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The best cheap iMac deals and sales in 2022

The best cheap iMac deals
(Image credit: Future)

You can get some great cheap iMac deals if you know where to look these days. Apple's stalwart all-in-one desktop has a rich history dating back to the first 1998 model, and in April 2021 the brand new M1 iMac was announced, changing the landscape of the iMac scene, as well as what users should expect for their money.

So what cheap iMac deals are out there, and what Apple iMac's should you be looking to get (and to avoid)? We've put together this handy guide to the best cheap iMac deals, and looked in detail at the most relevant iMac options available for all needs – from all-round work use, to specialised creative professional work. 

We look at the iMac landscape right now, and give you all the information that you may need before buying Apple's esteemed desktop computer. Lucky for you busy people, the list is short, and the asking price of some of even the best cheap iMac deals will guide you to a decision pretty quickly (unless you've got a handy $4k spare for the iMac Pro?!)

We've also put together a handy page with all the best Apple deals – from iPads to MacBook Pros – so be sure to check that out too. But for now, here are the best cheap iMac deals around. 

The best cheap iMac deals right now

iMac 24-inch (M1, 2021)

Cheap iMac deals: iMac (M1, 2021)

(Image credit: Apple)

01. iMac (M1, 2021)

The Apple M1-chipped iMac is a game changer

CPU: Apple M1 chip | Graphics: 8-core GPU 16-core Neural Engine | RAM: 8GB unified memory/16GB unified memory | Storage: 256GB SSD/512GB SSD/1TB SSD/2TB SSD | Screen: 24-inch, 4480 by 2520 pixels, 4.5K Retina display

Fastest iMac yet
Beautiful design
Excellent 4.5K display 
Limited connection types

The brand new iMac M1 isn't on sale right now, but you can pre-order it for a late-May delivery, according to Apple. And, if the spec sheet is to be believed, there are plenty of reasons to do just that.

Fist of all, this is the first iMac to boast the all new Apple M1 chip, making it extremely faster than previous iMacs that carry Intel processors – or to put it in Apple's words: '3.5 times better performance than competing CPUs'. 

There are two iterations announced – both coming with a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display, an 8-core CPU, up to 16GB RAM. Where they differ is the base model comes with two  Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, and 1TB storage, while the next model offers two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports and two USB 3 ports and up to 2TB storage.

We'll have more for you on this exciting new computer, and hopefully bring you the best cheap iMac deals on this model, but for now keep an eye on the links here for pre-order links, or check out some other cheap iMac deals below.

iMac 27-inch (2020)

Cheap iMac deals: iMac 27-inch (2020)

(Image credit: Apple )

02. iMac 27-inch (2020)

A great desktop for digital creatives

CPU: 10th gen i5 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 5300 - Radeon Pro 5700 XT | RAM: 8GB/16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB | Storage: 256GB SSD/512GB SSD/1TB SSD/2TB SSD/4TB SSD/8TB SSD | Screen: 27-inch, 5120 x 2880 Retina 5K display

Potential powerful upgrading
 Up to 8TB SSD!
Beautiful screen
Only two Thunderbolt ports

This 2020 version of the 27-inch iMac is a beast. Not only taking in to account the large 27-inch 5K display, but with 2020's upgrade options, you can now get it with 8TB of storage, as well as nice upgrades to the mics and webcams.

The design of the 27-inch hasn't changed much for a while, and if that's top of your checklist, then the 2021 M1 24-inch iMac would be for you. But this is a powerhouse, and would be ideal for digital creatives, whether video editors or graphic designers. Also consider that with the new M1 iMac coming at the end of May, prices to this 27-inch version may come down a bit. We'll have all the best deals right here, so be sure to check back when you can. 

iMac 21.5-inch (2020)

Cheap iMac deals: The iMac 21.5-inch (2020)

(Image credit: Apple)

03. iMac 21.5-inch

The iMac to get at the cheapest price

CPU: 2.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640 | RAM: 8GB/16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD/1TB Fusion Drive | Screen: 21.5-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels display

Can get cheap
2020 storage is SSD
Might be out-priced by M1 iMac

With the release of the new M1 24-inch iMac at a starting price of $1,299/£1,249, getting the 21.5-inch iMac, which is basically based on the 2017 model, at a price of $1,099/£1,099, doesn't make a whole lot of sense. However, there were some good 2020 upgrades, including a standard SSD instead of traditional hard drive.

