Historically, the lowest-cost model of a line of Macs is feature-deficient in some way. They may be missing ports, have slower storage, or lack memory upgrades. They are good for only two purposes:
- Advertising a low price
- Use full in corporate or educational environments where power, connectivity, and expandability requirements are low and expected life before replacement is short
When considering a Mac for personal use, one should ignore the cheapest version to avoid disappointment setting in, and consider the price of the next version up as the true low price.
Note that all M1 iMacs above the lowest tier have 4 ports (2 Thunderbolt 4 and 2 USB-C) and are Ethernet-capable. The 2019 21" iMac (which these models replace) had 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 4 USB ports, and a slot for an SDXC card. So the new version is somewhat port deficient compared to what preceded it, but with a <$100 USB adapter, that can be rectified.