Apple outs new Macs, Cinema Display, and Magic Trackpad

Early this morning, Apple’s online store went offline for maintenance. It returned with a bounty of new products, including updated iMacs and Mac Pros, a 27" Cinema Display, and the long-rumored Magic Trackpad.

Rather than revamping their respective enclosures, Apple focused on internal upgrades for its iMac and Mac Pro systems. The refreshed Mac Pros are due to arrive in August and can now play host to as many as two six-core Xeon 5600 series CPUs. Quad-core versions of the system based on last-gen Xeons will start at $2499.  A single-CPU config with a six-core Xeon will also be available, and users will be able to pair a couple of Westmere quads for $3499.  Expect to drop at least $4999 for a dual six-core Xeons. Unlike current Mac Pros, which come with a comically low-rent GeForce GT 120 by default, the new systems will start with a mid-range Radeon HD 5770. Users will be able to add a second 5770 or swap in a 5870, but the spec sheet curiously makes no mention of dual 5870s. The PSU may not have enough grunt to handle such a setup.

On the all-in-one front, the iMac is now available with a selection of Core i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. Quad-core processors are limited to the 27" iMac, which can be configured with Radeon HD 5750 graphics and even an SSD. The 21.5" variant is restricted to dual-core CPUs, but you can at least get a Radeon HD 5670 under the hood. 4GB of memory is standard across all of the new configurations, which start at $1199 and reach all the way up to $1999 for the quad-core 27-incher.

You didn’t expect the latest Macs to be cheap, did you?

The company’s new Magic Trackpad is much more accessible at only $69. Billed as the largest of its kind, the multi-touch trackpad looks to be as tall as Apple’s wireless desktop keyboard. No dimensions are provided for what will invariably be referred to as the Magicpad, but it’s bigger than the trackpad on Apple’s MacBook Pro, which measures roughly 3" x 4". The Magic Trackpad connects via Bluetooth, so it’s only compatible with newer Macs that support the wireless standard. Apple has also introduced its own AA battery charger to complement the device.

Turning to screens, Apple unveiled a 27" version of its Cinema Display. The new model slots in between existing 24" and 30" models at $999. Users can expect an IPS panel with a 2560×1440 display resolution, plus an integrated webcam, USB hub, microphone, and speakers. Apple won’t be shipping the new display until September, though.

Comments closed
    • riviera74
    • 9 years ago

    Good thing Apple did two things right: they ditched those (lame) nVidia graphics for AMD ones (and good ones too!), and they finally shed those obsolete Core 2 Duos for Core i3 and i5. Why should any iMac buyer suffer the indignity of a processor that has been obsolete for at least a year?

    • Anonymous Coward
    • 9 years ago

    I think they did a good job with the screen (except that it is glossy). Provides power to an Apple laptop while the speakers, webcam, microphone and USB ports all run off of one USB connection. Just three cables, all of which plug into one area of the (Apple) laptop.

    • RtFusion
    • 9 years ago

    I know I may be heckled for this, but I LOVE Apple trackpads. I don’t own any macbooks, but I have played around with several belonging to some friends of mine. I actually LIKE the two finder scroll (My Acer Aspire 5740-5517 has it, but its a little dodgy at times). I might actually get that Magic trackpad . . . if there would be any Windows 7 support.

    I’ve also read that Apple has dropped nVidia chips in this latest refresh in there iMac and Mac Pro lineups.

    §[< http://www.apple.com/imac/performance.html< ]§ §[<http://www.apple.com/macpro/features/graphics.html<]§ If my eyes deceive me, there aren't any nVidia logos on those pages.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    What’s the point of making a fixed device wireless? I can see the point of a wireless mouse that moves, but a wireless keyboard and trackpad (or trackball for that matter) just doesn’t seem worth the hassle of batteries.

      • axeman
      • 9 years ago

      It doesn’t make much sense, but it looks cool, therefore you must have it. Steve Jobs says so. Kidding aside, I have a bunch of wireless keyboards, and it’s nice not to have the cords tangling things up. And because it doesn’t need to light anything up, the batteries last for freakin’ ever. Like 2 triple A batteries need changing twice a year. I imagine a touchpad would be much the same, except for being an even worse idea than a mouse with no buttons being some sort of gift from the gods.

    • Mixer
    • 9 years ago

    The Magic Trakpad is a good example of a terrible Apple philosophy.
    Its aesthetically pleasing and compliments other apple hardware…..Never mind that trakpads are lousy pointing devices.

