Apple (AAPL) on Wednesday released the latest version of its iMac all-in-one desktop, which comes with a price tag that’s considerably cheaper than its predecessor.
The 21.5-inch “entry level” model now starts at $1,099. That’s $200 less than the previous low-end edition.
The new Apple iMac features a 21.5-inch LED-backlit screen, a less powerful processor, equipped with a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, 8 GB of low-power mobile DDR memory and a 500 GB hard drive. That’s far less powerful in terms of processing power than the now mid-range $1,299 model, which had a 2.7 GHz processor and a 1 terabyte hard drive. The new model also features a lower-end integrated graphics chip.
Obviously, the new iMac entry-level system is a desktop with the power of a non-very powerful laptop. That said, the $200 price reduction could be worth the drop in processing speed, and might also help Cupertino to attract a broader audience in taking a chance on a desktop Mac.
The less expensive iMac, which it is worth noting should perform just fine for most users as it uses the same dual-core chip found in Apple’s best-selling MacBook Airs, is already available on Apple’s website and will ship within 24 hours.