Apple updated its iMac lineup today ahead of the 2015 holiday season, most notably adding a new 4K Retina display option to the 21.5-inch iMac.

The new iMac has a 4096 x 2304 resolution made up of 9.4 million pixels, which is 4.5 times more than the standard 21.5-inch iMac display. Plus, Apple improved the color gamut by 25 percent, delivering a more vibrant, real-life color experience by using red-green phosphor LEDs instead of the standard white LEDs. For most people, this just means the screen with will show off brilliant photos. For prosumer photographers who shoot with smarter cameras, the new on-screen experience will be much appreciated.

And what about the processor, memory, and storage?

Inside the 21.5‑inch iMac with Retina 4K Display

The Retina 4K iMac comes with a 3.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, with Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz. It comes with 8GB of 1867MHz LPDDR3 onboard memory (up to 16GB with a $200 custom upgrade). The base storage isn’t particularly compelling — a 1TB Serial ATA Drive at 5400 rpm. No doubt it’s fine for the vast majority of households, but it would be nice to see a 1TB Fusion Drive come standard. Why? The Fusion Drive includes 24GB of faster flash-based storage, which the drives uses for the files and apps that you use most — effectively giving you a snappier experience.

Fortunately, Apple offers some custom (albeit spendy) upgrades for those who are willing to shell out for faster flash storage or bigger Fusion Drives.

Meanwhile, to power all those new pixels, the Retina 4K iMac uses Intel’s Iris Pro Graphics 6200, which is a step up from the Intel Iris Pro Graphics 6000 that’s used in the non-Retina 21.5-inch iMac.

New Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Trackpad

magic keyboard mouse trackpad

Apple updated its peripheral line with the new slimmer Magic Keyboard, Magic Trackpad 2, and Magic Mouse 2.

Apple also added new wireless accessories today, introducing the all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad.

The Magic Keyboard has been redesigned to use a new scissor mechanism in a lower profile that is just a bit smaller than the previous Apple wireless keyboard.

The new Magic Mouse 2 is lighter, stronger, and includes a built-in battery instead of a slot for two AA batteries.

The Magic Trackpad 2 now uses Apple’s Force Touch, which lets you press harder to activate some handy (but not yet necessary) actions in apps.

All of the new Magic devices pair with your iMac when you plug them in to charge them with the included Lightning-to-USB charging cable. Apple says the charges will last about a month.

The new iMac comes with OS X El Capitan, Apple’s latest version of Mac OS X, which was specifically designed to look fantastic on Retina displays.

The only downside to the new 21.5‑inch iMac with Retina 4K display, of course, is that once you start using a Retina screen, all non-Retina screens will start making you think you’ve got sand in your eyes.

About the author

Chris Maxcer

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I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and great tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.