But it doesn't change the fact that many of the components remain from 2017. So what does the 21.5-inch have to offer, and who is it aimed at? This iMac has plenty to offer if you don't need the cutting edge technology, and if you're willing to scout around for a great cheap iMac deal. It is certainly a great buy if you're willing to get a guaranteed, refurbished model, which can go for as low as the $700 mark. It's a good, solid iMac, but if you're willing to pay a bit more, the M1 iMac is staring you right in the eye. 

More cheap iMac deals

Here's a list of other great iMac deals, from all the models covered, plus older models, wherever you are in the world...

Cheap iMac deals: Which iMac should I get in 2021?

As of April 2021, you can only buy the last three iMacs (in all their various iterations) from Apple's website, and although you'll be able to find way more online, this is pretty telling. As of mid to late May, you'll be able to buy the new 24-inch iMac (M1); the larger 27-inch iMac (2020); and the older 21.5-inch iMac (2017).

Of course, there's way more to an iMac than the size of it's screen and it's price tag. But that's a pretty good place to start when comparing the affordable three iMacs detailed above. It's also revealing regarding which cheap iMac deal you might be better off avoiding. 

The entry level iteration of the new M1 iMac has a 24-inch, 4.5K Retina display, and 8-core at $1,299/£1,249.

The larger of the last year's iMacs offers a 27-inch 5K Retina display and (up to) 10-core Intel i9 processor at $1,799/£1,799.

The last iMac you can buy through Apple is the 21.5-inch, which doesn't even offer 4K, and comes with 2-core Intel i5 processor, at $1,099/£1,099. 

Just looking at these base specs, and not mentioning ports, RAM and storage, you can get the new entry-level M1 iMac (2021) for only $200/£200 more than the knocking-on-the-door-of out of date 21.5-inch model. Of course, if you get a great cheap iMac deal on the 21.5-inch model, it's still a good option as a general desktop / secondary PC. But if you're willing to spend a little bit more, you can be assured to get a whole lot back in return if you plump for the new Apple iMac (M1, 2021).

As for the 27-inch version, as you can see from the following detailed specs, this is squarely aimed at the digital creative professional, and is well worth trying to get at a decent price.

Cheap iMac deals: All the model specs

Below we share the starting, base specs each (and maximum potential for that iteration) of the three iMacs that Apple is still stocking and selling. Of course, each iteration can be tweaked - a little bit more RAM here, some extra storage there. And another thing to remember – for the 21.5-inch and 27-inch models, you can still find previous years' releases around the internet. These should cost you less than the Apple guide prices stated below, but the won't have the exact specs as below's 2020 versions. 

The new 24-inch iMac (M1, 2021) models

  • $1,299/£1,249: 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores; 7-core GPU; 8GB RAM (up to 16GB); 256GB SSD (up to 1TB); 4.5K Retina display; 500 nits brightness; 1080p FaceTime HD camera with M1 image signal processor; two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports; Magic Keyboard.
  • $1,499/£1,449: 8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores; 7-core GPU; 8GB RAM (up to 16GB); 256GB SSD (up to 2TB); 4.5K Retina display; 500 nits brightness; 1080p FaceTime HD camera with M1 image signal processor; two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and Two USB 3 ports; Magic Keyboard.

The 27-inch iMac (2020) model

  • $1,799/£1,799: 3.1GHz six-core 10th-gen i5 (up to i9), 8GB RAM (up to 128GB); 256GB SSD (up to 8TB); AMD Radeon Pro 5300 (up to 5700 XT); 5K Retina display; 500 nits brightness; 1080p FaceTime HD camera; Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and Four USB-A ports; Magic Keyboard.

The 21.5-inch iMac (2020) model

  • $1,099/£1,099: 2.3GHz dual-core 7th-gen i5; 8GB RAM (up to 16GB); 256GB SSD (up to 1TB Fusion Drive); Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640; Widescreen display; 320 nits brightness; FaceTime HD camera; Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and Four USB-A ports; Magic Keyboard.

If you're looking for a keyboard for your iMac, see our guide to the best Apple keyboards.

Beren Neale

Beren Neale is the deals editor at Creative Bloq. After editing several creative and design magazines - including the graphic design mag Computer Arts - he found his home on the biggest global art and design website, helping digital creatives get the best deals on the kit that they need.