Apple Updates iMac, Mac Mini, New MacBook, Reveals Magic Mouse

In yet another flurry of Apple updates, perhaps well-timed to synchronize quite nicely with the Windows 7 launch, numerous hardware improvements and additions abound.  Here's the synopsis and some opinions from a fellow Mac geek.


The iMac lines got one of the most extensive overhauls, with an new, slicker all-aluminum design, LED backlit displays, higher resolutions, and similar pricing.   These new models are a much better value than the older ones, due to beefier performance as well as the wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse being included.  You can pick from two models: a 21" version at $1199 and a huge 27" version for $1699.

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Mac Mini

The Mac Mini series is considered by many to be a "niche" product, but I'm not quite sure why.  It's a great, low-cost way to get into desktop computing with a Mac, and they're pretty powerful in their own right.  As usual, there are two standard configurations: a $799 premium version with 4GB of RAM, a 2.53 gHz Intel Core 2 Duo, and a 320GB HDD, as well as a $599 version with 2GB of RAM, a 160GB HDD, and a 2.26 gHz Core 2 Duo.  Not bad!  Apple's even introduced a $999 Mac Mini server, which will probably appeal to a limited audience, but still cool.  These new Minis are significantly faster and more decked out than mine!  Time for an upgrade?

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Unibody MacBook

Apple also decided to upgrade the MacBook with a new, glossy plastic unibody shell.  For just under a grand, you get an LED backlit display, a multi-touch trackpad, a battery with a purported 7 hours of life, 2 gigs of installed RAM and an Intel Core 2 Duo 2.26 gHz processor.  Definitely a nice improvement, but I question why most users wouldn't upgrade to the slightly more expensive but way better 13" MacBook Pro.

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Magic Mouse

Let me get one thing straight.  I love Apple, their software, and their accessories.  But I HATE the Mighty Mouse.  It is one of the most overpriced, crappiest mice I have ever used.  Don't get me wrong, I liked it... when it actually worked.  The design was so flawed, even the tiniest pieces of dirt would gum up the little BlackBerry style scrolly-ball and bork it.  It was impossible to disassemble.  I ended up completely destroying it out of anger, and am now using a $7 Dynex two button mouse.

Maybe, just maybe, the Magic Mouse will right these wrongs.  At $69, it ain't cheap, but at least there's no scroll ball to get coated with schmutz and break.  Rather, it utilizes the same beloved multi-touch interface ala iPhone and the new trackpads.  It's reported to work pretty well, and I might just pick one up after giving it a test at the Apple Store...

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Other Minor Updates - Time Capsule, Apple Remote, and AirPort Extreme

Amidst all of the hubbub, the folks at Cupertino managed to squeak in a few smaller things.  First, both the AirPort Extreme and Time Capsule get performance boosts, with backups to the Time Capsule (reportedly) up to 60% faster.

More Information at Engadget

In what I consider to be the smallest update by far, the Apple Remote has been given a brand new aluminum shell.  Looks kinda like the Nano only smaller and less cool.  Personally, I wouldn't ever have one unless it was given away for free.  It can be yours for only $19.

More Information at Engadget


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