Apple iMac (21.5-inch)
Apple iMac 21.5-inch (Mid-2014)
While it is true that Apple can be considered a premium brand, the company has actually been trying to make its Macs more affordable. For instance, the MacBook Air began life as one of the company's most costly notebooks, but is now as affordable as many Windowsbased Ultrabooks. Likewise for the iMac, Apple has been steadily trying to bring prices down to appeal to the average consumers. For 2014, Apple introduced a brand new 21.5-inch iMac that is its most affordable yet, with a starting price at just RM3,499, making it one of the most affordable all-in-one systems in the market right now.
Of course, this was achieved with some compromises. This new entry-level iMac only has a dual-core Core i5 processor and comes with 8GB of RAM standard, which also cannot be upgraded unlike the other models. The two other 21.5inch iMac models have more powerful quad-core processors and memory that can be upgraded to a maximum of 16GB.
As a result, the new entrylevel iMac suffers noticeably in benchmarks and recorded a score of just 5,376 on Geekbench 3, which is roughly only half that of the next model in the 21.5-inch lineup. While the numbers show a wide gulf in performance, actual usage experience paints a different picture. The unit still felt responsive enough for everyday computing tasks such as web browsing and watching videos and had more than what it takes to run productivity applications. The Intel HD Graphics 5000 integrated GPU was also up for gaming, as long as you keep the resolution and graphics settings down. Speaking of resolution, the 21.5-inch display offers Full HD resolution, and even though it is not quite Retina-class, images were sharp and colors were bright.
All things considered, the new entry-level iMac is a good attempt by Apple to make its desktop Macs more affordable for the masses. While performance can be considered significantly compromised, this new iMac is speedy enough for everyday computing tasks and is much more palatably priced. That said, we would definitely recommend splurging for the optional Fusion Drive upgrade—like our review unit—even if it costs an additional RM850. It is a small upgrade that'll give the biggest noticeable performance boost.