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Notes of Interest on OS X Lion, MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and Display Announcements

With a flurry of new hardware releases appearing alongside OS X Lion today, here are a few notes of interest that we wanted to make sure our readers noticed:

OS X Lion

- While Apple initially touted OS X Lion as being a Mac App Store exclusive, the company announced today that the new operating system will also be made available on a USB thumb drive beginning next month. The thumb drive option will be priced at $69, compared to $29.99 for Mac App Store distribution.

- Beginning with the MacBook Air and Mac mini released today, new Apple hardware will support Internet Recovery, allowing users to install OS X Lion onto blank hard drives in the event of hard drive replacement due to failure or upgrades.

Mac mini

- The updated Mac mini omits an optical drive, joining the MacBook Air in Apple's efforts to slim down its hardware and push digital software distribution. Users requiring optical disc capabilities for their new Mac minis can either use Remote Disc capabilities to wirelessly use the optical drive of another computer or purchase an external SuperDrive.

- The new Mac mini offers discrete graphics on the high-end model, utilizing the AMD Radeon HD 6630M and offering up to twice the graphics performance of the previous generation. The low-end and server Mac mini models utilize integrated graphics in the form of Intel HD Graphics 3000.

- Pricing for the Mac mini returns to $599 for the low-end model after having been bumped up to $699 with the redesign on the previous generation.


MacBook Air

- As had been rumored, the updated MacBook Air sees the return of the backlit keyboard. The feature had been present in the original MacBook Air, but was not included in the initial redesigned form factor released last October.

- Both the new Mac mini and MacBook Air support Bluetooth 4.0, a new specification that offers ultra low-power data transfer and has been touted as opening the door to a host of new wireless peripheral devices.

Apple Thunderbolt Display

- Apple's forthcoming Thunderbolt display, shipping within the next 60 days, is being positioned as an "ultimate docking station". The display uses a single Thunderbolt connection to support FaceTime camera, audio, USB, Firewire 800 and Ethernet through the display.

MacBook

- Apple's white polycarbonate MacBook has been discontinued for general purchase and is now only available to educational institutions.

Top Rated Comments

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36 months ago

Am I the only one who hates Apple are their forcing ways. Removing Optical drives when MANY still use DVDs. I use my laptop for DVD playback all the time, buying a DVD feels much nicer than using iTunes.

I hate when people say Apple is forcing something on them. If people are still using CDs, either use older Apple hardware that has them built in, or buy an external drive.

Apple is not coming to your house and taking your CD-drive away.

They are free to do as they please with the new product releases.

Same for CD installs, what happens when you don't have Internet. Rip-off selling it for a stupid price.

Buy the USB stick for $70, or burn a Lion DVD after downloading Lion once.

Windows 8 has higher hopes in my books now, for one it'll very likely be CD and USB installed (For tablets needing USB) and it does not force anything upon you.

Okay.
Rating: 11 Positives
36 months ago

Rating: 10 Positives
36 months ago

Rating: 8 Positives
36 months ago

$29 - Lion
$10 - 4G thumb drive
$0.30 - 12 year-old Chinese girl loading Lion onto the drive (~1 hr)
$29.10 - Apple tax


Fixed that for you. :)
Rating: 8 Positives
36 months ago
Am I the only one who hates Apple are their forcing ways. Removing Optical drives when MANY still use DVDs. I use my laptop for DVD playback all the time, buying a DVD feels much nicer than using iTunes.

Same for CD installs, what happens when you don't have Internet. Rip-off selling it for a stupid price.

Windows 8 has higher hopes in my books now, for one it'll very likely be CD and USB installed (For tablets needing USB) and it does not force anything upon you.
Rating: 7 Positives
36 months ago
Looks like a fairly solid round of updates that reinforces the fact that Apple aren't held back by sentimentality for old products or technologies.
Rating: 7 Positives
36 months ago

Am I the only one who hates Apple are their forcing ways. Removing Optical drives when MANY still use DVDs. I use my laptop for DVD playback all the time, buying a DVD feels much nicer than using iTunes.


I am sure you not the only one, but you are the minority. Consumers as a whole are abandoning the physical media, and buying content digitally. I am very glad Apple is leading the push to abandon old media, rather than continuing the old ways.

Even if you still buy DVDs - it's a very easy process to rip them into your iTunes library with an external drive at home. Then when you're on the road, you have a convenience of having your content available at a click of a mouse, as opposed to shuffling around optical disks. You know, the 21st century type stuff.. ;)
Rating: 6 Positives
36 months ago
By the way, the MR Buyers Guide still shows "Don't Buy - Updates Soon!" for the Macbook :o
Rating: 6 Positives
36 months ago

Apple's white polycarbonate MacBook has been discontinued

thanks god! for that! (what a ugly white mac...) :D


Since Apple killed the tacky white plastic laptop, do the new systems still come with tacky white plastic power bricks and cables?

Never understood selling a machined aluminum laptop with tacky white plastic accessories.
Rating: 6 Positives
36 months ago

Not to be renamed now.
Later.


No.


$29 - Lion
$10 - 4G thumb drive
$30 - Apple Specialist loading Lion onto the drive (~1 hr)


Huh? Do you really think there is a person individually copying Lion on each thumb drive?
Rating: 5 Positives

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