Apple updates Mac Mini, MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge & ThunderBolt

Coinciding with the launch of OS X Lion, Apple have introduced extensive updates to their MacBook Air and Mac Mini lineups. Both machines now include ThunderBolt highspeed I/O ports, faster graphics and the latest Intel Sandy Bridge CPUs. Euro prices have also been slightly decreased with the entry level Air coming in at €979 and the Mini now starting from €599. The Mini has also been stripped of it’s DVD drive, which seems like an odd and premature decision by Apple. This is guaranteed to cause a stir as many people still feel that Disc-based media is far from dead.

There are three different configurations of the Mac Mini with the first model offering a Core i5 2.3 GHz CPU and a 500GB hard drive. Graphics are supplied by the Intel HD 3000 integrated variety but the next model up offers substantially faster GPU horsepower in the form of the AMD Radeon HD 6630M. A 2.7 GHz Core i7 edition is also optional. RAM starts at 4GB and can be maxed out at 8GB. Storage options drive their way to 750GB with the server model providing the edition of two 500GB for a combined total of 1TB. The MacBook Air’s familiar external Super drive is an extra €79 for those of you not brave enough to try and survive without the occasional need to resort to DVD or CD media.

The Air has seen it’s backlit keyboard restored and offers more flash storage options, starting from 64GB through to 128GB all the way to 256GB. The Air’s graphics processing are supplied exclusively by the Intel HD 3000 with sadly no discrete GPU option available. RAM starts at a poultry 2GB with 4GB available. The CPU options are limited with a 1.6GHz Core i5 for starters and a dual-core i7 1.8GHz at the upper end of the scale. Both machines and incidentally all Macs now come preinstalled with OS X Lion so following these solid updates theres never been a better time to make that eagerly awaited purchase of either a shiny new Mac Mini or a MacBook Air. Click here to visit Apple’s online store and configure yours now.

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