The new entry-level iMac – same great design, scaled-back internals
Apple's latest machine provides the same premium design at a more wallet-friendly price point
Apple has announced a new, lower cost version of its leading all-in-one desktop PC. While this latest addition to the iMac line might cut a couple of hundred dollars off the asking price, it also scales back some of the specs. Still, the prospect of obtaining the product’s high-end build and design for not much over US$1,000 is an enticing one.
The new system is of the 21.5-inch variety (with a 1920 x 1080 resolution) and is fitted with 8 GB 1600 MHz DDR3 RAM and a standard 500 GB hard drive. Like some of its pricier siblings, the new model packs an Intel Core i5 processor. However, the chip here is a dual core offering clocked at the lower speed of 1.4 GHz (up to 2.7GHz with Turbo Boost).
There’s also been a downgrading of the graphics solution, with the new model offering integrated Intel HD Graphics 5000. Some of the more expensive models make use of integrated graphics, but they generally opt for the more competent Iris Pro GPU.
Connectivity is the same as the more expensive models, with the new machine offering two Thunderbolt and four USB 3.0 ports. There’s also 802.11ac Wi-Fi onboard to ensure an extra speedy wireless connection.
Like with the company’s other iMac models, it’s possible to upgrade some of the internals at the point of purchase. The options aren’t too expansive here, but you can fit the new machine with up to 256 GB SSD for storage
Aside from the above, the new system of course features the product’s thin, premium build and runs on OS X Mavericks, at least until Yosemite hits later this year. The machine is available now for $1,099, which lowers the iMac bar of entry by $200.
About the Author
Chris specializes in mobile technology for Gizmag, but also likes to dabble in the latest gaming gadgets. He has a degree in Politics and Ancient History from the University of Exeter, and lives in Gloucestershire, UK. In his spare time you might find him playing music, following a variety of sports or binge watching Game of Thrones.
All articles by Chris Wood
Same great external design--really dumbed down internals. Soldered in place, non-upgradable 4 GB and a slow, dual core, macbook air cpu. A 500 gb drive in desktop. This is really just an overpriced web browser, not a a personal workstation. It's a good choice for those with modest needs.
Interestingly, we seem to be entering into a Sculley-like period for Apple with a confused product line driven by bean counters, not visionaries.
My Parents really need an upgrade, they're on the last white imac, so it is stuck on snow leopard, this might be for them. Speed for them isn't really an issue, the machine they have right now is fine as far as speed goes. The Hard drive died in it and I had to replace it and the DVD-rom died but haven't replaced it, they just use a USB blu-ray drive. Do the current ones even come with one? Anyway, it is on it's last legs. The only thing I think they'd like is a larger screen, this one is an inch or so bigger than what they have but I think they'd like the 27" imac better.
I'd get them a normal PC and put Linux Mint on it but they're too old to move away from OSX.
Apple ditched optical drives on all iMac models two years ago and Mac minis three years ago. If your parents really want a big screen, forget the iMac and buy a Mac mini instead. They have faster processors and upgradeable RAM and hard drive. Connect it to a cheap HDTV in the 32-37" range and you've got a much better system for them for about the same price. You'll still need the USB Blu-ray drive. No Mac has ever come with a Blu-ray drive built in and OS X has never had Blu-ray support, first because Steve claimed Blu-ray rights issues were a "bag of hurt" and second because Apple would rather you just streamed video from the iTunes Store.
It's like 1995 all over again.
Over 160,000 people receive our email newsletter
See the stories that matter in your inbox every morning