2011 Apple iMac Refresh: What do you want to see?

If you’re an Apple enthusiast you may well be an iMac user and may also remember that there was recently speculation that at the launch of the 2011 MacBook Pro line we may see refreshed iMac desktop PCs too. However the MacBook Pro refresh duly arrived but there was no news on updated iMacs. We know from our readers that many were hoping for news on the iMac and are wondering when we may hear more and also want to know what you are hoping to see on new versions.

It was back on February 22 that we reported on a DigiTimes article whereby supply chain sources had told of a possible new iMac line with new screen sizes at the same time as the Pro refresh. Previously DigiTimes had reported on updated iMacs that would feature new panel sizes and price points coming in the first half of 2011. However we noted that shipping dates had remained unchanged for iMacs, whereas the MacBook Pros, that we definitely knew were coming, were receiving longer shipping dates.

Sadly, as you will know if you’re waiting for the updated iMacs, there has still been no further news on a 2011 iMac refresh as yet. The last iMac refresh was in July 2010 and current prices start from $1,199 and we know from the response to our previous article just how many of you are thinking of purchasing an iMac but don’t want to make the move if an upgrade will be out shortly.

Unfortunately we can’t pretend to have access to release information for new iMacs yet and so we can only speculate when they might arrive. The previous MacBook Pro refresh was in April 2010 so they were due for an update first, and the new lineup arrived on February 24, 2011, so the gap between updates for the MacBook Pro was around 10 months. If we were to imagine the same sort of gap for the iMacs too, then we would expect a refresh to be out around May, but again have to point out that is purely speculative.

However saying that, it would seem that May would be a very good time for the iMac refresh to be released with enough of a gap between the next major Apple product launch which is expected to be that of the iPhone 5 coming in June/July. I for one, would certainly be surprised if the iMac refresh doesn’t come out before the iPhone 5. The other thing we wanted to consider is what you are hoping to see on the refreshed iMacs? Current iMacs have screen sizes of 21.5-inches and 27-inches but as we have already heard, there are certainly rumors of new screen sizes. Of course we would expect the new ThunderBolt (Light Peak) technology to be used, as on the new MacBook Pros and another thing that we reckon is a dead cert is the latest Sandy Bridge processors.

Among our previous comments from readers have been wishes that the refreshed iMacs will have a larger choice of screen sizes with possibly a 30-inch option, improved graphics cards, 8GB base memory, and SSD options. We’ll be keeping our ears and eyes peeled for more iMac news and will let you know the minute we hear anything more. We’d be interested to hear if you’re waiting for the upgraded iMacs to be announced and what you would most like to see on the new and improved iMacs so let us have your comments on this.

  • Anil

    I would love…a release date!

  • bryan

    first. I for one would love to have an affordable SSD included for just the OS. The current addon price is something like 700 for an incredibly large SSD on top of a 1TB drive. Why not a 1TB drive for files, and a mini SSD for the OS. Would be perfect to me. At the very least, make it a base option, user upgradeable feature for the addition of a SSD in the future, unlike the current line. Regardless of all this, I've already sold my Mac Minis and am anxiously awaiting the new line.

  • http://liveswideopen.com Alison

    Would love to see the option of a matte screen. With so many people complaining about the glossy screens, especially those of us who do photo editing, it would be curious if Apple did not respond.

  • Drew

    in reply to alison, i too was hopeing for a matte screen – but i have heard the picture is nowhere as nice as a glossy screen….. choices! but things i would like to see on MY FIRST APPLE COMPUTER!!!
    1) imporved performance, with sandy bridge processors, and better graphic card
    2) minimum 27" screen, i really hope they don't reduce the screen size
    3) NO touchscreen! i doubt they would, but unlke the ipad and iphone – this is always in view, and fingerprints are not cool. also, it would hurt my arm after a while.
    4) maybe a black option? but to be fair the current model is pretty stunning already…..

    i hope they release it soon, as i am waiting for the upgrade before i purchase one

  • Edward

    I'd like to see a matte screen standard for those who use mac for photo editting…and I think many of us do!

  • http://www.essencenet.co.uk Craig

    I agree a matte screen would be great. Also, at least one easy access usb port to save reaching round the back when plugging in a pen drive etc.

  • Len

    I would love a small cheaper SSD option for the OS. Sandy Bridge is a given.

  • chris

    i just want the damn thing to come out…and have some updated specs

  • iRevCMD

    I'm patiently waiting for the iMac refresh and I won't purchase a new computer until this line is released. I hope the Core i5 processor is the minimum processor with a minimum of 8 GB of RAM being standard. Also, want the Thunderbolt connectivity.

  • DiceMan

    I would love to have the i7 available in the smaller screen sizes.

    And a wireless FULL keyboard w. cursor movement keys and a numeric keypad.

    (SSD, Thunderbolt, Sandy Bridge, as everyone else is saying, are part of baseline expectations.)

  • Mike

    Matte screen, and Thunderbolt or I ain't buying this thing. If they offer these two things, and perhaps an affordable SSD I just might make the switch to Mac.

