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Apple updates education-only iMac with 3.3GHz Core i3 processor, priced at $1,099

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Gallery Photo: Apple Mac mini and iMac pictures (late 2012)
Gallery Photo: Apple Mac mini and iMac pictures (late 2012)

Apple has quietly released a fresh revision of its low-end iMac model aimed at education institutions. First spotted by MacRumors, the new hardware includes a 3.3GHz Core i3 processor (down from a speedier Core i5 chip in the consumer version), 500GB of storage, and 4GB of memory. The cost is $1,099, savings of $200 over the regular model. If your classroom permits a slightly higher budget, the RAM can be bumped up to a maximum of 16GB and education shoppers can also opt for a 1TB Fusion drive — Apple's new storage method that pairs flash memory with a traditional hard disk. Both of those upgrades cost $270 each, and that's about where custom configuration options end with the budget-priced desktop. Unlike Apple's other computers however, this iMac SKU must be ordered directly by a school and is unavailable through the company's typical education storefront. Sorry deal hunters.