Last night, the online Australian Apple Store mysteriously disappeared... and when it returned, it was packed to the brim with new toys. There's a new MacBook Air, new Mac Mini, new unified Thunderbolt Display, and a new OSX Lion operating system to tie it all together.
The Apple MacBook Air has finally been updated with a newer, faster Intel Core i5 processor and the Thunderbolt connection standard. It can be purchased now from Apple for $1099, which gets you the base 11in model with a 64GB solid-state drive. The up-spec 11in with double the RAM and hard drive space is $1349. The base 13in with a 128GB SSD is $1449, and a larger 256GB drive brings the system to $1799.
Read MacWorld's coverage of the new Apple MacBook Air to find out all the changes.
The diminutive Mac Mini line-up also gets a refresh with Intel Core i5 processors and more powerful graphics, although they no longer have an optical disc drive. You can buy one from any Apple store or online, with the basic Core i5- and 500GB hard drive-equipped model costing $699 and memory and hard drive build-to-order options available. The higher-end Mac Mini comes with a faster Core i5 processor and double the RAM — further upgrades for the CPU, RAM and hard drive are optional — and will set you back $899. A server edition of the Mac Mini can be bought, pre-loaded with a copy of the new OSX Lion Server operating system, as well as a quad-core Intel Corei7 processor and dual hard drives, for $1099. Power users can spec it up with dual SSDs or 8GB of memory.
Check out what MacWorld thinks of the new Mac Mini's performance boost.
OS X Lion is also out, and it comes as standard on all Macs from now on. It's a cheap upgrade for anyone with a pre-existing copy of OS X Snow Leopard, coming in at only $31.99. It's a 4GB file, and Apple is advising users without broadband to bring their computers into an Apple Store to download the software wirelessly. Anyone who can't do this will have to wait for late August when the operating system becomes available in the Apple Store on a USB flash drive — although this carries an expensive extra cost, with the package costing $75.
Read our ultimate round-up of Apple's Mac OS X Lion news and reviews.
Last but not least, Apple has updated its venerable 27in Cinema Display, making it fully Thunderbolt compliant. Of course, this means it won't work with older Macs, but since every new Mac has Thunderbolt built in, it's a savvy move. The new Thunderbolt connection standard means fewer cables and more data throughput, and the price hasn't changed — it's a wallet-thinning $1199 in the online Apple Store.