Hot on the heels of its back-to-school-friendly MacBook Air, Apple has released a new iMac desktop computer intended specifically for purchase by schools, educational institutions and high-volume customers.
The education-only iMac is $999 (the regular consumer version starts at $1199). This new, cheaper iMac features a 21.5-inch screen, 3.1GHz Intel Core i3 dual-core processor, a 250GB hard drive, and, interestingly, no Thunderbolt drive.
MacRumors pointed out that institutions that purchase this iMac will get 4 USB ports, but none of the new, faster periphery connections that Apple has been touting recently. Odd. MacRumors also noted that this iMac also features but 2GB of RAM, down from the 4GB that comes standard on regular iMac. 9to5Mac notes that the $999 iMac has "much less horsepower" and is, overall, a "less-powerful machine." (Presumably these are the sacrifices a school would have to make in order to get the $200 discount.)
Apple's newest iMacs were released in May 2011, and the full price, full-feature computers include the Thunderbolt drive and Intel quad-core processors. Apple also recently pushed out two new MacBook Airs (which compare favorably with the MacBook Pro laptop) in late July 2011.