New iMac vs. MacBook Pro 17: Which is Right For You?

  • MORE

With Apple adding its exclusive Thunderbolt ports to the new iMac machines announced today, many users will be deciding between the stationary performance of an all-in-one desktop and the limited portability of a 17-inch MacBook Pro (also with Thunderbolt).

You may remember Thunderbolt as the hyper-speed data connection that transfers movies, photos, music and more at a whirlwind 10 GBps.  Previously available only on MacBook Pro notebooks, Thunderbolt now graces both the 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac options  (the larger version has two Thunderbolt ports). Thinking about a new Apple system for your home? See how the new iMac compares to the Apple laptop that's closest in size, the 17-inch MacBook Pro.

 


Size 21.5 inches 21.5 inches 27 inches 27 inches 17 inches
Price $1,119 $1,499 $1,699 $1,999 $2,499
Processor 2.5-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 2.7-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 2.7-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 3.1-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 2.2-GHz quad-Core Intel Core i7
RAM 4GB (Up to 16GB) 4GB (Up to 16GB) 4GB (Up to 16GB) 4GB (Up to 16GB) 4GB (Up to 8GB)
Storage 500GB 7200 rpm 1 TB 7200 rpm 1 TB 7200 rpm 1 TB 7200 rpm 750GB 5400 rpm
Graphics AMD Radeon HD 6750M (512MB) AMD Radeon HD 6770M (512MB) AMD Radeon HD 6770M (512MB) AMD Radeon HD 6770M (512MB) AMD Radeon HD 6750M graphics (1GB)
Ports 1 Thunderbolt, 4 USB 2.0, FireWire 800, MiniDisplay 1 Thunderbolt, 4 USB 2.0, FireWire 800, MiniDisplay 2 Thunderbolt, 4 USB 2.0, FireWire 800, MiniDisplay 2 Thunderbolt, 4 USB 2.0, FireWire 800, MiniDisplay 1 Thunderbolt, 3 USB 2.0, FireWire 800
Optical Slot-loading DVD±RW 8x SuperDrive Slot-loading DVD±RW 8x SuperDrive Slot-loading DVD±RW 8x SuperDrive Slot-loading DVD±RW 8x SuperDrive Slot-loading DVD±RW 8x SuperDrive