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Apple Refreshes Computers To Add Thunderbolt

Jacob Chung |
July 20, 2011 | 10:23 a.m. PDT

Senior Tech Editor

Apple's new Mac refreshes bring Thunderbolt ports across the line and Mac OSX Lion is available for download. (credit Apple)
Apple's new Mac refreshes bring Thunderbolt ports across the line and Mac OSX Lion is available for download. (credit Apple)
Apple's Macbook Air, Mac mini and Cinema Display all received updates Wednesday some more impressive than others.

The long expected refreshes to the Mac lineups were made official overnight. The new updates mean the entire lineup of Macbooks will now be able to take avantage of the speedy Thunderbolt port (20 times faster than USB 2.0 with transfer rate of 10-Gbps both directions)--albeit, the pickings for peripherals using said port are slim as of yet.

Here's what new:

Macbook Air

The new Macbook Airs keep the slim industrial design of its predecessor while adding up-to-date Core i5 and i7 processors. According to Apple, this means a 2.5x boost in performace for Air users.

Another noteworthy add-on to the refresh, the ulta-portable will now sport backlit keys with ambient light sensor for those working hard into late hours of the night.

And, of course the new Macbook Air comes with a Thunderbolt port to take advantage of the speedy

Mac Mini
The Mac Mini adds a new lineup of speedy processors with options of 2.3 or 2.5GHz for the Core i5 chipset and 2.7GHz for Core i7. The performance boost is also updated in the graphics department, as the Mini will now be offering a dedicated AMD Radeon HD graphics card with 256MB (GDDR5) memory. And finally, the Mini also welcomes the addition of Thunderbolt port, but more importantly, keeps the HDMI port allowing for the option of multiple displays to be connected.

Thunderbolt Display

Apple's line of Cinema Displays now include a Thunderbolt port allowing for dual monitor additions from one computer. Of course the port can be used for other purposes seeing as how it is a speedy data port. Or, Apple says the Thunderbolt technology, "doesn't just give you more pixels. It gives you more possibilities." Yet again, the picking are slim as of yet.

In the future however, Apple mentions the port will allow you to connect as many as six devices through a single, compact port.

See the complete list of possibilites here.

Mac OSX Lion

Apple's new update to the Mac OSX is now availble for download for $29.99. As demoed at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference 2011, the new update to the operating system adds significant improvements in performance as well as 250 new features like the Launchpad, allowing users to have a more fluid experiene on the desktop closer to what they might expereince on a iOS mobile devices.

Reach Jacob Chung here.



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