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Apple's 27-inch iMac gets a major summertime reboot

It looks the same, but the 27-inch all-in-one iMac changes just about everything on the inside, adding a camera with decent specs and a nanotexture screen option.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apple on Tuesday launched a major revision to its 27-inch iMac, leaving the outer shell the same, but changing out just about every component or option inside. The new systems are available to order starting today, and should be in Apple stores later this week. 

Now playing: Watch this: New 27-inch iMac is Apple's summer surprise

There's news to be found in both what's included and what's not. Sure, there are new CPU, graphics and storage options, but the most practical to me would seem to be the upgraded FaceTime camera, which now hits full 1080p resolution (rather than 720p) and the addition of an optional nanotexture screen, as found on the Apple Pro Display. It cuts down on glare and here it's a $500 upgrade over the typical glossy display. 

What's not here is Apple's recently announced "Apple silicon," the ARM-based chips that will power future Macs as soon as later this year. These are still Intel-based, and may well be the final wave of new Intel Macs (or not).

Other highlights include:

  • A jump to 10th-gen Intel CPUs, up to a 10-core Core i9
  • Radeon Pro 5000-series graphics from AMD
  • Standard SSDs across the line (no more hybrid drives) -- up to 8TB (doubling the previous top capacity) 
  • Up to 128GB of DDR4 RAM
  • Adds Apple's T2 security chip, which enables "Hey, Siri" and a host of camera functionality improvements 
  • True Tone display
  • The same improved studio mics as in the 16-inch MacBook Pro

Along with the improved camera, the T2 chip allows it to track faces in the camera's field of view. But according to Apple, that's only to adjust exposure and color, not to use as facial recognition login or even camera tracking for tighter live video shots. 

Now playing: Watch this: Apple gives the 27-inch iMac a major revamp

The new 27-inch iMacs keep the same starting prices as before, with base models at $1,799, $1,999 and $2,299. They start at £1,799 in the UK and AU$2,799 in Australia.