New Macs Update

Apple updated two of its mac products earlier today, the Mac Mini and the Macbook Air. This is an overview of what’s new and how the products have changed.

Mac Mini

Previous Model:

 

New Model:

Let’s start with the new mac mini. There are now 2 versions of the mac mini instead only 1 model. The processor has been updated from a core 2 duo 2.4 GHz to either a 2.3 GHz or a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 (both of which are dual core, no quad core in this update). The previous model had 2GB RAM whereas the new model has either 2GB or 4GB RAM depending on which model you buy. The hard drive has been bumped up to 500GB from 320Gb (with the option of a 750GB hard drive and a 256GB SSD on the high end model) and new graphics have been introduced. Gone is the NVIDEA 320M and now the low end model has the Intel HD graphics 3000 and the high end model has the AMD Radeon HD 6630M which should offer a noticeable improvement. And of course Mac OS X lion is now pre-loaded. But here is the good news for those of us in the UK. The price has significantly decreased on the basic model by £83 which is unusual as we were getting used to price increases with every update so this makes a very welcome change. Pricing now starts at £529 for the basic model whereas the high end model is £699, which I find a little steep as for £300 more you can get an Imac which includes a high quality screen, a magic mouse and a keyboard whereas the Mac Mini doesn’t come with any of those things as standard. Both models now have a Thunderbolt port.

The server edition has also moved from the old core 2 duo to the new quad core 2.0GHZ Intel Core i7 which maybe should have been in the high end Mac Mini and the graphics have changed from the NVIDEA 320M to Intel HD graphics 3000. It has also seen a price decrease going from £898 to £849.

Overall, this is a very welcome update and the basic Mac Mini has good hardware at a good price but the high end mac mini may be a little overpriced compared to other computers in its price range and even the Imac as for £300 you get a full computer with a quad core processor. What is noticeable however is that now Apple have truly declared war on optical drives as according to the pictures on the Apple Store no model in the Mac Mini line has an optical drive which means like the Macbook Air, you will have to purchase and external superdrive if you require one. With the Mac App Store and digital media, it should not impact many people significantly.

Macbook Air

Previous Models:

 

 

New Models:

 

The Macbook Air also received a welcome update today with all models coming with the Intel HD graphics 3000 which replaces the NVIDEA 320M and all models except the base Macbook Air now coming with 4GB RAM as standard which is a very welcome change. All models are now also equipped with a Thunderbolt port and a backlit keyboard.

Both 11 inch models now come with a 1.6 GHz dual core i5 processor up from the core 2 duo 1.4 GHz processor and can be upgraded to 1.7 GHz as a built to order option. Flash storage options remain the same but the price has now decreased. The base model is now £849 (down from £867) and the high end 11 inch model is now £999 (down from £1020).

Both 13 inch models now come with a 1.7 GHz dual core i5 processor up from the core 2 duo 1.86 GHz processor which although at a lower clock speed should offer an improvement over the old model due to newer architecture. This can be upgraded to 1.8 GHz as a built to order option. As with the 11 inch models, flash storage options remains the same but again there is a modest price decrease. The base 13 inch model is now £1099 (down from £1122) and the high end 13 inch model is now £1349 (down from £1378).

Overall, the Macbook Air has seen an evolution update with new processors and now 4GB RAM as standard on 3 models (would have been nice to have seen it standard on all models), and the prices are now back to pre VAT hike prices which means small but welcome reductions.

UPDATE: Apple have also updated its 27 inch LED Cinema Display with a Thunderbolt port instead of Mini-Display.

UPDATE 2: Apple have discontinued the white plastic Macbook.

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