posted by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Oct 2009 17:28 UTC
IconAs expected, Apple has refreshed its entire consumer line of Macintosh computers. The Mac mini, the MacBook, and the iMac lines of computers have all been overhauled, with the MacBook even getting a complete redesign. Prices in Europe have been dropped slightly, and there's a new mouse, too.

The cheapest Mac mini at USD 599 now has a 2.26Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 2GB DDR3 1066Mhz of RAM and a 160GB hard drive. The USD 799 model has a 2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo processor, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. They both have five USB ports, one FireWire 800 port, NVIDIA 9400M graphics chip, and a SuperDrive.

Apple also introduced a new model, a server variant of the Mac mini. This one has two 500GB hard drives, and comes with Snow Leopard Server as its default operating system. It will set you back - hold on to your panties - USD 999. The rest of the specifications align with the USD 799 model.

In at least The Netherlands (maybe other European countries too) Apple has also lowered the price of the Mac mini: from EUR 599 to 549, and from EUR 799 to EUR 749. The server model will set you back EUR 949. A welcome, and long overdue price drop for us Europeans.

The MacBook has seen the most changes. This is the plastic one were talking about - it has been redesigned, now sporting a more rounded design. I don't know about you, but it makes me think of an egg. It's sports a unibody plastic shell, LED backlit display, a glass multitouch trackpad, and a built-in battery offering up to 7 hours of battery life. It has a 2.26Ghz Core 2 Duo, 2GB of RAM, a 250GB hard drive, and an NVIDIA 9400M graphics chip.

US pricing remains at USD 999, while the pricing in The Netherlands (probably the rest of Europe too) has been dropped from EUR 949 to 899. Starting to see a theme here?

The iMac has been refreshed too. The 21.5" model comes in either a USD 1199 or USD 1499 configuration, with the only differences between the two being that the more expensive model has a discrete Radeon HD 4670 graphics chip with 256MB of RAM (9400M for the cheaper one) and a 1TB hard drive (compared to 500GB). They both have 4GB of RAM and a 3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo.

There is a new 27" model, which also comes in two configurations, USD 1699 and USD 1999. 3.06Ghz Core 2 Duo vs. 2.66Ghz Core i5 quad core, and Radeon HD 4670 vs. Radeon HD 4850 with 512MB of RAM. The Core i5 model can be fitted with a 2.8Ghz Core i7 too, which will bump the price to USD 2199.

There were no price drops in Europe - EUR 1099/1349/1499/1799. All models now sport an SD card slot. They can be fitted with up to 16GB of RAM.

Apple also introduced a new mouse, the Magic Mouse. Its entire surface is a multitouch trackpad, replacing scrollballs or wheels. It's a bluetooth mouse (meaning a no-go for people like me who detest cordless mice and keyboards), and will cost you USD 69/EUR 69, but it comes standard with the new iMacs.

The new mouse has quite the low profile, and I must say that I'm not looking forward to ever using one because of it. Low-profile mice give me serious RSI problems, and as such, I always buy what I call 'hunchback' mice. Try putting your hand and fingers in a natural, non-flexed state, and you'll see why.

Then again, I might just be weird. Then again, again, Apple hasn't exactly the cleanest track record when it comes to designing mice.

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