Apple Inc. has made notable upgrades to its iMac computers and several other products.
The announcement of the new wares came Tuesday, which is perhaps not coincidental. On Thursday, Microsoft Corp. is set to unveil its Windows 7 operating system, and concurrently reveal several new computers created with the system in mind.
The new products, most made available upon the announcement, didn't mark a big-enough change to warrant one of the firm's Steve Jobs-hosted events. But there are significant enhancements, mostly without major price changes.
The new iMac comes in two models -- one with a 27-inch screen (starting at $1,699) and the other with a 21.5-inch screen (starting at $1,199). Both screens are LED-backlit.
What the new iMacs don't have are drives to play Blu-ray discs -- a feature some Apple watchers had predicted, The Los Angeles Times reports.
It was also reported, the latest iMacs include an LED-backlit, high-definition display with a 178-degree viewing angle. The 27-inch model features a 2560-by-1440 pixel screen offering 60% more pixels than the previous 24-inch model, which has been dropped along with the old 20-inch version. Apple now offers a 21.5-inch iMac, along with the 27-inch model.
The smaller iMac starts at $1,199 with a 3.06 GHz Intel (NSDQ: INTC) Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of memory, a 500 GB hard drive and a Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor. The 27-inch model starts at $1,699 with the same processor and system memory as the smaller version, but with a 1 TB hard drive and an ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics chip with 256 MB of cache.
Upgrading the processor to a 2.66 GHz Intel Core i5 quad-core ups the price to $1,999, which includes a better graphics processor, the ATI Radeon HD 4850 with 512 MB. The 27-inch iMac also include a video-in port, to allow using the system as an external monitor in a few years, when the rest of the machine is obsolete.
The Mac Mini desktop, which starts at $599, is now available for $999 with Snow Leopard Server, a 2.53 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 4 GB of memory, dual 500 GB hard drives and a Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics processor. The server edition makes it possible for a small business or home to use the Mac Mini to share calendars, address books, files and multimedia across a network, InformationWeek reports.
News agencies also report, the new iMac are some of the more trendy all-in-one features. Blu-ray, touch screens, and wall-mounting can all be useful, but they tend to get marketers too focused on our "digital lifestyle." We're glad to see Apple keep the iMac grounded in its computing roots, CNET News reports.
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