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iMac for £600, but only for US students

A new cut-price version version of the iMac has appeared on Apple's US website, but unfortunately it's only for educational institutions.

A cheap new version of Apple's iMac desktop has appeared without fanfare on the company's US site. But the lower-priced aluminium behemoth is only for educational institutions.

The 21.5-inch 'education only' iMac, spotted by MacRumors, is listed at a price of $999, which translates to roughly £610 -- rather affordable considering the cheapest iMac on the UK site will set you back a grand.

But if you want to buy it, you'll have to prove you're part of an educational institution, by accessing the site from a university computer network. Pesky students, having all the fun.

Before flying into a rant about how kids these days don't know they're born with their Pokéballs full of iPods and their Grand Theft Autotune, bear in mind that to accommodate that lower price tag some of the iMac's hardware has been significantly downgraded.

It looks to come with an Intel Core i3 processor, which isn't as potent as standard iMac machines, and just 2GB of RAM as standard. That's the only thing you can upgrade, in fact. There doesn't seem to be a Thunderbolt port either, just a Mini DisplayPort, which we can't imagine anyone being too upset about.

We've not seen any kind of equivalent device popping up on the UK Apple store, but we'll be lazily hammering F5 employing cutting-edge journalistic techniques to keep an eye on the situation. Mysteriously, at the time of writing the discount iMac appears to have slipped off the US Apple store too, though we suspect it will be back online before too long. A specs page is still online.

Apple isn't best known for offering cheap versions of its kit, so we're really hoping this is the start of more cut-price Mac action.

Are you psyched about cheaper iMacs? Or does the idea of schoolchildren growing up using Apple computers make your spine shiver? Let us know in the comments section below, or on our Facebook page.

Image credit: MacRumors