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Apple Pushes Out New Macs Along With OS X Lion

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 33 comments

The future is discless.

As rumored, Apple has refreshed its MacBook Air and Mac mini lineup with the release of Mac OS X Lion.

2011 MacBook Air

On the outside, the MacBook Air looks much like the razer-themed one that was introduced in the fall of 2010. The major upgrade, of course, was the ditching of the Core 2 Duo and the upgrade to Sandy Bridge-based Core i5 and i7 chips. Gone are the Nvidia GeForce 320M chipset, though, and now the graphics come from the integrated Intel HD 3000.

Coming in line with the MacBook Pros, the new Airs also get its Mini DisplayPort upgraded to a Thunderbolt port. And finally, backlit keyboards are back on the Air.

The 1.6 GHz 11-inch MacBook Air is available in two models, one with 2GB of memory and 64GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of $999 (US), and one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for $1,199 (US). The 1.7 GHz 13-inch MacBook Air comes in two configurations, one with 4GB of memory and 128GB of flash storage for a suggested retail price of $1,299 (US), and one with 4GB of memory and 256GB of flash storage for $1,599 (US). Configure-to-order options and accessories include a 1.8 GHz Core i7 processor, additional flash storage, MacBook Air SuperDrive and a USB Ethernet Adapter.

2011 Mac mini

In keeping with the optical drive-less theme, the new Mac mini does away with the SuperDrive, moving to an all-flash media future.

The Mac mini goes Sandy Bridge with new discrete graphics, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology and Lion. At just 7.7-inches square and 1.4-inches thin, the new Mac mini maintains its compact aluminum design with 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. Configure-to-order options include up to 8 GBs of memory, a faster 7200 RPM hard drive and a 256GB solid state drive.

The 2.3 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Mac mini with 2GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive starts at a suggested retail price of $599 (US), with options to add memory up to 8GB and a 750GB hard drive.

The 2.5 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 Mac mini with 4GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive starts at a suggested retail price of $799 (US), with options to upgrade to a 2.7GHz dual-core Core i7 processor, up to 8GB of memory, and a 750GB hard drive with an option to add or replace with a 256GB solid state drive.

The 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 Mac mini with Lion Server, 4GB of memory and dual 500GB hard drives starts at a suggested retail price of $999 (US). Options include adding memory up to 8GB, two 750GB hard drives, or up to two 256GB solid state drives.

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  • 12 Hide
    festerovic , July 20, 2011 5:29 PM
    a mac mini with the apple logo scratched off, and running windows, would be pretty sweet for a HTPC, seeing how most media is digital anyways.
Other Comments
  • 12 Hide
    festerovic , July 20, 2011 5:29 PM
    a mac mini with the apple logo scratched off, and running windows, would be pretty sweet for a HTPC, seeing how most media is digital anyways.
  • -4 Hide
    DroKing , July 20, 2011 5:31 PM
    wow bunch of low numbers and high costs... most retarded company that ever existed next to sony
  • 6 Hide
    amk-aka-Phantom , July 20, 2011 5:45 PM
    Lol! 256 GB SSD and 4 GB RAM for $1600... have fun. Good marketing trick, though..
  • 0 Hide
    molo9000 , July 20, 2011 5:52 PM
    festerovica mac mini with the apple logo scratched off, and running windows, would be pretty sweet for a HTPC, seeing how most media is digital anyways.

    Why Windows?
    Mac OS or Linux both make good home theatre systems.

    drokingwow bunch of low numbers and high costs... most retarded company that ever existed next to sony


    How many 13", 3lbs ultra portables with a 1.7GHz Core i5, SSD and 7 hours of battery life for $1300 can you name?
    The MacBook Air is a pretty sweet deal.
  • 2 Hide
    TEAMSWITCHER , July 20, 2011 5:53 PM
    drokingwow bunch of low numbers and high costs... most retarded company that ever existed next to sony


    First off, Microsoft will never sell an OS update for $30.00. So I think we can all agree that low number is a huge plus for Apple.

    I think the MacBook Air price is reasonable for an ultra-light notebook with an awesome suite of integrated applications. Sure there are some PC's with similar specs, but also a similar price and no bundled apps.

    The MacMini is the least expensive of the Macs. It doesn't appeal to me, but it would make a nice small server.

    Two out of three isn't bad...

    Finally, Apple is far, far, from the most retarded company that ever existed. I buy Apple stuff because I got tired of waiting for other companies to copy them... Microsoft for example....

  • 2 Hide
    DroKing , July 20, 2011 6:00 PM
    Keep sipping that magical kool aid @Molo9000 n Fastswitch
  • 9 Hide
    frozenlead , July 20, 2011 6:04 PM
    TEAMSWITCHERFirst off, Microsoft will never sell an OS update for $30.00.


    No, but Apple also sells you extraordinarily marked-up hardware to go with it.

    TEAMSWITCHERI buy Apple stuff because I got tired of waiting for other companies to copy them... Microsoft for example....


    lolz. Here we go again.

  • 0 Hide
    uneaq , July 20, 2011 6:11 PM
    As other mention, its not that many ultraportables to chose from with these specs. Personally I want a ultraportable with 3000 HD graphics, possibilities for upgrades and the best resolution possible. MBA is one of two challengers in my eyes, but due the better screen and hardware I dont even have to mention the brand names of preferation - I'm waiting for the Vaio Z to be released for pre-order in my country.

    I never understood why people would want to game etc. on an ultraportable. Without proper sized screens and mechanical keyboard - you wont perform anyways IMO. And if performing the best you can do in games does not matter, then you might aswell buy an XBOX or PS.
  • 7 Hide
    dalethepcman , July 20, 2011 7:00 PM
    molo9000How many 13", 3lbs ultra portables with a 1.7GHz Core i5, SSD and 7 hours of battery life for $1300 can you name?The MacBook Air is a pretty sweet deal.

