iMac: New models with Thunderbolt and Sandy Bridge promised

Posted on by Mike Evans

I swore I wouldn't acknowledge repeat rumours after the frenzied activity prior to the iPad 2 and MacBook Pro launches. Not unless I'm indulging in some wishful thinking, that is. At the moment I'm wishfully thinking about a new iMac for my home office set up. Of course, I know not to buy just yet. I might as well wait for the faster processors and any other improvements Apple feel able to make to the range. 

So my interest was sparked by today's AppleInsider story which points to an early May arrival for updated models with Sandy Bridge processors and the inevitable Thunderbolt port. According to sources, there will be few, if any, cosmetic changes to the current range which was last upgraded in July 2010. But any improvement, especially beefed-up processing power, makes the wait worthwhile.

Early last year I sold off my old iMac to a friend who desperately wanted it. The sale was a bit premature, but I had just taken delivery of a new high-spec 13in MacBook Pro and thought I would manage with just the one computer. I equipped the new arrival with a beautifully designed Griffin Elevator stand ($29.99) and connected it to my 24-in Cinema display. All was sweetness and light. If you want to use a laptop as a desktop replacement the Griffin Elevator is an ideal choice.

In my office I had all the advantages of a desktop computer, with the large 24in screen augmenting the laptop's 13.2in display. And when travelling I had my entire office in my case. Geek happiness for a few months.

Then came along the 11in MacBook Air which I just had to have. I was surprised to find that despite the puny 1.6GHz processor and 4GB of RAM, the little Air doesn't seem all that much slower than the (relatively) mighty 2.66GHz MB Pro with its 8GB of memory and speedy 256GB SSD. In fact, in every day, real-world activity the Air can often feel faster.

I soon discovered I wasn't at all shortchanged with the Air and I have come to rely on it whenever I travel or set forth for the day. I no longer need the portability of the MacBook Pro and it makes sense to revert to an iMac that can stay put in the office. 

The new iMac range can't come soon enough as far as I'm concerned. I'll be selling off the MacBook Pro because, excellent as it is, it is just too heavy to lug around airports and on my shoulder when out and about during the day. The Air, on the other hand, is so light that it isn't really noticeable and, as a result, I take it with me more often than not. 


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