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New cheaper Apple iMac 21.5in has RAM soldered to the motherboard

Yesterday, Apple unveiled a new member of its iMac family, and it was a particularly interesting addition because the 21.5in model is the cheapest the range has ever seen.

Yes, you can now get an Apple all-in-one computer for £899, which is £150 cheaper than the previous entry-level 21.5in iMac, that Apple still sells for £1,049.

Aside from the differences in spec between the two models – most notably the processor, which has been stepped down from a 2.7GHz quad-core to a cheaper 1.4GHz dual-core Core i5 model with the new iMac – there's also been a change, unfortunately for the worse, under the hood.

Rocket Yard performed a teardown of the new iMac, and found that the memory is soldered to the motherboard. In the step-up model from last year, the memory is upgradable via slots – but with the wallet-friendlier 2014 iMac, you're going to be stuck with 8GB, and that's your lot.

You can't even upgrade at the time of ordering, as the only customisation option in terms of the core hardware is to up the 500GB hard drive to a 1TB model for £40 (or a 1TB Fusion Drive or 256GB SSD for £200).

In fairness, 8GB is still a perfectly acceptable amount of RAM these days – particularly for an entry-level machine – but it's obviously not an ideal situation in terms of potential future-proofing.

The real question is whether this is a sign of the times with upcoming refreshed iMacs set to adopt this practice – though this time around, the 27in version of Apple's all-in-one didn't receive a refresh, anyway.