New Apple desktops: fanbois drool

In a special IT Blogwatch extra, Richi Jennings watches Apple quietly revamp its entire desktop hardware line. Not to mention Square Root Day...

Michael Rose by any other name would smell as sweet:

Apple logo
It's been busy in the dwarven mines of Cupertino, we can tell: much new iron has arrived today ... here's the basic scoop:

All of Apple's consumer desktops have been updated, with new iMacs and new minis ... options on the 24" iMac include up to a 3.06 GHz Core 2 Duo, 4GB RAM, a 640GB or 1TB HD, and a rogues' gallery of graphics upgrade options ... The new mini also uses less power than before, only 13 watts at idle. For all of you that had 'five USB ports' in the pool, instead of 'sharks with lasers on their heads' -- congratulations.

Seth Weintraub refrains from whining:

Nothing revolutionary, unfortunately, but they did bring all of their components in line with Mini DisplayPort technology as well as up to the latest and greatest in terms of processor performance. They also added VLAN capability to their wireless products.

Arnold Kim cannot contain himself:

Apple today announced updates to its iMac and Mac mini desktop lines, including a 24-inch iMac and a Mac mini with new NVIDIA integrated graphics. For the same $1,499 price as the previous generation 20-inch iMac, the new 24-inch iMac delivers a 30 percent larger display, twice the memory and twice the storage. Apple also claims up to five times better graphics performance in the new Mac mini with the NVIDIA GeForce 9400M integrated graphics.


Apple also updated the AirPort Extreme Base Station and Time Capsule, which are now offering simultaneous 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz dual-band networking ... The new models also offer the ability to set up a secondary Internet-only Wi-Fi network to allow family and friends to access the Internet without giving them the password to the primary network or allowing them access to networked drives and other peripherals. Finally, Time Capsule offers MobileMe members the ability to access files on their device's hard drive over the Internet from anywhere.

Paul Miller is left scratching his head:

On the outside it's that same iMac candy shell you know and love, though Apple has oddly replaced the standard wired keyboard with a new numeric keypad-free model -- those pesky numbers are available as an option. All models are available now.


Early information across the wires listed the new iMacs with Core i7 processors. Sadly, this is not the case.

Zach Epstein speaks French:

The Apple Store is back up, new gear is live and credit card portals are wide open. Keeping things nice and simple, Apple has taken one of its two standard routes and simply tossed out a bunch of refreshes sans-hullabaloo.


Apple definitely gave its desktop lineup a bit of an adrenaline shot, though it really didn’t come through with anything too Earth-shattering ... On a completely overshadowed note, Apple is now offering a 1TB Time Capsule for $500 (500GB for $299) and the AirPort Extreme Base Station, now capable of running two networks simultaneously, will run you $179 (old model is going for $159).

Harry McCracken channels Steve Jobs:

Boom! Apple just did a sweeping update of its desktop Macs that involves lower prices, beefier components (especially graphics), and other improvements. And it also upgraded its wireless networking gear. All in all, it confirmed a ton of rumors that swirled through the blogosphere in recent weeks.


A lot of overhauling–all of it reflecting Apple’s classic strategy of improving the specs at a given price point and doing some price cuts without going anywhere near the lowest pricetags in the Windows world. (Folks who keep guessing the company will go cheap all of a sudden should remember this: In certain respects, Apple is a profoundly predictable company.)

But John Paczkowski smells change on the wind:

An interesting change from Apple’s standard marketing language ... These days Apple’s new Macs are not simply faster and shinier, they’re a bargain as well. “Insanely great!” has become “insanely affordable!”

And Paul Thurrott... is a PC:

So. The iMacs are fine-looking machines, but then the form factor hasn't changed since the previous generation. Ditto for the Mac mini, which is still too expensive, by about $200 per model. And its form factor hasn't changed ... ever.


Long story short, the Mac updates were overdue and don't change the value equation at all.

And finally...

Previously in IT Blogwatch:

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 23 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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