It wasn’t so long ago that the Internet was ablaze with news of the “new” 17-inch iMac for education priced at $899, which was actually a model they’d been offering, without updates, in that capacity for two full years at that point. Its “discovery” was in fact just people noticing something they’d never noticed before. Today, though, brings real news of a brand-new deal for educational customers.
The price of the new iMac for education (PDF link) hasn’t changed, but the hardware definitely has, and for the better. For starters, it uses the aluminum body frame that’s been the standard for all iMac machines, save the old 17-inch polycarbonate machine it’s replacing. It also gets the same 1066MHz front-side bus as its consumer cousins, though only a 2.0GHz processor, compared to the 2.66GHz for people and institutions not trying to teach anyone anything.
The $899 price tag will also kit out the iMac with 1GB DDR3 RAM, a 160GB SATA HD, and the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics processor that is now the standard entry-level card across Apple’s (s aapl) Mac lineup. All the standard ports, and the usual optical drive and wireless card, are also included.
For those counting, that means educational institutions get half the RAM and half the hard drive space in exchange for a cost savings of $300 per unit. Not a bad deal, considering most educational customers will never have cause to upgrade beyond those specs, as they’d primarily be buying the machines to fill up computer labs and/or student common areas.
Note that this deal isn’t for individual students, staff or faculty of educational institutions, but for the institutions themselves. Now might be a great time to start that correspondence school for ballroom dancing you’ve always dreamed about.