Apple has a new, cheaper iMac model for education customers only.
The new entry-level 21.5-inch iMac comes with a 3.3-GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 500-GB hard drive, plus Intel HD Graphics 4000.
The new education-only iMac is priced at $1,099, which is $150 cheaper than the entry-level consumer model, although that 21.5-inch system has more powerful specifications -- a 2.7-GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB of internal storage and Nvidia's GeForce GT 640M graphics.
The updated education-focused iMac replaces the 21.5-inch entry-level education-model Apple introduced a year-and-a-half ago, which was priced at $999 and featured an older 3.1-GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 processor, 2 GB of RAM, a 250-GB hard drive and AMD's Radeon HD 7650 graphics.
Apple quietly introduced the new education iMac model recently, but it's unclear exactly when the company updated the systems' technical specs and pricing as there was no official announcement made. The change is notable since Apple replaced AMD's graphics with Intel's HD Graphics technology.
Like previous education models, the new 21.5-inch iMac is only available for purchase by educational institutions (K-12 or higher education) and isn't available to individuals purchasing through Apple's educational discount program.
PUBLISHED MARCH 6, 2013