Apple Limits New iMac to Casual Use Without Upgrade Options

Apple's new US$1,099 entry level iMac is clearly aimed at more casual users -- so much so that it isn't upgradable. The 8GB RAM it ships with is all this iMac will ever hold, and replacing the hard drive involves steps most Mac owners wouldn't want to try.

Sorry, iMac, no memory upgrades for you.Sorry, iMac, no memory upgrades for you.

Mac upgrade specialist OWC picked up one of Apple's new iMacs after it was introduced on Wednesday and said,

Now that we've had time to teardown the new iMac, unlike the $1,299 iMac, we found this iMac has the memory soldered to the motherboard removing any possibility of adding additional memory. Users will be permanently locked in to the 8GB of memory, as there is no Apple factory upgrade option.

The new iMac ships with a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 processor with speed boost up to 2.7 GHz, 8 GB RAM, Intel's HD 5000 graphics chipset, and a 500GB hardrive with build to order options for a 1 TB drive or 256 GB flash storage. Aside from the spinning hard drive, the specs sound a lot like the MacBook Air, which is something we noted on Wednesday's TMO Daily Observations podcast. Seeing that the RAM can't be upgraded, it looks even more like Apple repurposed its MacBook Air motherboard design for this desktop machine.

Seeing how limited the new entry level iMac is, it's clear this is a computer Apple is using to target casual and first time users; this isn't a step up from your current Mac unless you still haven't made the move to OS X.