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Rumor: Apple iMac Getting Summer Refresh

Illustration for article titled Rumor: Apple iMac Getting Summer Refresh

Seeing as the MacBook Pro already got their Santa Rosa CPU upgrade, there's no reason why Apple's desktop iMacs wouldn't get theirs soon as well, but AppleInsider is claiming the refresh will come sometime around mid-to-late summer. That's end of July into mid-August, for those of you unfamiliar with what months summer consists of.

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AI is saying Apple will release radically changed 20-inch and 24-inch iMacs, possibly those brushed metal ones we were talking about earlier this month. The 17-inch model, however, seems to be ignored and may be dropped entirely.

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Apple's iMac overhaul tracking for mid-to-late summer [Apple Insider]

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DISCUSSION

The iMac definitely could benefit from being freshened, especially when you look at the apparent price bloat that occurs with 24" iMacs. Just to give you an idea:

Rev. C MacBook Pro

+ 15.4" LED-backlit Display

+ 2.4GHz Core 2 Duo (Santa Rosa)

+ 2GB memory

+ GeForce 8600 Mobile GT w/ 256M VRAM

+ 160GB 5400rpm HDD

+ AppleCare

$2848.00

24-inch iMac

+ 24.0" CCFL-backlit Display

+ 2.33GHz Core 2 Duo (upgraded from 2.16GHz)

+ 1GB memory (upgraded from 1GB)

+ GeForce 7600GT w/ 256M VRAM (upgraded from 7300GT w/ 128M VRAM)

+ 500GB 7200rpm HDD (upgraded from 250GB)

+ Apple bluetooth Mighty Mouse and Keyboard (upgraded from USB)

$2977.00

If you wanted to keep things more on parity and omit the disk upgrade, it's $2778, still putting it within $70 of a very well-equipped MBP. I realize that by-and-large iMacs use mobile components (with the exception of the hard disks and video chipsets), but that price is too close for comfort, regardless of the large panel size difference.

I find myself sitting here wondering if I get an MBP and occasionally hook it up to my 23" HD ACD and some speakers (which I'd rather not have to do), or wait for a new iMac to put things more on the level. I'm just not a laptop fan, and I like the idea that the iMac just needs to be plugged into a wall and I'm done (everything else is bluetooth or wifi).

My prediction on the iMac? Leopard hits in October. Intel's next iteration of Core2, Penryn, is also due late this year. I expect to see a less chunky iMac toting Penryns close to 3GHz, as well as a video chipset upgrade, and 1TB internal disks as an option. LED-backlit would be nice, but I still think that's a year away from them introducing 20" and 24" LED-backlit panels.