New Apple Products Released

Apple's iPod Hi-Fi

Apple released a few new products to their arsenal today including the iPod Hi-Fi and a couple new Mac Mini’s featuring the Intel chipset. Unfortunately for me, the “iTablet” was not released (nor will this year).

“Apple is reinventing the home stereo with the new iPod Hi-Fi, the first iPod accessory that adds true high-fidelity sound quality to the iPod,� said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “iPod Hi-Fi’s unrivaled acoustic performance and stunning design is at home in any room in the house.�

According to the press release, the iPod Hi-Fi is a “high-fidelity” (how 50’s is that!) speaker system that integrates with all iPods via a dock connector which recharges your iPod and allows from control from a remote control and is Apple’s vision to redefine the home stereo system.

iPod Hi-Fi also features a dual-purpose 3.5-mm auxiliary input that accepts either analog or digital signals for easy connection to a wide range of audio sources. You can power the gizmo via AC or 6 D-cell batteries making the device portable as well.

The Apple iPod Hi-Fi is available now from the Apple Store for $349.

If you get one, let me know how it sounds…

Not to be overshadowed by Apple’s iPod announcements, Apple announced new computer products too including two new Mac minis powered by Intel. According to the press release, the new minis base configuration include 512MB of memory expandable to 2GB, Intel GMA950 graphics processor, AirPort Extreme wireless, gig ethernet, four USB 2.0 ports, one audio in and out port, DVI and the infared Apple Remote.

The new 1.5 GHz Mac mini starts at $599 and features a 1.5 GHz Intel Core Solo processor, a 60GB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM and a slot-load combo featuring a DVD-ROM and CD-RW drive. Starting at $799, the new 1.66 GHz Mac mini features a 1.66 GHz Intel Core Duo processor, an 80GB SATA drive running at 5400 RPM and a slot-load 8x SuperDrive with double-layer support.

Every new Mac mini comes with the latest release of the world’s most advanced operating system, Mac OS X version 10.4 “Tigerâ€? including Safari, Mail, iCal, iChat AV and Front Row, running natively. Mac OS X Tiger includes an innovative software translation technology called Rosetta that lets customers run most Mac OS X PowerPC applications seamlessly. Apple’s iLife ’06 software is also included in the price. iLife ’06 is the next generation of Apple’s award-winning suite of digital lifestyle applications, and features the Apple Remote and Front Row so you can play your music, enjoy your photo slideshows, watch your DVDs, iMovies, music videos and television shows from across the room.

“With the new Mac mini, Apple has now moved 50 percent of its entire product line to Intel within 60 days—a record transition,� said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The new Mac mini is now up to four times faster with the Intel Core Duo, includes even greater expansion in the same incredibly compact design, and is the most affordable way to enjoy Front Row and iLife ‘06.�

According to Apple, the new system architecture should provide performance enhancements up to four times as fast than last generations Mac mini. I’m sure we’ll see specs on that from independent sources soon enough.

Both are available from the Apple Store and start at $599 and $799 respectively.

The new Mac minis look to be very competitive with similar PC component setups but include very user-friendly software and overall seem to be a really good deal and huge step forward for Apple’s Intel initative. With that said, we’d really like to make a change to the graphics processor… apparently the Intel GMA950 graphics processor does not perform well (unlike the older Mac minis that had an ATI Radeon 9200 graphics processor). Also, who in their right mind would purchase a single core processor when your could purchase a dual core processor machine especially with Mac OS X’s threaded nature? If you get a new Mac mini, save yourself grief and at least snag the dual core machine!