New Macxplosion: iMacs, minis, Macbooks, Magic Mouse!

As predicted yesterday, Apple has followed up on its stellar earnings with a bevy of new Mac products ready for the holiday buying season:

  • A new speed-bumped version of the Mac mini. Now available up to 2.53 GHz. Intriguingly, as the mini has long had a niche in the mini-server space, it now comes in a $999 server version, with no optical drive.

  • A new redesigned version of the MacBook, still at $999. While still made of the previous white plastic, its design has been modified to match the curvier unibody construction of the metal MacBook Pros; this marks an end to a form factor that has existed since the introduction of the "ice" version of the iBook in 2001. The new MacBook also has many of the MacBook Pro features that it had been missing, including the built-in 7-hour battery and glass multitouch trackpad. Of note is the fact that the current top-end MacBook still sports a slower processor than the one on the one I bought in August of 2008; I guess that slot is now permanently assigned to the low-end MacBook Pro.

  • A less radically redesigned iMac, faster and with bigger screens (the top-end one has a somewhat ludicrous 27-inch monster).

  • And, a new "Magic Mouse" that features a built-in multitouch trackpad. Comes for free with each iMac, $69 for the rest of us suckers (what about the poor folks shelling out the big bucks for a Mac Pro?). This might actually get me to test a replacement for my trusty three-button Logitech.

Of particular interest to those keeping track of rumors is the conspicuous absence of Blu-ray from all of these models -- even the iMac, which is specifically being touted as having a screen made for high-def movies. I guess Apple decided that the "bag of hurt" involved in licensing Blu-ray tech was still too ouchy, even as a build-to-order option.

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