    • George

      I would love to see

      Thunderbolt
      Matte screen option
      Better FaceTime webcam
      SSD as standard
      Sandy bridge i5 as base model
      Blu- ray drive
      Hdmi output
      Screen size between 21.5 and 27″
      8gb of ram
      1tb hard drive standard
      Better graphics
      Higher pixel density screen
      Updated design more sleek

  • jake

    I’m guessing that the new imacs (or at least new mac pros) will use the new intel Z68 chipset, which is now in production and are set to be released in the first week of May. The Z68 chipsets are supposed to be a big improvement on the H67 and P67 chipsets which are currently in use in the macbook pros Sandy Bridge processor. Z68 supports SDD caching, so maybe SDD will be a standard option?

    If OSX Lion is due to be released in the summer, do you think Apple will release new macs in May, and then ask all of us to upgrade to a new OS a month or two later?

  • wawacai

    Features I would like to see:
    1)Small SSD for the OS
    2)Sandy Bridge i5 or i7
    3)24” screen
    4)8 GB RAM
    5)Available in April
    6)Less than 1500 €

  • http://mjthompson.net Mark Thompson

    Been waiting to buy my first mac since February, looking to see faster processors and better graphics…soon hopefully!

  • Boletus Joe

    I had the first 15" flat screen iMac in our town back in '03. Now I am just waiting to have the first iteration of the newest iMac….. Wife has given the go ahead, and I will be buying an iPad as well. Bring it on…..

  • Amir

    1) 25" display more sleek design
    2) SATA III (6GB BUS) with ssd as standard
    3) Better sound system
    4) Quieter Fans
    5} better built in camera
    6)USB 3 AND the new Thunderbolt
    7) faster processor and better graphic

  • debbielt

    Thanks for the comments so far…keep them coming, and let's hope Apple is in tune with what its customers are hoping and waiting for!

    • lynz

      Have also been waiting since January and hoping to have the option of matte screen.

  • Ric

    Sandybridge, i7, thunderbolt for sure. SSD for the OS. May (latest) announcement or I'm going to have to go windoze for this year.

  • Alex

    25" none glossy screen, core i5 i7, thunderbold, usb 3, ssd for software apps 32gb, 8gb ram, and make harddrive user replaceable!!! C mon Apple you can do it!!!

  • The Environmental Goddess

    I am also waiting to buy the new iMac and I'm hoping for a screen size between 21 and 27"…maybe 24 or 25. I would also like more core i7 options and 8GB base ram

  • Ryan

    I want Core i7, thunder bold, better graphics, MAC OSX Lion and a release date!

  • Peter

    30 inch screen
    Dual CPU's with 12 cores Xeons
    SSD boot
    HD 6990 Graphics
    up to 64GB Ram
    external power supply
    no internal DVD
    no touch screen
    extra side USB ports
    Built in 3G and 4G
    Basically retire the Pro and fit everything into an ultra thin screen. Mac Air style.
    A handy carry case too with detachable stand.

  • Brian

    Second vote on the 30" screen
    Would love to see a bigger RAM option
    SSD standard
    Blu Ray (if they stick with a DVD at all)
    no touch screen

  • Raymond

    More than anything else I would want Apple to provide an optional matte screen on the new/refreshed iMacs. Like many others I love the design of the iMac but can't stand the glossy screens that now come with it. If I want a mirror I will buy one and do not need it built into my screen. The Macbook Pro has a matte option so hopefully Apple will be wise enough to finally offer it on the iMac as well.

    Other features:
    SSD standard, 8GB standard, Thunderbolt, connect speakers via USB 3.0 (power + audio)

  • Erict

    Matte screen option
    Screen size option between 21" and 27"
    USB ports on side

  • janh42

    cant wait for the update!!! i really want to buy and iMac but it seems pointless buying the 2010 model now.

  • Nikki

    Matte screen option
    24" screen size

  • egg

    Edge To Edge Screen Minimum 27" Inch (NO BORDERS!!!!!!)
    Intel Sandybridge 3.4Ghz
    Sata III (6GBp/s)
    AMD Radeon 6900 Series GPU
    1600 Mhz RAM (Expansion Up to 32GB)
    2x Thunderbolt Port
    2x USB 3

  • zander

    I'd love a screen that is NOT plagued with the yellow tinging of the last release. Sandy bridge, of course, and the fastest possible DVD drive. I've given up hope on bl-ray ever coming to Mac, so that's off the list. I'm not a convert on any of the new connectivity, nor will I be until I see hw many peripheral makers adopt it. USB 3.0 – okay as log as it cover 2.0 — wait and see. But give me a dang release date will ya', Apple. Just this once?!?

  • Restoration

    Could the fault found in Intel's 'Sandy Bridge' processors, in January, be the cause of any delay
    in a release date for the new iMac update.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2011/jan/31/

  • http://www.ajrproperties.com Alex

    1) Matte Screen, having glossy limits where I can put my computer and I like to be by the window and the glare is terrible! I want to see the screen not my face and the background behind me like a mirror! This is a must or probably won't buy one and just find an old 30 inch apple or third party monitor to use with my laptop instead.