    The Asus 2.4lbs, usb3, I7, instant on, 8+ hour battery ultrabook comes out next month, but it cost's less than $1000, so none.
  • 1 Hide
    i7Rocks , July 20, 2011 7:01 PM
    molo9000Why Windows?Mac OS or Linux both make good home theatre systems.How many 13", 3lbs ultra portables with a 1.7GHz Core i5, SSD and 7 hours of battery life for $1300 can you name?The MacBook Air is a pretty sweet deal.


    well if you have the arm strength to carry one that weighs a full pound more you could build one with a 2.3 Ghz processor and better specs all around, few hours less battery life, $300 less. so I guess for people who can't carry 4-5 lbs around yeah thats a sweet deal.
  • -5 Hide
    DjEaZy , July 20, 2011 7:20 PM
    ... for graphics intel? WTF? No radeon or geforce?
  • 3 Hide
    Khimera2000 , July 20, 2011 7:45 PM
    TEAMSWITCHERFirst off, Microsoft will never sell an OS update for $30.00. So I think we can all agree that low number is a huge plus for Apple.I think the MacBook Air price is reasonable for an ultra-light notebook with an awesome suite of integrated applications. Sure there are some PC's with similar specs, but also a similar price and no bundled apps.The MacMini is the least expensive of the Macs. It doesn't appeal to me, but it would make a nice small server.Two out of three isn't bad... Finally, Apple is far, far, from the most retarded company that ever existed. I buy Apple stuff because I got tired of waiting for other companies to copy them... Microsoft for example....


    I don't like bundled apps, ever as for copying look at the history of OSX before you talk. I also like gaming on my PC, and its already known that OSX does not perform well at this.

    The ultra-portable looks interesting, high but not bad for what you get.
  • 3 Hide
    walter87 , July 20, 2011 8:23 PM
    Thats more of a downgrade to go from GTX320 to Intel HD3000.
    Onboard graphics suck no matter what, even on the new Sandy Bridge.

    Also, in an age where 6-8GB of RAM is now standard on all retail computers from bestbuy etc, why is there still only 2 and 4GB?

    These specs are worse than a netbook nowadays
  • -1 Hide
    robochump , July 20, 2011 8:40 PM
    #1 thing that amazes me about Apple is the amount of haters that post about Apple...lol.
  • -4 Hide
    jazn1337 , July 20, 2011 8:49 PM
    Eh, tell me when they push the new macbook pro. That will actually be something that sells.
  • -1 Hide
    zubikov , July 20, 2011 8:49 PM
    Sony Vaio Z is > 2K, Samsung series 9 has underwhelming specs and costs just as much, Dell doesn't have anything to compete. Lenovo X series is great but really expensive. I hear Asus has something in the works, but it's not here yet. At this point in time, the MB Air is a good deal with the i7. One major fault is lack of USB3, can't make up for that with Thurnderbolt.

    I love the Lion OS. The multitouch gestures really give it a fluid experience. This in contrast to my Windows use, which has me doing the same motions and clicking for the last 15 years. I think it's time to evolve as a computer user and move onto something new and interesting!

    Also, it's funny how the same folks who were hating Macs, were scolding Windows 10 years ago. Times change, the contrarianists feel the need to stir the pot, and the wise keep to themselves.
  • 2 Hide
    molo9000 , July 20, 2011 9:01 PM
    dalethepcmanThe Asus 2.4lbs, usb3, I7, instant on, 8+ hour battery ultrabook comes out next month, but it cost's less than $1000, so none.


    I was talking about the 13.3" model. That Asus has a 11.6" 16:9 display. (28% smaller than 13.3" 16:10)

    Now try again. Name one ultra portable with the same or better specs than the 13" MacBook Air that isn't a 2grand+ Sony Vaio Z.
  • 2 Hide
    Vladislaus , July 20, 2011 9:01 PM
    TEAMSWITCHERI buy Apple stuff because I got tired of waiting for other companies to copy them... Microsoft for example....

    You're talking about a company that basically still uses the same layout introduces by Xerox which Apple copied from. The biggest difference is that it has the dock. Oh, I forgot that it was also stolen from Sun!
  • 1 Hide
    malphas , July 20, 2011 9:17 PM
    The new 11 inch Air is very appealing to me, and the price is reasonable, very comparable to the competition (although admittedly there isn't much in the ultraportable sector so far). I'd prefer Windows and not have the mild embarrassment of the Apple logo vulgarly plastered on the lid, but I'm getting sick of waiting for an 11 inch CULV SSD laptop for under £1000.

    I also have to admit liking the fact that the UK site already has the new Airs with full details and specifications up already, compared to the likes of Asus and Samsung who tend to update in a delayed, haphazard fashion, or placeholders saying "coming soon", etc.
  • 0 Hide
    fyasko , July 20, 2011 10:03 PM
    TEAMSWITCHERFirst off, Microsoft will never sell an OS update for $30.00. So I think we can all agree that low number is a huge plus for Apple.I think the MacBook Air price is reasonable for an ultra-light notebook with an awesome suite of integrated applications. Sure there are some PC's with similar specs, but also a similar price and no bundled apps.The MacMini is the least expensive of the Macs. It doesn't appeal to me, but it would make a nice small server.Two out of three isn't bad... Finally, Apple is far, far, from the most retarded company that ever existed. I buy Apple stuff because I got tired of waiting for other companies to copy them... Microsoft for example....


    they continue to sell OS updates at more than $30. i paid 100$ for win7 pro which is an upgrade to windows xp 64.
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