June 18, 2014
A More Affordable iMac Computer Unveiled By Apple
Peter Suciu for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online
Apple's iMacs have often been seen as premium products that come with a price to match. However, on Wednesday the company introduced a new iMac model with a $1,099 price point – or $200 less than the usual starting price for Apple's all-in-one computers. This price cut follows a similar one that occurred earlier this year with the MacBook Air.The new 21.5-inch iMac does come with a few tradeoffs including the slower 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 processor, compared to the 21.5-inch 2.7GHz model, which was previously the low-end model. In addition the $200 savings downgrade the machine from a quad-core of the 2.7GHz model to a dual-core CPU. RAM remains unchanged, but the hard drive is also cut from 1 terabyte to just half that. Graphics are further downgraded from Intel's Iris Pro integrated solution to Intel HD Graphics 500.
The machine includes 802.11ac Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt ports and four USB 3.0 ports, while iLife and iWork come included. iLife features GarageBand, iPhoto and iMovie; while iWork includes a suite of Pages, Numbers and Keynote. In a statement Apple called the new iMac "the perfect entry-level" desktop.
The 21.5-inch iMac ships with OS X Mavericks and it can be upgraded for free to the upcoming OS X Yosemite later this year. The new version of Apple's operating system was recently unveiled at its Worldwide Developers Conference, and it will add new cloud-focused features and provide greater connectivity between an iMac/MacBook and iPhone/iPad. It will even allow for users to take calls on their computers when tethered to a mobile device.
The new model can be upgraded, but with the expected increase in the price. Doubling the size of the hard drive to 1TB will cost $50 for a Serial ATA drive, while a 1TB Fusion Drive will cost $250. A 256GB flash drive can be also added for $250. However, the 1.4-gigahertz CPU and 8GB of RAM cannot be upgraded – so entry-level is where this machine will remain.
"The last time Apple offered a $1,099 iMac was in early 2013, but that model was only available for sale to educational institutions," Apple Insider reported. "Apple hit that price point with a dual-core 3.3-gigahertz Intel Core i3 processor and Intel HD Graphics 4000."
As far as entry-level systems go even Apple Insider seemed underwhelmed by what this machine has to offer.
"Despite the new lower pricing, authorized Apple resellers are already offering a much better deal on the the [sic] more well equipped 2.7-gigahertz Core i5 model, boasting a 1-terabyte hard drive and dedicated Nvidia GeForce GT 640M graphics," Apple Insider reported. "That configuration can be purchased for just $999 after a $70 mail-in-rebate (PDF) through MacMall, making it a much more powerful computer at $100 less, and tax-free in 41 states."
The new 21.5-inch iMac is now available through Apple's online store. "As is traditional, the online Apple Store had closed its doors earlier this morning for the California-based technology giant to update its listings," Cnet reported.
The iMac will also be available at the Apple retail stores and from other authorized resellers.
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