When I initially saw Apple introduce a new, cheaper iMac, I thought it would be a great thing for customers on a budget. Unfortunately, it is — without any reservations — the worst computer Apple has built in years. I’m honestly disappointed and a little disgusted by this money grab, as it helps no one but Apple. I cannot and will not recommend this computer to anyone. Keep reading to find out why this new, cheaper iMac is a complete waste of money.
In 2012, Apple transitioned the iMac product line to a fused display assembly that absolutely destroyed the repairability of their all-in-one computer. Instead of separate glass and LCD components, they’re glued together… additionally, they’re glued to the aluminum frame. It’s assembled like a giant iPad. If one component fails or breaks, you have to replace both. Here at Fix Denver, we decided not to repair them at all (at least for now). We just don’t have time to waste working on these deplorable devices.
Underwhelming, Underperforming Hardware
Unfortunately, the display isn’t the only problem with the new, cheaper iMac. I may have used the word “deplorable” a little too early when referencing the 2012 iMacs; this 2014 iMac has the worst hardware specifications of any Mac in at least the last 3 years. For comparison, the 2013 base iMac scored 10667 in Geekbench, while the 2014 base iMac scores a miserable 5300. I’m pulling those numbers from the 2014 version of the 11-inch MacBook Air. Yes, Apple took the MacBook Air hardware and put it into an iMac… actually, the iMac is significantly worse.
The MacBook Air’s solid-state drive (SSD) is the only reason these low specifications function properly. The new, cheaper iMac doesn’t have a SSD… it only has a standard hard drive running at 5400 RPM. That drive performs at least five times slower than the MacBook Air SSD.
A Nightmare of Slowness
Without the SSD, Apple’s software will crawl slower than a snail. For the last few years, Apple has been writing software that runs beautifully on solid-state drives but barely functions on standard hard drives. The current operating system, Mavericks, is the best example of this. Forget all the bugs and broken features in Mavericks; Apple’s developers wrote an operating system that just cannot function properly on a standard hard drive.
A Price to Match
Deplorable hardware, deplorable software… can we go for the trifecta? Absolutely: deplorable price. This new, cheaper iMac is so overpriced it makes me cringe. With the iMac sitting at $1100, everyone would be better off buying the base Mac mini and a third-party 21.5-inch display. That would cost about $700 and easily outperform this new, cheaper iMac. If you still want an iMac, you’ll have to bump up to the $1299 version before you’ll end up with an okay computer. Ultimately, we wouldn’t recommend purchasing any new Mac without a Fusion Drive or a dedicated SSD… especially since upgrades are nearly impossible.
Why even make this new, cheaper iMac?
Rumor has it that Apple built this iMac to help the education market; some reporters even praised Apple for the cheaper price (Have any of them tried to use it?). I sincerely hope that schools everywhere realize that this new, cheaper iMac means that all Macs are no longer created equal.
There is just no excuse for creating such a deplorable computer. Please, for the love of Mike, do not buy this iMac.