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Apple Introduces Entry-Level iMac for $1,099

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Apple has announced a new entry-level iMac starting at $1,099, which is $200 cheaper than the existing 21.5-inch iMac 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, 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.

 

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Comments about Apple Introduces Entry-Level iMac for $1,099

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Michael E. Cohen  An apple icon for a TidBITS Staffer 2014-06-18 15:30
I can think of a number of venues for just such a basic Mac desktop. For example, my hair stylist's salon (you don't think my classic coiffure came naturally, did you, Josh?) uses iPads for on-wall shift scheduling for the workers, and the reception counter has two aging white iMacs for client appointments and payment. The new iMacs would be perfect replacements for those white antiques.
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Dennis B. Swaney  2014-06-23 19:42
Even better would be a Mac Mini with a third-party monitor - it would beat this asinine idea. What in the hell is Tim Cook thinking by 1) putting in such a miniscule amount of RAM and 2) not allowing the user to increase the RAM after purchase. My iMac G5 ALS was the pinnacle in user-friendly iMacs; every latter model comes with more anti-user restrictions.
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David Weintraub  2014-06-18 17:28
I'm surprised Apple didn't somehow manage to knock another $100 off the price to make the first IMac that's under $1000.

We look at this now and poopoo the specs. But only about : to 4 years ago, this would have been considered one wicked machine.
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Firitia  2014-06-18 22:25
But at that time we were not using slow Mavericks, but speedy Snowleopard.
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Anonymous  An apple icon for a Friend of TidBITS 2014-06-19 07:06
The perfect accessory for your iPhone.
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Scott Randell  2014-06-20 09:14
I can't see anyone who would not just pay the extra $200.00 for twice the computer. If you want to save money, buy the entry level Mac Mini and install an SSD and extra ram yourself. It is not very difficult. It will be less expensive than that new iMac even allowing for the purchase of a decent monitor. It will run circles around the $1099.00 iMac. As for Firitia's comment about Mavericks being slower than Snow Leopard, I just upgraded form Snow Leopard to Mavericks and I don't see that it is slower in any way. In fact for some tasks Mavericks is faster.
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John Ferman  An apple icon for a TidBITS Supporter 2014-06-24 10:22
One of my gripes, not just about this new iMac but of all of the somewhat recent Macs, is no optical CD/DVD drive and no keypad keyboards.
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