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.
It seems like Apple may be pricing itself into a corner, at least with its proprietary AirPlay and Thunderbolt technologies. Reports today revealed that Apple's licensing fees for the two technologies are prohibitively expensive. The prices are said to be too high for either technology to see mainstream adoption in the near future.
Apple's 2011 MacBook Pro laptops have been on the market for several months now, and there's one port that has resolutely refused to be used in the way it's intended. Devices bearing Thunderbolt ports - Intel's high-speed connectivity standard co-developed with Apple - are yet to hit the market, but SlashGear caught up with LaCie for a pre-launch demo of the new Little Big Disk. The name might be daft but the performance is anything but: over 825 MB/s read speeds.
The PCI Special Interest Group is a group people and companies behind the scenes that work on the specifications for various PCI Express specifications. The group is reportedly hard at work on a new cable specification that will compete with Thunderbolt. The PCI SIG backers claim that the PCIe specification will be more open and optimal than Thunderbolt. Apple and Intel worked together on the development of Thunderbolt making it more proprietary.