    How many display connectors has Apple had?
    Does any one remember the CRT iMac hockey puck mouse?? (Wow..So BAD.)
    How long did Apple hold on to the single button mouse even though most people hated it. (How many of Apples customers have opened up a fantastically boxed bran new Mac, reached in to snatch out the mouse and toss it in the garbage without even removing the plastic cover?….I say lots.)

    As for video cards choices in the refresh of the iMac and MacPro….Well you don’t play games seriously on a Mac anyhow. Because Apple still has a business without gamers and they don’t care.

    Is Windows 7 that bad??? Windows 98 and prior were (in my opinion). But is Windows 7 soooooo bad that you would pay MacPro prices???
    How many people need to sped that sort of money if they aren’t a gamer?
    Some….A very tiny some.

      • TEAMSWITCHER
      • 9 years ago

      “Never mind that trakpads are lousy pointing devices.”

      Wait a second…back up a minute. I think that you have no experience with “Apple” track pads. They are uncommonly good. I actually prefer the track pad on my MacBook Pro to the Magic Mouse. There is something that is inherently quicker about it. I think that it is the distance to the keyboard, it’s much closer and there is far less latency switching between the two.

      At first I thought the Magic Track Pad was a silly idea. But from my own experience, I can see how it might be an improvement. Not for gamers, but for people who do lots of keyboarding. Also I think that it’s could help people with repetitive strain injuries. The larger trackpad keeps your hand in a more natural position.

      Macworld has purchased a bunch to hand out to staffers. They will be getting their feedback for the complete review. It will be interesting to hear what they have to say.

        • axeman
        • 9 years ago

        You proved the other guy’s point. The only thing worse than a track pad is one of apple’s stupid goofy mouse designs. Little wonder you prefer the trackpad to the magic mouse. I’ll agree it might help with RSI and stuff. It’s just never going to be superior, because every desktop computer’s operating system is *designed* for mouse input. And I’m going to go out on a limb and say that MacWorld staffers will love the Magic Pad. They’re paid shills.

          • TEAMSWITCHER
          • 9 years ago

          Don’t get me wrong, I like the Magic Mouse too, the momentum scrolling feature is awesome for quickly scrolling to the bottom of long web pages. There isn’t a single PC mouse that has anything quite like it.

          I just think that this Apple track pad could be a bigger deal than it initially appears, and I’m not the only one. Computer World has a commentary about the Magic TrackPad and it’s ability to recognize gestures:

          “This is about creating a new UI paradigm, based on a more sensory perception of digital reality.”

          WOW! This is the kind of thinking that Apple is famous for. They don’t always get it right (no company does) but they are willing to explore these new ideas in the most dedicated manner – by creating new products.

            • sweatshopking
            • 9 years ago

            momentum scrolling? pc mice do that too, move your finger faster on the wheel, and the page scrolls quicker!! AMAZING!!

            • TEAMSWITCHER
            • 9 years ago

            Wow, that’s some high tech PC mouse you got there!

            Do you know what momentum is? The Magic Mouse detects the speed at which you ‘flick’ your finger and uses that velocity vector to scale the scrolling speed, the scrolling speed then reduces itself in a non-linear manner that feels very natural.

            The iPod and iPhone got this feature first, and now it is available on every Apple Laptop, the Magic Mouse, and of course the Magic Track Pad. As I said before, the PC world of input devices has nothing that can compare. Sorry, that’s just the way it is.

            • no51
            • 9 years ago

            Maybe you should try one of those newfangled Logitech mice with the free-scrolling scroll wheel (G9, revolution). I flick scroll with those all the time.

            • Mixer
            • 9 years ago

            I’m using a Logitech this very moment that has a scroll wheel that can be unlocked from its ratchet and spin freely. The harder i flick it the faster it spins and the longer it will continue to spin…..

            So, how is that worse than all that fancy pants astronaut pen stuff?

            • d0g_p00p
            • 9 years ago

            I have momentum scrolling with my “PC” mouse, in fact I have had it for years.

          • demani
          • 9 years ago

          Okay- so most interfaces have been designed for cursor-driven interfaces. But what company has a pretty strong argument for pushing more gestural interface elements to the public-and doing so successfully- than anyone else? My guess is that 10.7 will showcase a lot more gestural elements and this will simply help expand the installed base. But again-mice are not better for everyone, Apple isn’t making this a standard, and is even bundling these with mice if you want. Seems like they are simply providing options (like the keyboards with a trackpoint, or trackballs). Mice are not the best for everything.

      • axeman
      • 9 years ago

      I don’t agree with every point – the displayport is a good idea – but this is the essence of Apple:

      Function follows form. A two button mouse didn’t look “cool” enough, so they didn’t sell one. The hockeypuck was aweful. The mighty mouse was aweful. But they were pretty.

