5-inch iMac has a single Thunderbolt port, but the 27-inch model has two –– extra firepower for serious users.

Elsewhere, there is the FaceTime functionality –– the same FaceTime functionality already available on the iPhone 4, and a few other Apple gadgets –– along with the Magic Mouse, and the predictably stylish aluminum-bodied designe. Alas, no new svelte curves on this iMac. Maybe next time around. For more details on the new iMac, navigate yourself over to the Apple Store, which is already prominently featuring the device. Prices begin at $1,199.

In related news –– well, related for any Apple fiends in the audience –– Apple last month finally began selling its long-awaited white iPhone 4. Verizon and AT&T are currently selling the new handset, as is the Apple store –– expect to pay $199 for a 16GB model, and $299 for a 32GB unit.

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