Apple’s largest iMac desktop gets a retina display for the first time

Apple announces new hardware when it releases a new operating system to the public, and to coincide with OS X Yosemite — which is available for free download today — it’s putting a high-resolution display on the iMac for the first time.

The iMac with Retina display is a new 27-inch iMac. The TFT screen has a resolution of 5120 x 2880, which [company]Apple[/company] is calling Retina 5K. During regular use it will look like a 2560 x 1440 screen, with the extra pixels used to make the display sharper. It’s a similar approach to what [company]Apple[/company] has used on the Retina Macbook Pros as well as its iOS devices.

The iMac with Retina display is still a very thin all-in-one desktop — 5mm thick at the edges. Apple has done a lot of under-the-hood work to make sure those extra pixels don’t introduce lag or ghosting, including building its own display timing controller.

The iMac will get a ton of new features thanks to the latest version of OS X, Yosemite, including iCloud Drive, which comes with easy folder and tag management. Thanks to Continuity, the new iMac (and other Macs) can make calls and texts when paired with an iPhone.

It’s not a slouch in the power department, either. The entry level model is powered by a Haswell-based 3.5GHz Intel Core i5 processor, but it’s possible to upgrade to a 4GHz Core i7. The iMac with Retina display won’t be using integrated graphics, opting for a AMD Radeon R9 GPU, which can either be the 290X or the 295X model.

It will come with multiple Thunderbolt 2 ports, and will support Wi-Fi 802.11ac. Its hard drives will be combined using Apple’s Fusion Drive which virtually pairs a traditional spinning hard disk with a solid state drive so it looks like one drive to the end user.

The iMac with Retina display won’t be cheap: It starts at $2499, and I’m sure that upgrades can push that price even higher. If that’s too rich for your blood, Apple also surprisingly updated its headless Mac Mini desktops to the latest Haswell chips, and those start at $499. Both new desktops go on sale today.