Last year, Apple surprised us all with the launch of the 5K iMac all in one machine, featuring a custom built display timer in order to get such a monstrous resolution running smoothly with OS X. However, Apple’s 21.5-inch models have gone quite a while without a display upgrade, with most of them sticking to 1080p. That could change next week as rumour has it that Apple intends to launch the 4K iMac on the 13th of October.
As far as looks are concerned, the same ultra-thin design of the current iMacs will remain in-tact. Apple’s OS X will likely also apply scaling to the display by default, after all, 4K on a 21.5-inch screen would make things like icons or text appear quite small.
Now 4K isn’t as easy to drive as 1080p so Apple will also need to improve the graphics found in its lower end 21.5-inch iMacs as well. At this moment, it isn’t clear if Apple will be bumping up all of its 21.5-inch iMacs to 4K, or if it will be launching it as another tier, much like it did with the 5K 27-inch model.
Apple just launched OS X El Capitan for free last week so the new 4K iMac will launch with that pre-installed. According to 9to5Mac’s sources, the announcement will hit on the 13th of October, so we will know more then.
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KitGuru Says: It was surprising that Apple made the jump to 5K so quickly without launching any 4K products. However, the company is changing that this year. It is important to note that Apple has always been a big advocate for higher resolution displays, though it has kept things relatively tame with the iPhones. It will be interesting to see if Apple plans to bump up all of its 21-inch iMacs to 4K, or if it will offer another high tier. How many of you are running 4K right now? I’ve found the extra resolution extremely helpful for productivity purposes myself.