There's launching products for the holiday season, and then there's launching products for the holiday season. Apple pulled off what we imagine only Apple could pull off this afternoon, launching an incredible amount of new wares for the world to enjoy as shopping season kicks into full gear. From updated NAS drives to ground-breaking new mice, Apple had something new for just about everyone today. Let's get right into it, shall we?
We'll start off with something completely new, and frankly, revolutionary. The Magic Mouse is today taking the place of the Mighty Mouse, which was never really loved to begin with. This mouse is about as wild as it gets in terms of mice, becoming the world's first multi-touch mouse. You read that correctly--it's a multi-touch mouse. The mouse actually has a laser sensor like most every other mouse on the market today, but the top is devoid of actual click buttons; instead, you've got a multi-touch surface that supports two-finger swipes and scrolling. If you've ever used a multi-touch trackpad on a laptop, imagine that functionality coming to your desktop. Wild stuff! It's available today for $69.
Moving on, Apple chose to update its iMac line and add some real horsepower under the hood. Yes, we're talking about Intel's Core i5 and Core i7, the latter of which is only available as a $200 option in the company's high-end iMac build. Aside from the CPU bump, most everything else (including pricing tiers) remained the same, with a low-end $1199 model boasting a 21.5" display and a 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo, and a top-end model ($1999) packing a 27" LCD and a 2.06GHz quad-core Core i5 CPU.
Even the Mac mini got in on the updating fun, with that line seeing a small CPU upgrade (up to 2.26GHz in the $599 modem and 2.53GHz in the $799 edition) as well as RAM upgrades. Other than that, the only news on that front was the Snow Leopard Server edition of the machine, which ships sans an optical drive but with two 500GB HDDs. As expected, it ships with OS X 10.6 Server Edition (unlimited clients) for $999.
Trudging forward, we're seeing a fairly significant update to the "plastic" MacBook. If you'll recall, Apple actually upgraded its MacBook line to an aluminum, unibody enclosure a few months back, but the sole plastic model was left alone for bargain buyers. Today, that $999 machine gains a new look, with the same unibody construction as the higher-end siblings and the same MagSafe power connector to boot. Specs wise, you'll find a 2.26GHz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, an NVIDIA GeForce 9400M GPU, 250GB hard drive and a SuperDrive (DVD Burner).
As for the stragglers, there's a new Apple Remote, which has been redesigned and sheathed in aluminum. It boasts a circle wheel for adjusting volume and the track number, while a Menu and Play/Pause button provide the rest of the navigation. The device itself is $19, but you'll need a $49 iPod Universal Dock in order to control your iPod or iPhone when it's connected to a TV or sound system; it works with Front Row so long as your Mac shipped after 2005 with a compatible IR sensor.
Finally, the company updated its Time Capsule and AirPort Extreme devices with new antennas, which provide up to 25% better performance compared to the previous AE and TC. On the Time Capsule, Apple also promises that Time Machine backups within Snow Leopard are now 60% faster. Both can be ordered now, with the TC running $299(1TB)/$499(2TB) and the AE going for $179.
No updates to the Mac Pro, and no Apple Tablet, but just about everything else received some TLC. Now that's how you launch new products!