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New Macs are Out

October 27, 2009 - Dave Hecei
The new Macs are out and they do impress. On the 20th, Apple released updated iMacs, MacBooks, and minis, along with a new mouse design. Also included in this round of updates is a new Apple Remote, and updates to the Airport Extreme and Time Capsule.

The iMac still comes in two screen sizes, now 21.5 or an impressive 27-inch LED backlit LCD display. Speed improvements were also included in this update. All iMacs, except for the high-end 27-inch, now have an Intel Core 2 Duo 3.06 GHz processor. The 27-inch model tops out with the new Intel Core i5 quad-core processor. What is really impressive is the special order 27-inch model can be configured with the new Intel Core i7 quad-core processor. The Core i7 is also a quad-core processor but has Hyper Threading giving it a total of eight threads instead of four.

There are now four RAM slots in the new iMacs giving it the ability to hold up to 16 GB of RAM, if you can afford it. The new 4 GB modules are not the cheapest things out there. The LCD panels use the new IPS technology (in-plane switching) giving it a very wide viewing angle and expanded color gamut. This and the LED backlighting give the new iMac an amazing contrast range.

The new iMacs now come standard with the Apple wireless Bluetooth keyboard and the new Magic Mouse. While the keyboard has not changed, the Magic Mouse looks to be a vast improvement over the Mighty Mouse, Apple’s previous model. What makes this mouse ‘Magic’ is that there are no buttons, wheels, or scrolling balls. The entire body of the mouse is now a ‘touch device’ similar to the trackpads on the Mac notebooks or the screen of the iPhone.

The Magic Mouse uses single and dual finger motions to control scrolling and skimming. You use a single finger on the surface to scroll in a window 360 degrees. Using two fingers you can skim through your iTunes or iPhoto library, or page backwards and forwards in a web browser. I can’t wait to try one of these out. I have a love hate relationship with the Mighty Mouse. It works great but it doesn’t work great. I know it doesn’t make any sense, but what the Mighty Mouse does sometimes defies logic.

The 27-inch model has a few exclusive features that make it stand out even more. It is the only new model that has the ability to use VESA mounting hardware allowing it to be hung on a wall, or other compatible monitor stands. This model also has the ability to act as a stand-alone monitor. It can do this because the built-in DisplayPort can accept video input along with the standard output. This means that content from an Xbox 360, Playstation 3, HD Cable or satellite box, or a compatible Blu-Ray player can be viewed on the 27-inch iMac’s display. At this time I do not know what type of special cable this will require.

While this rework of the iMac is not earth shattering, it is a significant improvement to the iMac. The new display panel used in the new iMac is an impressive sight to see. If you just bought an iMac, then don’t bother with these, unless you are independently wealthy it’s not worth the price to upgrade. If you have a much older iMac or have been waiting to switch to the Mac, then what are you waiting for? The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1199, the same price as the previous 20-inch model. The 27-inch model starts at only $1699 with a Core 2 Duo chip and $1999 for the Core i5 model. The shear size of the 27-inch iMac along with a new quad-core chip is very impressive indeed, and under $2000.


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New 21.5 and 27-inch iMac.


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