You remember Apple, right? They’re the technology company that used to build the Macintosh. Well, they still do, but you’d never know it based on all the noise reserved for the other legs of Apple’s product stool.
Somehow, “stool” just doesn’t seem right. Chair? Nah. Table? Uh uh. Regardless, the Mac is important but not important enough for a public media show ‘n tell.
Guess what? Today, almost surprisingly since most media pundits were predicting a spring to summer launch of new Macs, Apple introduced to almost no fan fare, new desktop Macs.
In fact, the whole line of desktops was updated, in some cases invisibly and incrementally so, as in the case of the iMac line. The Mac mini received everything but a face lift.
And the MacPro? What of the model everyone dreams of but can’t afford? Trust me. You still can’t afford it, though it’s faster and cooler and more awesomer than the model Apple sold way back yesterday.
First on the list—the new 2009 iMac. This is what we media pundits and pundit wannabes call a “speed bump,” or, at best, a model refresh.
The low end iMac with a 20-inch display is a paltry $1,199, but it comes with more. More graphics horsepower in the NVIDIA graphics chip shared by the MacBook and MacBook Pro models.
Each new iMac also comes with more RAM, now 4 gigabytes standard in the 24-inch model. And, the 24-inch model now starts at a mere $1,499. Maybe Apple is paying attention to the facts of the marketplace.
Facts? Yes, notebooks sell more than desktops these days; either lineup in Apple is a little pricey, so getting more bang for the buck is a nice change.
Next on the list—the new 2009 Mac mini. It’s still the same price, but the 2009 model comes in a lusciously natural green tint. It’s faster. Greener. But, with just a few tweaks, pretty much the same mini only more.
Even the mini gets those hot NVIDIA graphics chips that Apple is oh so fond of these days. The new mini is billed as the world’s most energy-efficient desktop computer, Mac or Windows. It can use as little as 13 watts, almost half the old mini.
The Mac mini also holds more RAM, up to 4 gigabytes, and can take up to 320 gigs of hard drive, and the SuperDrive is standard, as is WiFi. All that for a measly Dell inspired $599.
Plus, Apple threw in additional USB ports and Firewire 800 and a Mini DV port and a Mini DisplayPort for your viewing pleasure. It’s just Apple vying to be your daddy.
Not finally—the new 2009 MacPro. Of all the desktop Macs, this is the one to drool over and seek out an extra mortgage on the house. Hey, mortgage rates are low these days. Job security is not, though.
The MacPro brings you nothing really new on the outside—the same battle hardened Sherman tank-like aluminum clad exterior. Inside, well, inside everything has been rearranged. Sort of.
Adding hard drives to the MacPro is as easy as ever, but there’s room for up to 32 gigabytes of RAM, up to 4 PCI Express expansion cards, and some whomping fast new Nahalem Intel Inside CPUs inside.
Apple is so proud of the MacPro’s new speed in the high end quad core (that’s Octocore to you, Ms. [censored] Galore) that they’ve created an interactive Application Performance page to compare the new models to the older MacPro models and the older quad core PowerMac G5s.
From everything I can read, this new MacPro model is a screamer, a real Bond girl with a 21st century attitude, not checked at the door.
The MacPro has a few new graphic card options, though still seems to linger behind the really whomping PC GPU world. But, hey. It’s a Mac. We know how to suffer, right?
Apple is in to a green mode these days, and even the MacPro gets a few stars for being BFR-free, PBC-free, EPAET Gold, and now with Energy Star 5.0 written all over no place.
What happened to Apple’s panache and the media events of yesteryear? Maybe they’re yesteryear. Maybe these speed bumps, enhancement, and green paint are just too minor to warrant anything but a press release from Apple.
What of displays? Nope. Nada. Zilch. Apple is insisting that the only display graphic professionals will ever want from Apple is last year’s LED Cinema Display with the DisplayPort built in. Now, all Apple models can handle the same 24-inch LED display for a mere $899, including the MacPro.
To sum it up, within a six month period, Apple has completely revamped, uh, no, that’s not right—Apple has completed updated, ah, that won’t work. Alright, Apple has improved every Mac model, notebook and desktop. There. Satisfied?
With so many new Mac models ready for purchase, that brings up the question we love to ask so often—What will be your next Mac?