Some new iMac colours are locked behind more expensive configurations

If you want a Yellow, Orange or Purple iMac, you'll need to pony up an extra $250

So, you want that cool new iMac with an M1 chip in it? And you want it in yellow (the superior colour)? Well, it’ll cost you a little more.

As with many tech products — and especially Apple products — there are multiple cool colour variants, some of which are reserved for certain configurations of the device. Is it a tactic to get people to spend more just to get a cool colour? Absolutely. Does it suck that Apple did it? Yup.

But the iMac situation is a little bit worse because some colours are available on some configs, but not all, which could make it a tad difficult to get the one you want. So, we’ve compiled a list of the available colours and what you’ll have to pay to get them.

Apple M1 iMac configuration options

Base-level iMac

The base-level 2021 iMac includes Apple’s M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU. It also features a 256GB SSD, 8GB of “unified memory” (RAM) and two Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4 ports. It comes with a Magic Keyboard as well, but the keyboard doesn’t have Touch ID.

More importantly, here are the colour options for the base iMac: Blue, Green, Pink and Silver.

Cost: $1,599

Mid-level iMac

If you step up to the middle iMac on Apple’s website, you get a few small bonuses. Again, there’s the M1 chip, but this time around with an 8-core CPU and GPU, 256GB SSD, 8GB RAM, two Thunderbolt 4 / USB 4 ports and two USB 3 ports. Plus, this model includes the gigabit ethernet port in the power adapter and includes the Magic Keyboard with Touch ID.

The mid-level iMac adds two colour options, but oddly drops Green from the lineup. Colours include: Blue, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange, Purple.

Cost: $1,849 ($250 more than the base-level)

Top-level iMac

Finally, the upper end of the new iMac configs includes the same M1 chip as the mid-level config (8-core CPU and GPU), 512GB SSD, 8GB RAM, same ports, gigabit ethernet and the Touch ID Magic Keyboard. Other than doubling the storage amount, there isn’t a whole lot more the top-level iMac offers.

Colours: Blue, Green, Pink, Silver, Yellow, Orange, Purple

Cost: $2,099 ($250 more than mid-level, $500 more than base-level)

So in short, Yellow, Orange and Purple are the only pay-walled colours, and it’ll cost an extra $250 to get them. But, that said, the mid-level iMac seems like the best offer all around with the only real difference between it and the top-level config being the extra SSD space and the Green colour (which is only available on the base-level and top-level configs, not the mid-level).

It’s also worth considering that Apple likes to show three configs on its website, and offer further customization options once you select a model. This will likely be the case once the iMacs become available to order at the end of April — Apple says the new iMac can have up to 16GB of RAM, but none of the currently listed models have that. Instead, you’ll likely need to select that option after picking a starting configuration, and pay extra for it to boot.

All said, if you’re thinking about getting an iMac, you’ll probably want to start with the mid-level config and add extra RAM and storage as needed, with the exception being for those who want a Green iMac.

You can view all the details on Apple’s iMacs here.