Apple announces new slimmer iMac with fusion drive, 8lbs lighter

Apple announced an amazing looking new iMac that’s incredibly thinner than the previous generation version.

The new iMac use a new build process called fricton stir welding, where the actual molecules of the aluminum are merged together to make a single piece. Apple also laminated the display directly to the glass to yield a 45% thinner display system.

The optical drive is also removed for added space savings. The new iMacs will come in both 21.5″ and 27″ versions…

The new iMac includes 4 USB 3.0 ports, up to 32GB of RAM, up to a 3TB HDD or a 768GB SSD.

Apple also announced a new Apple Fusion drive with 128GB flash storage mates with a 1TB or 3TB HDD. The drive is fused into a single volume, so it appears as one drive. The operating system and software fits on the flash storage. Mountain Lion is optimized to know what to run from flash and what to run from the HDD to ensure the best performance.

The new iMac’s start shipping next month, beginning at $1299 for the 21.5″ base model, and $1799 for the 27″ base model (December). It’s certainly the boldest new iMac design ever. We’ll have more details soon.