Apple iMac 21.5-inch (December 2012)

The Good Apple's attention to detail extends to the 21.5-inch version of its thin-looking Apple iMac.

The Bad Windows-based all-in-one PCs offer tough hardware competition in the sub-$1,400 price range.

The Bottom Line The 21.5-inch iMac will be a compelling lower-cost all-in-one for Mac loyalists, but you can get more capabilities from similarly priced Windows all-in-ones.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 9.0
  • Features 6.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Support 7.0
7.1 Overall

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Design
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Features
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Performance
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Support
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Review

The smaller iMac Windows PCs can pick on

For the same $1,299 you could spend on this 21.5-inch Apple iMac, you can buy a 23-inch or even a 27-inch Windows-based all-in-one, and with more robust features.

Yes, for better or for worse, those other PCs have Windows 8. They also have touch screens and optical drives, features that Apple has deemed inessential for a desktop. You might agree with Apple. You might also accept Apple's hallmark design excellence and display quality as worthy substitutions. You might even need or want a particular function of OS X that you can't get in a Windows PC.

Judged purely by its hardware, however, the 21.5-inch iMac is an expensive all-in-one with less functionality than its competition. I would not recommend it to someone looking for the most computer for his or her dollar.

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Specs / Prices

  • MSRP $1,299
  • Brand Apple
  • Type 3rd Gen Core i5
  • Installed Size 8 GB
  • Edition OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
  • Capacity 1 TB
  • Diagonal Size 21.5 in
See full specs
model 21.5-inch, 2.7GHz, fall 2012

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