Refreshed Magic Trackpad Joins New Mac Pro, iMacs

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With all the fuss surrounding the iPhone 4 antenna hopefully behind us at this point, we can now focus on non iPhone 4 related news for a change. Helping things to that end, Apple earlier this week released a slew of new product upgrades alongside a completely new product as well.

First things first, the grand mama of the Mac line -- the Mac Pro -- was finally

the recipient of a long awaited upgrade. The new Mac Pro offers up to 12 cores of processing power and 50% greater performance than its predecessor.

At the heart of the new Mac Pro’s performance are next generation quad-core and 6-core Intel Xeon processors running at speeds up to 3.33 GHz. These multi-core processors use a single die design so each core can share up to 12MB L3 cache to improve efficiency while increasing processing speed. These systems feature an integrated memory controller for faster memory bandwidth and reduced memory latency; Turbo Boost to dynamically boost processor speeds up to 3.6 GHz; and Hyper-Threading to create up to 24 virtual cores. The Mac Pro now comes with the ATI Radeon HD 5770 graphics processor with 1GB of memory and customers can configure-to-order the even faster ATI Radeon HD 5870 with 1GB of memory.

The 12-core option starts at $4,999 if that's how you want to roll. Users, for the first time, will also have the ability to include a build-to-order 512 GB SSD if they so choose in their machine.

Also seeing an upgrade are Apple's line of iMacs. Apple maintained the 21.5-inch and 27-inch form factors, but Apple's flagship desktops now come with the latest Intel Core i3, Core i5 and Core i7 processors. Also on tap are dedicated graphics cards from ATI and the same IPS technology currently used on the iPad and iPhone 4 for generous viewing angles. The base model iMac starts at $1,199 and includes a 3.06 GHZ Intel Core i3, 4GB of RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. And for the first time on the iMac, Apple has included support, on the 27-inch model, for dual hard drives.

Next up we have a new 27-inch 16:9 Cinema Display sporting a resolution of 2560x1440. The display offers 60% more screen real estate than its predecessor, comes with a built-in iSight camera, an integrated MagSafe charger, built-in Mini Display Port connectivity, speakers, and 3 USB 2.0 ports. Much like the iMac, and the iPhone and iPad, the new Cinema Display also comes with IPS technology which allows for an "ultra wide 178 degree viewing angle."

Apple's press release announcing the new product also mentions:

The new LED Cinema Display now includes a new ambient light sensor which automatically adjusts the display brightness based on external lighting conditions and uses only as much energy as necessary to provide an optimum viewing experience.

And finally, we have a completely new product from Apple called the Magic Trackpad. The Magic Trackpad is essentially an oversized trackpad for use on Apple desktops.

It uses the same Multi-Touch technology you love on the MacBook Pro. And it supports a full set of gestures, giving you a whole new way to control and interact with what’s on your screen. Swiping through pages online feels just like flipping through pages in a book or magazine. And inertial scrolling makes moving up and down a page more natural than ever. Magic Trackpad connects to your Mac via Bluetooth wireless technology. Use it in place of a mouse or in conjunction with one on any Mac computer — even a notebook.

It's an interesting product, sure, but I don't really see the mass appeal for such a device. Aside from a few gestures, is this really that much of an improvement over a mouse? To be fair, I haven't had a chance to use the Magic Trackpad, so maybe it has a purpose or function that I can't grasp just yet. That said, it'll sure be interesting to see how this new product sells. (See also: "Magic Trackpad Gets Magic Teardown.")

This story, "Refreshed Magic Trackpad Joins New Mac Pro, iMacs" was originally published by Network World.

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