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Summary:

Apple today released its much awaited Mac OSX Lion operating system and upgrades to Mac Mini, Macbook Air and a new Thunderbolt I/O-based display. This is a much awaited announcement and is surely going to fuel Apple’s already red-hot business.

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So the rumors were true. Apple — as reported earlier by many web publications — released the newest version of its operating system, OS X Lion this morning. It is a $30 4GB download from the Apple store. And unless you have a superfast connection – this is going to be one long download. However, if you are not in the mood to download and are looking to spend some of your money, Apple has released a slew of products that include OS X Lion.

Instead of recapping all its features, here are some of the articles about OS X from our archives:

The New Mac Mini:

It is 7.7-inches square and 1.4-inches thin. It has a compact aluminum design and comes in three different configurations with a choice to use one the latest dual-core Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processors, AMD Radeon HD 6630M discrete graphics, or a quad-core Intel Core i7 powered server configuration. It comes preloaded with OS X Lion. It doesn’t have an optical disc drive and can include up to 8 GBs of memory, a faster 7200-RPM hard drive and a 256GB solid-state drive. It comes with Thunderbolt I/O technology for expansion possibilities never before available to Mac mini users. It starts at $599 but is not exactly cheap as you opt for the top end of the line.

The New MacBook Air

Apple today announced upgrades to its MacBook Air line-up of products. It is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models and uses Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, has a backlit keyboard and comes preloaded with Mac OS X Lion. MacBook Air also features Intel HD Graphics 3000 and offers up to 4GB of faster 1333 MHz memory. The new Intel processors make them twice as fast as the previous generation.

The New Apple Thunderbolt Display:

It uses the Thunderbolt I/O technology and it is 27 inches in screen size. It has a 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design and the display uses IPS technology with an ultra wide 178-degree viewing angle. The Thunderbolt Display includes a built-in FaceTime HD video camera for crisp video conferencing, a 2.1 speaker system for high quality audio, an integrated MagSafe charger to keep Mac notebooks charged, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices. From the looks of it, this screen is made entirely for the Thunderbolt Macs. Unfortunately, if you have one of the old Macs, it is not clear if you can use this display. It is going to cost you $999 and will be available in next 60 days.

My  initial take: All these devices are great if you a brand new buyer, but they don’t seem too appealing if you are someone who owns the last generation of Macbook Air and wants to upgrade. I am mildly irritated by this and hopefully a conversation later with the Apple executives would bring some clarity.

Update: Someone on Twitter tells me that while the mini-Display ports are going to work fine with Thunderbolt adapters, it might be difficult for others like DisplayPort and DVI and HDMI.

  1. Yet another video port type on the Mac Mini?

    Will t-bolt pump a standard DVI or VGA monitor with an adaptor? Dual-monitor support on the Minis was the selling point for the business I buy for.

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    1. To answer my own question; Thunderbolt can use the same adapters the MiniDisplay Port did. Sweet!

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  2. For the record, the 11.6″ Air is distinguished with gaining parity with the larger model in terms of memory and processing power. That is really important to me, and is a solid reason for an upgrade.

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  3. No optical disc drive makes this a down grade.

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    1. Personally, I don’t understand this desire for an internal optical drive I’m seeing all over the various messaging boards today. We have a PC desktop in which I’ve removed the DVD drive so I could add more internal storage. Picked up an external USB DVD writer “just in case” for less than $50 and only use once every couple months.

      Everyone’s needs are different, but for me, I’d rather forgo the internal optical drive for increased hard drive space or in the case of laptops, a larger battery. Then for those rare times I need a DVD drive, break out the external.

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  4. One overlooked aspect of the 3 to 4GB operating system download is data caps. Here in New Zealand the average user only has 5GB of data each month. Using all – or almost all of that to download a single piece of data is going to cause problems for some people.

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  5. Still waiting for Apple to produce some 3rd parties that actually make Thunderbolt peripherals. The silence in this regard is deafening.

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  6. OK, what I want to know about Lion is, how do I do a nuke-and-wipe clean install? The iMac that I’m typing this on originally came with Tiger, has had numerous kexts for everything under the sun installed and kinda-sorta removed (*cough* Parallels *cough*), and lately I’ve been seeking the spinning beach ball more than I used to. I’d like to start out fresh with a sparkly-clean system — without buying a whole new system.

    I also notice that the “Lion Support” page on support.apple.com doesn’t have Lion manuals yet. Oops.

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  7. Apple fanboys and girls will be hitting the stores in no time. I’m still happy with my Macbook that I bought last year January, and will look at buying an iPad HD if its released this year.

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