imacApple has introduced a new entry-level iMac with a lower price and a lower spec. Will the new iMac find a place in your school?

The new 21.5″ iMac comes with a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel i5 processor, a 500GB HDD, 8GB of memory, an Intel HD 5000 Graphics chip, and a price tag of £899 ($1099). Of course, you can choose to customize your iMac to bump up the spec. but you’ll pay the additional cost.

For schools on a budget that need Mac desktops at £150 less than the next model, the new iMac is a great option to have, but you’ll be paying for it with a massive drop in performance. Hand over the extra £150 and you can pick up an iMac with a 2.7GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 1TB hard drive, and Intel Iris Pro Graphics. The base iMac SATA hard drives also run at a poor 5400rpm, which were dated even 5 year ago, so you’re going to want to bump this up to significantly improve performance as well.

New iMac

If you’re tight for cash and need Mac OSX, the new entry-level iMac is a nice fall back, but for anyone seriously looking at kitting out their school with Apple desktops you’ll want to be looking at the higher priced models. This is a rather cynical move on Apple’s part to add a bullet point to the iMac’s sales pitch, fend off the influx of competitively priced desktops and laptops, and give the appearance of a wider range of choice where none really exists.

It will be interesting to see how far Apple can push prices down without it affecting the company’s premium appeal. Apple risks turning the iMac into a pretty box filled with last year’s silicon and if you know anything about technology, and you’re not just concerned about price, this isn’t the iMac for you.

Read the full press release here.

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Karl is an award winning Director of IT for the Royal Grammar School Guildford, based near London, England. He has been working in education for more than ten years and founded ClassThink in 2013 to share technology best practice with other schools. In 2014 he won the NAACE Impact Award for support services in schools, and writes edtech articles for Education Executive Magazine.

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