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Apple Unveils Cheaper iMac, Sacrificing Speed and Storage for Savings

Jason O. Gilbert
Technology Editor
June 18, 2014

On Tuesday morning Apple quietly released a new iMac computer for $1099, which is $200 less than the previous cheapest iMac model.

The new iMac retains the same design as the other iMacs, and even has the same screen size –– 21.5 inches in diagonal –– as an existing model. The $200 savings come on the inside: As you can see above, the less expensive iMac comes with a slower processor –– a 1.4GHz processor, with two cores instead of a beefier one –– the 2.7GHz processor with four cores that was previously the cellar option. 

A computer’s processor largely determines your machine’s speed, and helps multi-taskers load and run multiple programs at the same time. The slower the processor, the more difficulty your computer will have running those programs. So, if you’re accustomed to watching Netflix while editing on Photoshop and playing World of Warcraft, the new iMac might not be for you. If you’re just looking for a desktop computer to check email and surf the Web, this one might work out.

Other sacrifices: You’ll get 500 gigabytes in storage, versus 1 terabyte in storage (that’s 500GB fewer: 1TB is 1000GB). And the graphics card, which is important to gamers, is also a little less high-quality. 

The $1099 iMac gives Apple a more competitive desktop alternative to Windows-based PCs, which are traditionally less expensive than Macs. Despite a shrinking market for both laptop and desktop computers globally, there are still hundreds of millions of PCs sold each year. 

The new iMac is available to order now and should be at your door in 24 hours.