2014 Apple iMac 21.5-inch Reviews: Should You Buy the Cheaper Entry-level Model?

When it comes to Apple, cheap isn’t exactly “cheap”, and it only means a discount of a few dollars. Such is the case with the 2014 iMac, but let’s see reviews.

Apple has released a slightly cheaper iMac model this year which comes with a caveat, though – it’s RAM is soldered and it can’t be upgraded. But even with this drawback, it seems to constitute an interesting proposal, according to some reviewers. Joel Santo Domingo from PC Mag said the following:

“The entry-level Apple iMac 21.5-inch is a good starting point for the budding Apple fan or a person who wants a desktop base station for their iOS devices. It’s easy to set up, powerful enough for basic tasks plus a bit more, and comes with an excellent set of preloaded software. The problem is that it’s too pricey to compare with entry-level, Windows-based, all-in-one PCs.”

He also added:


“Also, for a relatively slight bump in price, the midrange Editors’ Choice Dell Inspiron 23 (2350) has many more features that would appeal to a power user, including an HDMI-in port, an Intel Core i7 quad-core processor, 12GB of memory, discrete AMD Radeon graphics, a 1TB hybrid hard drive, and a dual-hinge tilt mechanism that complements its touch screen.”

Eric Grevstad from ComputerShopper says that he’s impressed with the iMac, but it seems a little too expensive for the price that it carries.

“Apple’s most affordable iMac yet offers an immaculate user experience, but feels a little underpowered for $1,099. It faces stiff competition from Windows all-in-ones and especially the $1,299 iMac”

Simon Jary from PC Advisor shares his own advices for UK consumers, saying the following:

“The 21.5-inch iMac is a beautiful all-in-one desktop Mac, starting at a reasonable £899. For that price you get a Mac that is fine for everyday tasks but a little slow for more labour-intensive jobs like editing photos and videos, but it’s still capable of that too.

“The two slightly pricier iMacs are much faster, although the top-end model isn’t that much speedier than the mid-range model. For that reason we recommend the mid-range £1,049, 21.5-inch iMac with 2.7GHz processor. If you can afford the extra £160 upgrade it at time of purchase with the super-fast Fusion Drive.”

Michael Andronico from Tom’s Guide seems to share the same opinion as the majority of reviewers:

“If you’re in the market for an iMac and usually stick to basic tasks like Web surfing, word processing and video streaming, the 2014 version of the 21.5-inch iMac makes an excellent option at $1,099. You’ll enjoy the same razor-sharp design, brilliant 1080p display, and iWork and iLife app suites, while saving a nice $200 compared to the next configuration up.”

“Despite its impressive value, you’re taking a significant graphics hit by sacrificing the $1,299 model’s Intel Iris Pro GPU in favor of a more standard-issue Intel HD GPU. The entry-level model still gets the job done for “World of Warcraft,” but you might want to spend the extra $200 if you want your games to run as smoothly as possible.”

My own suggestion is to keep your money in your pocket and wait for the next revamped generation that is bound to bring even more processing power for a slightly bigger price.

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