Apple’s Latest Budget Friendly iMac Not Fully Upgradeable

by - 6 years ago


Earlier this week we heard about Apple’s latest offering to the market with a more budget conscious 21.5″ iMac, costing $1099 in the states and £899 here in the UK, and like most technology these days, it hasn’t taken all that long before someone (not myself for once) has taken a set of tools to the new system to see what’s going on inside.

Whilst most of the iMac hardware appears to be business as usual, one of Apples resellers – Other World Computing – has discovered that this new low price system is not as great as Apple have made it out to be. Compared to the more expensive iMacs that Apple have on offer today, this low-end system has been found to have its memory soldered on to the motherboard instead of having a separate module. Whilst this does mean that the production cost is a fraction lower, what it means for the end-user is that they are stuck with 8GB of memory, with no physical way to upgrade it in the future should they desire.

With Apple products already costing more than the equivalent Windows-based system, this move to non-upgradeable memory is a bit of a sheepish way to get users to move up to the next level should they wish to have a system that is a little more future proof.


This said though, Apple do give us an indication on the Apple store that there is no option to upgrade the memory. Whereas the 2.7GHz iMac lists 8GB memory with two 4GB modules, the 1.4GHz model doesn’t – it’s a bit of a sly way to me of telling people this information when we consider that many Apple users are not going to know the difference, resulting in a purchase that may be regretted down the line.

Not all hope is lost though as you can upgrade the hard drive before purchase. If 500GB is not enough for you then $50 / £40 will net you a 1TB drive or and extra $250 / £200 will get you a 250GB SSD or a 1TB Fusion drive (a SSHD for anyone who isn’t Apple). Personally though, I’ll stick to my Windows-based desktop system.

Source and image courtesy of mactrast

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