With the launch of the new iMacs and new range of MacBook Pro notebooks, Apple has done away with optical drives, which are a mainstay on products from other vendors. In an interview with Time, Apple's marketing chief, Phil Schiller has explained the reason behind the exclusion, and stated that optical drives are a hindrance to Apple's plans.

Commenting on the lack of the optical drive, Schiller said, “These old technologies are holding us back. They’re anchors on where we want to go.” Elaborating on the exclusion, he said, “We find the things that have outlived their useful purpose. Our competitors are afraid to remove them. We try to find better solutions — our customers have given us a lot of trust. It actually comes from similar thinking as with the portables. In general, it’s a good idea to remove these rotating medias from our computers and other devices. They have inherent issues — they’re mechanical and sometimes break, they use power and are large. We can create products that are smaller, lighter and consume less power.”

Much slimmer than the previous generation

Much slimmer than the previous generation due to lack of optical drive

Apple unveiled a completely new iMac with a new design, improved display with reduced reflection, third generation Intel quad-core processors, Nvidia graphics, and a new storage option termed as Fusion Drive. Apple has stressed that the new iMac is the most advanced desktop Apple has ever made.

“With a stunning design, brilliant display and faster performance, we’ve made the world’s leading all-in-one desktop computer better in every way,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing at the announcement. “The all-new iMac is unbelievably thin, yet packs an incredible amount of performance and technology into our most innovative desktop.”

Redesigned from the inside out, the new iMac is built of an aluminium and glass enclosure with up to 40 percent less volume than its predecessor, and an edge that measures 5mm. As per an official statement by the company, the new iMac also features a completely re-engineered display that reduces reflection by 75 percent while maintaining colour and contrast. In the new design, the cover glass is laminated to the LCD and an anti-reflective coating is applied using a plasma deposition process. Apple claims that every iMac display is individually calibrated using an advanced spectroradiometer.

The new iMac features third generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processors that can be upgraded to Core i7. According to the official statement by Apple, the NVIDIA GeForce processors found here deliver up to 60 percent faster performance needed for gaming and graphics intensive apps. Every new iMac now comes standard with 8GB of 1600 MHz memory, and a 1TB hard drive. Customers can choose to configure their iMac with up to 32GB of memory and a new 3TB hard drive or 768GB of flash storage. With two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports, the new iMac offers further expandability and support for high-performance peripherals.

Fusion Drive is a new storage option that gives customers the performance of flash storage and the capacity of a hard drive. It combines 128GB of flash with a standard 1TB or 3TB hard drive to create a single storage volume. Fusion Drive adapts to the way one uses their iMac and automatically moves the files and apps they use most often to flash storage to enable faster performance and quicker access.

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