John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Apple Updates Mac Lineup, Announces Multitouch "Magic Mouse"

The Apple store went offline Tuesday morning and when it returned, it did so with a groaning board of new hardware, including a range of aluminum and edge-to-edge glass iMacs, Mac minis, a 13-inch unibody polycarbonate MacBook and a wireless, multitouch “Magic Mouse.”

The new iMacs boast LED-backlit 21.5- and 27-inch widescreen displays in an edge-to-edge glass design and all aluminum enclosure. They’re available with Intel (INTC) Core 2 Duo processors starting at 3.06 GHz, and Core i5 and i7 quad-core processors for even better performance. The low-end model is priced at $1,199, the same as the past generation, but its high-end sibling is now $200 cheaper, at $1,999.

The new MacBook features an 13.3-inch LED backlit display, a multitouch trackpad, and a $999 price tag. Though still housed in white polycarbonate plastic, it features an updated unibody design borrowed from the MacBook Pro.

The successor to the Mighty Mouse, Magic Mouse, eliminates mechanical buttons, instead, employing the same multitouch surface found on the iPhone, iPod touch, and Mac notebook trackpads, allowing users to navigate their desktops with simple gesture commands.

Accompanying the Magic Mouse is a a new Apple Remote. It’s got a new design and is, predictably, housed in aluminum.

Finally, Apple (AAPL) also updated the Mac mini. While its design is largely identical to that of its predecessor, it offers far more storage. Starting at $599, the entry-level Mac mini features a faster 2.26 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor and 2GB of DDR3 1066 MHz memory, a 160GB hard drive, five USB 2.0 ports, FireWire 800, Nvidia GeForce 9400M integrated graphics and a SuperDrive.

There’s also a new $999 Mac mini that’s specially configured with a Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server. It’s outfitted with two 500GB hard drives for a total of 1TB of server storage.

Quite a refresh and one analysts are already crowing about. In a bulletin released after the announcement, Piper Jaffray’s Gene Munster said Apple’s new machines will undoubtedly improve the company’s prospects for the December quarter.

“We expect the new iMacs, and to a lesser degree the new Mac minis, to help the desktop category rebound in the Dec. quarter,” Munster wrote. “In other words, the headwind that existed in the Sept. quarter due to aging Mac desktops has now turned into a tailwind for Mac units in the Dec. quarter….Bottom Line: Street Mac numbers may also be conservative if positive trends continue coupled with new Macs in the quarter.”

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