9to5Mac reported over the weekend that Apple was on the verge of releasing a sub-US$1,000 iMac geared toward education customers. On Monday, the site linked to a Knowledge Base article on the Apple web site that confirms that new computer’s existence, although at the time of this article’s publication, Apple’s online education store did not list the new machine.
According to the technical specifications in the Knowledge Base article, the new iMac as a 21.5-inch display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, a 3.1GHz dual-core i3 Intel processor, 2GB RAM expandable to 8GB, a 250GB hard drive, and an AMD Radeon HD 6750M video card with 256MB of RAM.
In comparison, Apple’s current entry-level iMac, which sells for $1,199 to consumers and $1,149 to schools, offers a 2.5GHz quad-core i5 Intel chip, 4GB RAM, a 500GB hard drive and an AMD Radeon HD 6750M video card with 512MB of RAM.
Apple has released education-only Macs in the past. Several years ago, the company introduced the eMac, which used a CRT display like its original iMac predecessor but had a G4 processor like the first flat-panel iMac. The eMac was only available to schools, but after protests, Apple made the computer available to everyone. At the time, CEO Steve Jobs had famously declared “the death of the CRT,” and the eMac was geared toward schools that couldn’t afford the then-new flat-panel iMac.