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Apple releases cheaper Retina iMac and 15-inch MacBook Pro with Force Touch

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Apple is starting to bring the price down on its 5K Retina iMac, releasing a new version today that sells for $1,999 and lowering the cost of its high-end model down to $2,299. That's a big drop, as the 27-inch Retina iMac originally sold for $2,499 at launch. The cheaper 27-inch iMac is largely the same as the more expensive model, but it cuts a couple corners to bring the price down. Most notably, it doesn't have one of Apple's hybrid Fusion drives — instead it just uses a standard 1TB drive. This model is also replacing Apple's top-of-the-line non-Retina iMac, so this is the beginning of what may be a slow whittling away of that line of computers.

Read next: The iMac review.

In addition to the iMac, Apple is also releasing new models of the 15-inch MacBook Pro that include a Force Touch trackpad. Apple says that these models have up to an additional hour of battery life, faster storage, and up to 80 percent faster graphics — though that final item is thanks to a new discrete GPU that only ships on the high-end model. Unlike the iMacs, these changes are actually bringing up the price of the MacBook Pros. The two configurations Apple offers now run for $1,999 and $2,499, up from $1,899 and $2,399. Apple added the Force Touch trackpad to the 13-inch MacBook Pros after announcing it for the new MacBook in March, so it's been expected to arrive in these models alongside a spec bump.

Verge Video at SXSW: Hands-on with Force Touch