Apple introduces $1,100 21.5-inch iMac for educational institutions

imacs-625x1000If US-based educators with a few dollars to spend are looking around for some computers to fill their classrooms, they may be interested to know that Apple has recently launched a new 21-inch education-only iMac for $200 less than the entry-level consumer model, although it should be noted that the cheaper machine comes with less powerful specifications.

For $1,100, schools and colleges can get a 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 machine with 4GB of RAM and a 500GB hard drive. The $1,100 desktop computer happens to be $100 more expensive than the education-only iMac it replaces, which was introduced over 18 months ago. The new machine, however, comes with a faster processor, more RAM and twice as much storage space.

However, one difference which may cause educators to think twice about going for the latest iMac model is the lack of an optical drive. However, “for those who are still stuck in the past” – as Apple’s Phil Schiller put it when the latest iMac computer was unveiled in October last year – an external optical drive is also available, but this would obviously mean forking out more cash.

The rollout of the new education-only model was evidently one without fanfare, with MacRumors, who brought it to our attention on Tuesday, unable to say with any certainty when it was actually introduced – although it was thought to be a “very recent” addition the the company’s line-up.

MacRumors notes that potential customers should understand that the computer “is only available for purchase by educational institutions and is not available to individuals making purchases through Apple’s educational discount program.”

Orders for the new model will ship within five to seven business days. In comparison, consumer models of the iMac ship considerably sooner, with their shipping time this week cut to within 24 hours.