What you need to know
- Apple's cheapest iMac is the 21.5-inch model at $1,099.
- It comes with 1TB of storage.
- But that's a 5400rpm hard disk.
When you think of Apple's iMac, you imagine the huge 27-inch monster. Or maybe your mind's eye takes in that Space Gray iMac Pro that would look so good on your desk. But at the other end of the range, there's the 21.5-inch iMac. The one that usually finds itself on reception desks at companies that try to look swish. That's fine, but what isn't fine is the 5400rpm hard disk that sits inside it.
That computer – the entry-level iMac – costs $1,099 as of writing this. It comes with 8GB of RAM and a 2.3GHz dual-core 7th-generation Intel Core i5 processor. It won't break any speed records, but it's more than capable for most people. And it's being held back by that hard disk. A hard disk that would probably have looked much more at home in 2010. And in something costing a lot less than $1,099. Probably something with an Acer logo on it.
But this is an iMac. The computer that is Apple to most people. Sure, you say the word "Apple" to people and they think of an iPhone. Tell them to think of a computer though, and it's iMac all day long. Nobody thinks Mac Pro. Nobody even thinks about the MacBook lineup, even though it's Apple's best-selling collection of Macs. They think iMac, and if they make the mistake of buying one they could end up with a machine that beach balls every other minute. And that's just bad for business.
The chances are pretty good that anyone buying this "cheap" iMac is buying their first Mac. Does Apple really want someone's first experience of macOS to be a bad one, on a computer with a spinning disk? And one that spins slowly, at that! When they wonder why it's slower than their 10-year-old Windows notebook, how are they going to feel?
That's how brands erode. How people don't buy a Mac the second time around. And it's all because Apple wants to charge an extra $200 to get you into an SSD. You can pay an extra $100 and get a Fusion Drive, but that's hardly any better. And don't get me started on the $1,799 27-inch iMac that comes with that thing as standard!
Come on Apple. It's time that "1TB Serial ATA Drive @ 5400 rpm" went the way of the headphone jack. And you wouldn't even need any courage to do it.
We may earn a commission for purchases using our links. Learn more.