A Bevy of New Macs: More For Less, But No Major Surprises
As expected, Apple has rounded out its computer line with a bunch of new models which follow the traditional Apple pattern: They have better specs, upscale features, and the same prices as the models they replace-and they're missing some rumored features, too. (Blu-Ray in this case, which is apparently still a bag of hurt.)
The new entry-level MacBook is mostly much what you might guess it would be: A white-plastic model that brings a bunch of features from Apple's higher-end models, including an LED backlit screen, a multi-touch touchpad with a built-in button, and a Mini DisplayPort connector. It loses the FireWire connector-oh no, not again!-but, strangely, doesn't seem to gain an SD slot. It's also got Apple's sealed "unibody" design (in a curvier-looking form than the old MacBook case) with a built-in battery which Apple says is good for up to seven hours. And it's 4.7 pounds, down from 5 pounds for its predecessor.
The MacBook didn't get a price cut: It still starts at $999, which gets you a 2.26GB Core 2 Duo CPU, Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics, 2GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive. The mythical $899 Mac portable remains mythical for now.
The iMac line also got an upgrade, with new 21.5? and 27? models (starting at $1199 and $1699), both of which have 16-by-9 widescreen displays with LED lighting, SD slots, and the ability to connect external video sources such as a game console or Blu-Ray player via an adapter. (Some models ofHP's latest TouchSmart have a similar feature.) Processors now go up to a quad-core Intel Core i7.
The new iMacs come with a new wireless mouse called the Magic Mouse (sorry, Little Roquefort) with a multi-touch surface that lets you perform iPhone-like gestures such as swiping and pinching. It's also available separately for $69.
Apple also beefed up the specs on the Mac Mini, and introduced an intriguing server version with Snow Leopard Server preinstalled, two hard drives, and no optical drive. It's not a home server like HP's MediaSmart, but maybe Apple is tippy-toeing in that direction.