The new iMac features a 21.5-inch display, 3.1GHz Core i3 processor, 250GB hard disk, 256MB HD 6750M graphics, and just 2GB of RAM. It lacks Thunderbolt connectivity and is only available to authorised education buyers. It's $999 in the US, so $1179 isn't too bad locally, right? Not when you see what spending just $170 more would get a school.
The previous baseline 21.5-inch iMac costs educational institutions $1349 ($1399 standard). That gets a school double the RAM, double the hard disk space, double the graphics memory, and twice as many CPU cores: a 2.5GHz quad-core Core i5. Oh, and a Thunderbolt port, which is up to 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and 12 times faster than Firewire 800.
So yeah, if you're a school and you absolutely need a Mac, this is one of those cases where a little extra gets you a lot more juice. Meanwhile, I'm sure you could also build a great PC for that price. What say you Gizmodians? [Apple]