    2) Not a must but maybe some different sizes like 24 and 30 and matching separate display sizes. I have a 21.5 Imac and would have bought a separate apple display had they made a 21.5 display so I could have a dual monitor set up.

    3) A easier location for an accessible usb port. Reaching around the back for a thumb drive is not smart.

    4) A wireless keyboard with the side number pad. Is this so hard?

  • Onteo

    I vote for one Hexacore option and SSD boot drive. Better CPU, Thunderbolt and better Graphics are a given.

    -30" would be a dream or a very expensive option, I used my iMac as a main screen in my apartment as I hate TV these days.

    A 30" iMac with some extra juice would be a great thing to consider.

  • todd

    Nothing new; only my min wish list for refresh; but first, a question or so.

    re Z68: when one says, "its going to be released," does that mean that iMacs released week 1 of MAY will have it? Or, perhaps an announcement of new iMacs week1 w/ product in hand shortly thereafter?

    re: Thunderbolt: can I string my FireWire and USB drives from that port? I have a 21" portrait monitor as well; same question?

    That said, yah, gimme newest platform. Echo, Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt are a given.

    Wish list:
    – inexpensive SSD for system, even if its small, and 2nd bay for HDD
    My home directory is already on an external drive, but the 2nd bay internal drive would either be storage for media, or backup for same (another external has media)
    – easier access to USB
    – 24/5" screens
    – just say YES to wireless keyboards w/ number keypad

  • Nichole

    adjustable height…i have a desk with shelves above it and even the 21.5 is too tall :(
    how about being able to detach it from the stand and mount it on the wall, that would work!

  • http://www.netbooknb.com/ netbook

    I'd like to see iPad nano.When it will be arrive?

  • Roger Alkana

    Please don't increase the small screen size. 21.5" is large enough for people who have a small desk space. The large size can be increased because those people like over-size screens. From 27 to 30 inches. I do like to see Apple offering SSD to the smaller screen size. I would think apple can get rid of the optical drive for more of a slimmer/ sleeker look and can include a optical drive attachment.

  • Chris

    1) 25' screen
    2) quad core 17
    3) no touch screen
    4)Thunderbolt
    5) Matte screen ( optional )

    hurry up apple ive been waiting for the new mac since november!!!

  • Eddie

    Full size wireless keyboard w/black backlit keys.

  • TheMacMan

    I have a collection of old Macs in the celler, from the beige 'boxes' in '91 (still a style icon) to the 475 and the equally fantastic PPC CD-6320. All are compatible to each other for what I use them mainly for, writing and research, scanning photos (still use the old film-format; monochrome – black and white to some! – have a collection of 35mm and 120 large-format cameras). All my Macs have worked without problems and still do. But technology outran me and to access the broadband I had to buy an eMac (mkII). Also a style-icon, and still a great computer. But, again, I have to admit technology has outrun me again. But not by much, as with accessing the broadband I'm now told I need to access Skype (damn relatives!!) Just for this alone I must buy a new computer. I'm now a pensioner and can't afford to chop and change all the time, what I buy now must last me, must be my last purchase. I write a lot and am at the stage I can't sit at home all day, getting fatter, so I'm inclined towards the new 4-core 21" iMac as a home unit, connected to the www and Skype, and an iPad for out and about. This is my cheapest total option. But is the iPad enough for serious writing? I'm working on a concept to a bestseller and Hollywood blockbuster (yeah, and the rest!) Of the genuine portables the 13" plastic MacBook is the cheapest option, but the Pro's look more durable. But obviously much more money than an iPad. I hear now (in May) that an upgraded iMac is in the offing, so I'll wait until midsummer before buying. I can't think of an upgrade to either a current iMac or a laptop that I would have a use for, other than longer battery-life on a laptop, but the prices of the previous marks will fall, to my advantage. I consider the iMac as the ultimate home computer/workstation, nearly as mind-boggling as my Classic 4/40 was when it appeared on a stunned market in '91. The mind-boggling aspect of the new '11 iMac is the facile price compared to what the Classic cost. The advances in technology contra the price in a mere 20 years is the real mind-boggler – WOW!

    My friendly Mac salesman told me people want small and light units they can slip into a pocket, but still having the usability of a bigger screen. He thought computers as we know them are off the market totally in a year or two, leaving only the big tower units for the pure professionals who need the power. The new market wants a foldable iPad, allowing an even smaller unit when slipped into a pocket, but giving a bigger 12-13" screen when unfolded. This is theoretically possible using OLED technology but the reliability of folding and unfolding the screen many times is the problem. All optical drives, keyboards, trackpads, etc., will be external units left at home when not needed. He pointed to the iPad and the MacBook Air as a working prototype of such units, Apple testing the concept on the marketplace. Nice unit, the Mac Air, but expensive! Low battery-life, too, needs at least a 50pc increase before I'd look at it.