Hey, we fully realize that, particularly in this economy, not everyone has cash to burn. If you happen to be among the ranks of the financially-challenged, it's entirely possible that even that new stripped-down "entry-level" iMac is just a hair too extravagantly priced for your budget. Does the very thought of spending $799 on a bare-bones iMac conjure forth images of subsisting on gruel and cigarette butts and hocking your own kidneys for rent money? Well, heads up, penny-pinchers; the word on the street is that the cover charge for admittance into the New Mac Club just keeps dropping-- and there's still only a two-drink minimum, if you catch our drift. (Actually, we don't know what we mean by that. Never mind. We're still getting back into the swing of things, here.)
Here's the deal: according to MacCentral, Apple has stripped down some iMacs still further, resulting in a limited number of "barer-bones" models that are even more affordable. How much more affordable? Well, let's just say the savings could keep you happily in frozen burritos for the next three months. These super-skinny iMacs are going for the low, low price of just $499. Yes, kiddies, Apple is now a sub-$500 computer manufacturer-- you know, just like, uh, eMachines. Alrighty then. Who's up for a hearty snowball fight in the Netherworld after we go ice skating on what used to be the lake of fire and brimstone?
There are, however, a couple of catches. (Well, duh.) The first is that the specs of this extremely affordable iMac aren't exactly state-of-the-art: it's packing a 400 MHz G3 processor, 64 MB of RAM, a plain ol' CD-ROM drive, and a 10 GB hard drive. Sounds a little like this iMac hasn't been eating its Wheaties, right? Still, considering that the standard "entry-level" system costs you $300 more for another 100 MHz of clock speed and an extra 10 GB of storage space, it's probably well worth the savings-- especially since there are plenty of people out there for whom even a 400 MHz G3 and a 10 GB drive are overkill, anyway.
The other catch is the doozy, however: you have to be a resident of Washington D.C., Virginia, Maryland, or New York. Why, you ask? Because these cheap iMacs are strictly for the areas of the country most directly affected by last month's terrorist attacks. Apparently Apple's doing its part to help stimulate the stricken economies of those communities by offering inexpensive yet perfectly serviceable Macs to those in need. So if you happen to live in one of those places, see your local Mac dealer to pick up a great little Mac at a dollar-stretching price. If you don't live there, no fair making the road trip and faking your proof of residence-- that's just not nice.