By >Tom LESKIN
Apple releases a slew of new products, Christmas in July in Cupertino
Unless you’re living under a rock, you should have noticed that Apple was extremely busy yesterday. The company that you either hate or love had an army of hardware releases and refreshes, along with the launch of its new desktop operating system, OS X 10.7 Lion. In case you missed all the news, here’s a round-up of everything. Also, all of the below computers come preloaded with Lion, so if you’ve been holding off for a new Mac, now’s the time to take the plunge.
OS X Lion
The first announcement, which word spread Tuesday, was the release of OS X 10.7, a Mac App Store exclusive for $30. The new operating system will also be available next month on a USB flash drive for $69. If you recently purchased a new Mac, like I did, make sure you check if you’re eligible for a free upgrade to Lion with the Up-To-Date Program.
The MacBook Air finally got a refresh, as both sizes of Apple’s ultra-slim laptop got updated with a Thunderbolt port, Sandy Bridge i5 and i7 processors, and backlit keyboards. The MacBook Air starts at $999. Also, while we’re talking about MacBooks, the white MacBook, not the Pro versions, got officially discontinued as well.
The Mac mini got updated with Core i5 and Core i7 processors, a Thunderbolt port, AMD Radeon HD graphics, and the loss of an optical drive. Users requiring an optical driver will need to use either Remote Disc capabilities or purchase an external SuperDrive. Pricing does return though to starting at $599, which cheaper is always good.
Apple Thunderbolt Display
Last, but certainly not least, Apple announced its Thunderbolt display, the only new product not immediately shipping. This 27-inch display, being called ” the ultimate docking station,” uses a single Thunderbolt connection and packs a 2560 x 1440 res 16:9 IPS display, FaceTime HD camera and Mic, a Thunderbolt port, integrated 2.1 speaker system, Firewire 800 slot, Gigabit Ethernet, three USB 2.0 ports and MagSafe charging for your laptop. It will be shipping within the next 60 days at the steep price of $999.