The Teardrop iMac of 2012 Envisioned

Designer takes a stab at the iMac rumored to launch next week

Next week’s iPad mini event is rumored to yield much more than a “little” iPad. Tim Cook & Co. will reportedly unveil a new range of Macintosh computers, including one attractively re-shaped iMac in the form of a teardrop.

Asked to envision this product, designer Dan Draper came up with the renderings above which show a lower pivot point, a more tapered rear shell, and a thinner stand.

Draper believes Apple will be able to achieve this design by finally ruling out the optical disk drive while adding solid state storage (replacing the traditional platter-based hard disk drive).

Viewed from the front, Draper’s Teardrop iMac looks identical to the current-generation of all-in-ones sold by Apple. This approach might also be accurate, if current-selling products are any indication.

The designer wouldn’t delve into other hardware specifics, but Apple is widely expected to beef up everything from the processor to the display.

The existing iMac line uses Sandy Bridge processors clocked between 2.5GHz and 3.1GHz quad-core (i5), and ships with 4GB (two 2GB modules) of 1333MHz DDR3 memory.

Storage capacities range between 500GB (7200 rpm) and 1TB (7200 rpm) hard drives, configurable to 2TB, or 256GB solid-state (as a secondary drive).

In the graphics department, the iMac ships with AMD Radeon HD 6750M with 512MB of GDDR5 memory, as well as AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 1GB of GDDR5 memory – configurable to AMD Radeon HD 6970M with 2GB GDDR5.

Apple will most likely beef up all these key components, doubling the RAM and the storage, while making the 1GB VRAM a standard.

Some believe it’s too early for Apple to include a Retina display in the iMac, as manufacturing yield rates are still low for such big screens.

The $1,199/€916 price is likely to stay in place, if previous refreshes are any indication.

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