Apple today released a new, entry-level iMac, but (not surprisingly) the machine takes a serious performance hit to justify its low price tag.

At $1,099, the new 21.5-inch iMac is the cheapest model in Apple’s current iMac lineup, but its performance and storage space are far inferior to that of the old base model, which costs $1,299.

The new iMac includes a 1.4 GHz dual-core i5 CPU, the same processor inside the MacBook Air. That’s a big downgrade from the $1,299 iMac, which touts a processor clocked at 2.7 GHz. You could turboboost the new machine’s processor up to 2.7 GHz to make up some of the difference, though.

The new machine has a 500 GB spinning disk hard drive — less space than the old entry-level model, which has a 1 TB hard drive — though you could spring for a 1 TB hard drive or a 256 GB solid-state drive instead.

Apple may be targeting the education market with its new machine, or just people looking for the cheapest desktop price tag alongside an Apple logo. Folks waiting for a proper refresh of the iMac line, however, will have to wait a little longer.

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Apple designs and markets consumer electronics, computer software, and personal computers. The company's best-known hardware products include the Macintosh line of computers, the iPod, the iPhone, and the iPad. Apple software includes:... read more »

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