Today Apple launched a low-spec iMac to the educational market, rather quietly.
The 21.5-inch desktop is priced at $999, $200 cheaper than the regular entry-level iMac of the same size. It is available only to education institutions.
What it has:
OS X Lion preinstalled
3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 processor
AMD Radeon HD 6750 with 256MB
SuperDrive DVD burner
FaceTime HD webcam
SDXC card reader
What it lacks:
Thunderbolt port for high-speed data connectivity - Instead, external displays connect via Mini DisplayPort, as per the last-gen model.
Wireless keyboard and mouse - Instead, Apple included wired ones.
Apple has released models targeted specifically at educational institutions in the past. Several years ago, the company introduced the eMac that used a CRT display and had a G4 processor. While it was rolled out for schools, a series of protests made the eMac made available to everyone. In 2009, the company continued to sell its 17-inch iMac for $899, even after the all-in-one desktop had been phased out of public sales in favor of new 20-inch and 24-inch models.