Today Monday August 8th, Apple introduced a new entry-level iMac targeted at the Education market for $999. The popular all-in-one desktop computer line now offers an iMac ideal for educational institutions with paired down specs and a budget minded price. The machine comes in just once screen size of 21.5-inches and offers a slower Core i3 processor at 3.1GHz. RAM begins at a reduced 2GB with an AMD Radeon HD 6750 GPU with 256MB of video memory. Theres also a 250GB hard drive, super drive, OS X Lion preinstalled and a mini-display port. In an effort to cut costs here and there something had to give and as a result ThunderBolt high speed I/O is not included. Comparing this to the entry-level consumer 21.5-inch iMac currently on sale it has a 2.5GHz Core i5 CPU with a 512MB of video memory and 4GB of RAM and starts from $1,149. So there is a considerable saving here particularly for education institutions who will be buying these $999 education iMacs in bulk.

Unfortunately for those of you out there looking to score a sub-$1000 iMac your out of luck. These budget Apple desktop machines will not be shipping to general consumers. Apple clearly don’t want these lower-end editions of their iMac line to cannibalize sales of their entrylevel Core i5 consumer iMac. Considering Apple’s rampant success in the consumer market place in recent years its nice to see that they aren’t turning a blind eye to schools and students by recognizing the value of investment in young people and the future of a knowledge-based economy.

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