Apple on Wednesday launched a cheaper 21.5-inch iMac that brings the baseline cost of ownership down from $1,299 to just $1,099.
The new entry-level iMac ships with a dual-core Intel Core i5 processor clocked at 1.4GHz (Turbo Boost up to 2.7GHz), 8GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive and Intel HD 5000 graphics. All iMacs also include 802.11 ac Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt ports and four USB 3.0 ports for high-speed connectivity.
There are some obvious sacrifices in terms of hardware selection that had to be made to reach the lower price point such as the low-voltage i5 processor (the same one used in the MacBook Air) and the 500GB hard drive.
Of course, the system can always be bumped up in the specs department during configuration. For example, one could replace the 500GB drive with a 1TB SATA drive, a 1TB Fusion drive or a 256GB solid state drive for a bit more coin.
It’s not the full iMac refresh that many were likely hoping for but it’s probably all that is coming down the pipeline for now. It’s entirely possible that we won’t see a “true” refresh of the line until Intel launches its Broadwell desktop processor.
The company’s next generation processor will be built on a 14nm manufacturing process as a “Tick” in Intel’s “Tick-Tock” release philosophy. It’ll deliver better power efficiency and improved performance when it arrives later this year.
The new iMac is available today through Apple's Online Store, its retail stores and select authorized resellers.