A new entry-level iMac pushes the slimline all-in-one to its lowest price so far, with Apple’s new 21.5-inch model cutting the cost of desktop OS X ahead of Yosemite‘s release later in the year. Priced from $1,099, the starter iMac gets a 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor and Intel HD 5000 graphics, though Apple’s Fusion Drive storage isn’t included as standard.
In fact, like the other iMacs in the range – both 21.5- and 27-inch – if you want Fusion Drive you’ll have to place a custom order. From our experience with the combined HDD and flash storage system on last year’s 27-inch iMac, we’d say it’s worth the $250 Apple asks for the 1TB Fusion Drive option.
Otherwise, there’s 8GB of memory and a 500GB hard-drive by default, with further options to switch that to 1TB of HDD for another $50, or 256GB of SSD for $250.
As usual, there are two Thunderbolt ports, four USB 3.0 ports, Bluetooth, and 802.11ac WiFi. You get Apple’s wireless keyboard in the box, as well as a choice of Magic Mouse or Magic Trackpad, and of course the usual iLife and iWork apps.
Later on in the year, there’ll be a no-cost upgrade to OS X Yosemite. Apple has said to expect that this fall.
The new 21.5-inch iMac ships within 24 hours from Apple’s store. Expect a custom order with Fusion Drive to take 1-3 days.