        • Mixer
        • 9 years ago

        I didn’t make a good example for my topic with this, you are correct. But..

        I didn’t mean, “THE display port”. I was referring to the many proprietary ports Apple has used then dumped over the years without much consideration for the people who need to actually attach a monitor to there computer.

        I like the idea of the current Display Port….Finally a connector every one will use…..But maybe they wont. It doesn’t seem to be catching on. I actually have a display port cable hanging off the back of my screen rite now…connected to nothing, sitting in the big mess of other wires for the rare times a newer notebook passes along my desk long enough to hook up.

        But yea, I have nothing against it…Though I’ve read its replacement is in the wings as well.

          • demani
          • 9 years ago

          You mean…all /[

            • Mixer
            • 9 years ago

            D-15
            13W3
            mini-15
            Apple MultiMedia Display connector HDI-45
            Standard VGA DE-15
            DVI
            mini VGA
            micor DVI
            mini DVI
            mini DisplayPort

            Who cares? I said I liked Display Port and I said the display connector didnt help my point….That point being…Apple’s bad product philosophy. (Form over Function.) And the walled off “Only if Apple approves or only if it comes fro Apple way”.
            Apple’s OS is the only thing good about Apple. Unless you value looks enough to riped off by Apples fat margins.

      • End User
      • 9 years ago

      l[

        • Mixer
        • 9 years ago

        Amen I wish one of our choices outside of Microsoft was running Mac OS on a computer other than a Mac…

        I personally have been able to migrate off Mac. I still have one sitting behind me though its rarely on anymore.

        My Windows computer still frustrates me sometimes….And I have had to slick the drive and start over a couple of times….And you do have to run virus software and scans.

        But the Windows machine does more for less money.
        I ask again, Why would you want to spend big money on a computer if you don’t play power hungry games?

    • Bauxite
    • 9 years ago

    Nobody comments on the display? Its pretty nice.

    Its actually cheaper than the dell one thats been out for awhile although by september they might match in price. (same screen, just case/backlight differences)

      • TheJeffers
      • 9 years ago

      The Dell equivalent (U2711, I’m assuming) has many more connectivity options and is easier to use with non-Apple computers, since it doesn’t rely on Mini DisplayPort like the Apple display does.

        • Bauxite
        • 9 years ago

        The $200 price difference will take care of any connectivity differences, though its probably better that it will pressure dell to lower theirs.

      • blastdoor
      • 9 years ago

      That display is so frustrating — so many cool things about it, but the glossy and lack of DVI are deal killers for me.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    I bought a Wacom Bamboo Touch (pad) last year, it’s exactly the same thing as Apple’s pad except it also adds two programable buttons.

    I used it for a few days and threw it back in its box; think of it as all the annoyance and lack of precision of using a laptop’s trackpad but with the dubious addition of gimmicky multi-touch gestures.

    I don’t understand how these products are supposed to replace mice, they’re actually a step backward as far as I’m concerned.

      • axeman
      • 9 years ago

      I hope this disease doesn’t spread. Touchpads were invented because other mouse substitutes were (arguably) even worse. Multi touch gestures made the touchpad a little less cumbersome. In no way is the touchpad going to ever be a better input device than a mouse without a complete paradigm shift in the graphical interface on a desktop operating system. It’s a solution for *mobile* computing. Is Apple going to start trying to sell us on the superiority of chording keyboard devices next?

        • Voldenuit
        • 9 years ago

        +1!

        Trying to use a trackpad for any serious input: CAD, photo manipulation, word processing, etc. is an exercise in futility.

        Trying to use one for gaming is suicide.

        • demani
        • 9 years ago

        Speak for yourself- I and many others prefer anything other than mice (okay- not anything- there have been some truly stupid interfaces). For me the trackpad is ideal, and I’m looking forward to trying it out. The Bamboo touch suffered from having no physical click action, and wonky finger tracking (was fine with a stylus though). But a trackpad has a lot of benefits, depending on what you are doing. I would still keep my mouse around for SC2 and all…but for a lot of my work a mouse is just more space needed, and limited in functionality (or requiring odd key combos to execute a particular function). A trackpad can be more responsive and more intuitive in some scenarios.

        And Apple isn’t saying it’s superior to a mouse (they still sell their own model too)- in fact one bundle is a keyboard, mouse /[

    • SomeOtherGeek
    • 9 years ago

    Marketing fail! It is iMagicPad. What is wrong with Apple?

