This article originally appeared in TidBITS on 2014-06-18 at 12:38 p.m.
The permanent URL for this article is: http://tidbits.com/article/14847
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Apple Introduces Entry-Level iMac for $1,099

by Josh Centers

Apple has announced a new entry-level iMac [1] starting at $1,099, which is $200 cheaper than the existing 21.5-inch iMac [2] model. This new iMac features a 21.5-inch screen, a 1.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor (up to 2.7 GHz with Turbo Boost) with 3 MB shared L3 cache, 8 GB of RAM, a 500 GB hard drive, and Intel HD Graphics 5000. It also sports two Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The RAM is not expandable, and the only build-to-order options are a 1 TB hard drive ($50), a 1 TB Fusion Drive ($250), and 256 GB of flash storage ($250).

In terms of tech specs [3], the new iMac is a big step down from the $1,299 21.5-inch iMac, which instead offers a significantly faster 2.7 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor (up to 3.2 GHz with Turbo Boost) with 4 MB L3 cache, 8 GB of RAM (expandable to 16 GB), a 1 TB hard drive, and Intel Iris Pro graphics. The $1,299 model also offers a 1 TB Fusion Drive ($200), 256 GB of flash storage ($200), and 512 GB of flash storage ($500) as build-to-order options.

If you can spare the extra $200, the $1,299 model is a distinctly better machine, though it’s nice to see Apple making Macs more affordable for situations where performance may not important, such as kiosks and public access computers.

[1]: http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2014/06/18Apple-Introduces-New-Entry-Level-21-5-inch-iMac.html
[2]: http://www.apple.com/imac/
[3]: http://www.apple.com/imac/specs/