As expected, Apple has quietly announced a new iMac variant targeted at education users, bringing the sticker price down to under $1,000. The 3.1GHz iMac uses a dual-core Intel Core i3 processor paired with AMD Radeon HD 6750 256MB graphics and 2GB of memory, and offers a $999 entry point to the 21.5-inch all-in-one desktop machine.
Apple's new MacBook Air may have a Thunderbolt port, but size and cost constraints have led to the updated ultraportable offering reduced external display support in comparison to its MacBook Pro, iMac and Mac mini siblings. The Air uses an Eagle Ridge Thunderbolt chip, AnandTech reports, which only supports half the data channels of the chip found in the other recent Apple models, as well as a single DisplayPort output.
It's not just a new MacBook Air and Mac mini fresh from Apple's Cupertino labs this morning. The company has also officially introduced its updated Apple Thunderbolt Display, now complete with a pair of Thunderbolt connections allowing for daisy-chaining of multiple displays from a single socket. Priced at $999, the new display is 27-inches and offers audio, gigabit ethernet, FireWire 800, USB 2.0 and Thunderbolt ports.
Apple's Mac mini has been updated, packing new Intel Sandy Bridge processors along with Thunderbolt connectivity. The compact desktop keeps the slick aluminum design of the last-gen models but ditches the optical drive and offers a choice of new Core i5 and Core i7 processors; there's also a Server model and an optional 256GB SSD.
Leaked details of the refreshed Apple Mac mini expected to debut later today have emerged, tipping a similar upgrade path suggested for the MacBook Air. Although aesthetically unlikely to change, the new Mac mini and Mac mini Server models, so 9 to 5 Mac's source claims, will indeed get Intel Sandy Bridge processors as well as 500GB hard-drives as standard.
Rumors for an upcoming MacBook Air revamp alongside Mac OS X Lion are so prominent that we've pretty much accepted their launch next week as fact. However, other rumors on upcoming Mac Pro, Mac Mini, and even a revamped white MacBook keep flip flopping. The part numbers leaked earlier in the week are now believed to be new Apple LED Cinema Displays.
What's inside a Thunderbolt cable? If you answered "wires, magic, and a direct route for $49 to rush from your wallet to Apple's pockets" then you're a cynic and we love you, but it turns out you're actually getting more for your money. iFixit took their teardown tools to the official Apple Thunderbolt cable, and found chips-a-plenty lurking inside.
Apple's entry-level white MacBook, which kicks off at $999, could be in line for an imminent refresh according to reseller sources, who have reported constrained stocks similar to those affecting the MacBook Air. Amazon, MacConnection, On Sale and J&R are all supposedly out of stock of the plastic-cased notebook, AppleInsider claims, while further retailers are down to minimal stock levels.
There are a few storage systems that will work with the new Apple and Intel designed Thunderbolt port for more bandwidth for devices. Promise has announced that it is now shipping a new storage device that uses the Thunderbolt port. The new storage device is called the Pegasus RAID solution. The Pegasus comes in 4-bay and 6-bay flavors depending on the needs of the user. The storage arrays support from 4TB to 12TB.
Sony has unveiled its latest performance ultraportable, the Sony VAIO Z Series, tipping the scales at under 1.2kg but still offering - thanks to a docking station that uses the same Intel Thunderbolt connection technology as Apple recently adopted - solid graphics performance with an external video card. The new 13.1-inch 1600 x 900 notebook runs up to a Core i7-2620M 2.7GHz processor paired with up to 8GB of DDR3 memory and up to a 256GB SSD, while the Sony Power Media Dock VGP-PRZ20C/VGP-PRZ20A packs an AMD Radeon HD 6650M graphics card with 1GB of dedicated memory, a choice of DVD or Blu-ray drives, and support for a further two simultaneous monitors.