      • wira020
      • 9 years ago

      iTrackpad sounds better.. but it is magical…

    • Thresher
    • 9 years ago

    I am a little disappointed with the vid card in the top of the line iMac. Last model, they put what was at the time a decent card, a 4850 in it. This time, instead of putting a 5850 (or even 5830), they went to the next family down. It’s still a pretty fast card, but a little disappointing.

    • JdL
    • 9 years ago

    I can’t imagine gaming with one of those things. It also lacks the precision that a designer or engineer needs.

      • jdaven
      • 9 years ago

      What!?!?!

        • StuG
        • 9 years ago

        Think he’s talking about the touchpad.

    • JdL
    • 9 years ago

    What is the freaking color gamut of the new displays?????

    • Rakhmaninov3
    • 9 years ago

    Looks like they hired someone who isn’t quite as snobby to write the descriptions on their site….I remember I couldn’t stand to read any of them because of the over-the-top superiority complex they revealed. Apple still has a superiority complex, but at least it isn’t quite as obnoxious while browsing their products.

    • strikeleader
    • 9 years ago

    Ooo, aaa, magic….pass the koolaid

    • bdwilcox
    • 9 years ago

    Whenever I look at that graphic, all I see is the Apple //c box. Their minimalist graphic style hasn’t changed since 1984. (Insert pangs of nostalgia).

    • axeman
    • 9 years ago

    The most basic iMac with an i3 and HD 4670 is hideously priced at 1199

    • blastdoor
    • 9 years ago

    I am definitely intrigued by the trackpad. I think I’ll have to head over to the apple store to test that out.

      • FuturePastNow
      • 9 years ago

      Might be a nice alternative to a mouse for a HTPC.

    • tay
    • 9 years ago

    That pad might be intriguing at work when I’m not gaming. Give the mousing hand a break 😉
    The updates are great.

    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    New Mac Pros aren’t actually on the store; instead, the Mac Pro on the page has a link at the bottom that says “new Mac Pro coming in August” with a link to the new product description. Apparently no way to pre-order, not that I’m interested in doing so.

    Also, CPU speeds on the iMacs seem to indicate that they’re using desktop parts now, which is pretty cool. All throughout the Core and Core 2 series they used mobile parts.

      • axeman
      • 9 years ago

      probably because the i3/i5 series now has amazingly low power consumption even on the desktop parts.

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        TDP ratings for the desktop quads are 95W on up. Dual-core for the i3 550 is 73W. Contrast that to the 65W of an E8400 (and 65W for the original Conroe Core 2s) and I’m not so sure that’s really true.

        edit: numbers were transposed on the i3 model number.

          • axeman
          • 9 years ago

          But the IGP/Northbridge on the CPU now, so the total system power consumption is roughly the same, and performance/watt is significantly better.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 9 years ago

            Yeah, but what you said was “amazingly low power consumption” which is clearly not the case.

            • axeman
            • 9 years ago

            yeah, i already admitted I overstated it

        • jdaven
        • 9 years ago

        They are not amazingly low in power. They are actually higher in power than Core 2 parts. Higher power parts are possible because the display size has been increased therefore allowing a larger cooling mechanisms

          • OneArmedScissor
          • 9 years ago

          Thank you. It seems like everyone drank the Intel Kool-Aid sometimes.

          Even comparing like desktop platform to like desktop platform with only integrated graphics, the dual Core iXs save a few watts at idle, at best, and likely only because of the GPU’s idle mode. Sometimes they still use more power at idle, which could very well be caused by background processes triggering the turbo boost. Any potential for lower power that just /[

            • axeman
            • 9 years ago

            If you consider the relative performance per watt, you’d have to be a fool to choose anything Core 2 now unless the price was bargain basement. The 2 core / 4 thread i5 variants are almost faster in every scenario than Core 2 Quads while using less power. And I’m not drinking the kool-aid – all my desktops are AMD – I give credit where credit is due.

            • OneArmedScissor
            • 9 years ago

            I didn’t say Core 2 was better.

            Performance per watt = efficiency

            More efficient != lower power use

            People are always mixing these two things up.

            • axeman
            • 9 years ago

            Yeah, I was mistaken. I think I was actually thinking of how much better Lynnfield chips power consumption was compared to the first batch of i7 systems actually, which is totally irrelavent. In fact, you’d think the dual-core i3/i5 power usage should be a bit lower than it is, considering it’s on 32nm, and is downright tiny compared to Lynnfield in die size.

          • axeman
          • 9 years ago

          Sorry for overstating it, yes, the bigger enclosure relaxes thermal limitations. But the core i3 squeezes a lot of *performance* out it’s power consumption.

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