Apple updates Mini and Air, debuts Lion

New Mac Mini and Macbook Air computers now available in Apple stores feature the Thunderbolt feature, it's this souped up version of connectivity, think of it as firewire times a billion. They also have the Intel Core i5 processor, nicknamed Sandy Bridge.

Here are the specs from Ars Technica if you like specs:

The lowest-end 11-inch MacBook Air sits at $999 and has a 1.6GHz Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM, and a 64GB SSD. That goes all the way up to the highest end 13-inch machine at $1599, which gets you a 1.7GHz Core i5, 4GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD. (All come with Intel HD Graphics 3000.) And just like the rumors said, the Air's backlit keyboard has made a triumphant return with this update, after mysteriously disappearing for a while.
In addition to the new MacBook Air, Apple also updated its Mac mini line with Thunderbolt and Core i5 or i7 processors (bumped from Core 2 Duo). The updated machines also lack an optical drive. The low end starts at $599 with a 2.3GHz Core i5 processor, 2GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and Intel HD Graphics 3000, while the higher-end non-server version starts at $799 for a 2.5GHz Core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, a 500GB hard drive, and AMD Radeon HD 6630M graphics. Mac mini with Lion Server costs $999 with a 2GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, 4GB of RAM, dual 500GB hard drives, and Intel HD Graphics 3000.

All the new machines come with Lion, the latest operating system, pre-installed. Other Mac customers can buy Lion in a box (Help! Someone put a lion in this box!) or download it from the Mac app store.

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John Moe is the host of Marketplace Tech Report, where he provides an insightful overview of the latest tech news.

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