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Apple introduces a new 21.5-Inch iMac that’s $200 cheaper

apple reveals new imac for 1099 200 cheaper core i5 21 5 inch 27 2013
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Apple just made it a little more affordable to get your hands on a new iMac desktop, introducing a model that costs $1,099. That is $200 cheaper than the next version up.

The new $1,099 version includes a 21.5-inch 1080p display, a 1.4GHz Intel Core i5 dual-core processor with a Turbo Boost clock of 2.7GHz, 8GB of RAM, a 500GB 5,400 rpm mechanical hard drive, and Intel HD Graphics 5000. Based on this Intel document, our guess is that the exact processor used here is the Intel Core i5-4260U, which matches the Turbo Boost clock found in this new iMac, as well as its integrated Intel graphics processor. The i5-4260U was launched during the second quarter of this year, and has a TDP of 15 watts.

Port selection includes a foursome of USB 3.0 ports, a pair of Thunderbolt connections, Mini DisplayPort, an SDXC memory card slot, Gigabit Ethernet, a headphone jack, and a Kensington lock slot. Wireless connectivity comes courtesy of 802.11ac Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0. 

Weighing 12.5 pounds and measuring 17.7 x 20.8 x 6.9-inches (HWD), the newest addition to Apple’s lineup of iMacs also ships with the company’s familiar wireless keyboard, as well as a Magic Mouse.

New iMac Apple Store
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Upgrade options with this new iMac are skim though. You can swap out the 500GB 5,400 mechanical hard drive for a 1TB mechanical drive ($50), a 1TB Fusion Drive ($250), or a 256GB SSD ($250). All of the other models let you bump up the RAM as well the hard drive, while the $1,499 and $1,999 flavors let you improve the CPU, RAM, and hard drive. The $1,999 model is the only version that lets you upgrade the GPU as well as the other three core components.

So does it make sense to spend $200 less on an iMac, or does the $1,299 model offer too many improvements to pass it up? The $1,299 iMac offers a faster Core i5 processor (2.7GHz with a Turbo Boost clock of 3.2GHz), the same amount of RAM (8GB), twice the hard drive space, and Intel Iris Pro graphics. The $1,299 iMac has better hardware than the $1,099 version.

We suspect that, despite the better hardware, you won’t be able to do that much more with the $1,299 iMac than you would with the $1,099 version. If the difference between the two were integrated graphics vs. a dedicated GPU, then we could at least make the argument that the $1,299 iMac could handle more advanced, heavy-duty tasks like video editing and mid to high-end gaming. However, that’s not the case. In order to step up to an iMac with a dedicated GPU, you’d have to opt for the $1,499 model, and even that has a previous generation of 700M-series Nvidia graphics. Nvidia is up to 800M now.

The new $1,099 iMac is available right now from Apple’s website, and ships “within 24 hours.”

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Konrad Krawczyk
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Konrad covers desktops, laptops, tablets, sports tech and subjects in between for Digital Trends. Prior to joining DT, he…
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