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Apple iMac family

Apple Magic Trackpad
Apple continues to overhaul its product portfolio

Apple had a blockbuster Q3 thanks to strong sales of its iPhone, iPads, and Mac computers. The Cupertino, California-based company was able to reel in revenue and profits of $15.7 billion and $3.25 billion respectively.

Apple is looking to keep its winning streak alive with a few updated products. Today saw updates to the iMac and Mac Pro product families along with a new Bluetooth-based accessory.

The new iMac family is still available in 21.5" and 27" screen sizes, but firepower for the entire line has been increased. The Core 2 Duo processors have been ditched on the base configurations in favor of dual-core Intel Core i3 processors.

21.5" iMacs start out with an Intel Core i3 processor running at 3.06GHz and can be optioned with a Core i5 processor running at 3.6GHz. The 27" iMacs start out with a 3.2GHz Core i3 processor and top out at a quad-core Core i7 running at 2.93GHz.

ATI graphics solutions blanket the iMac family with low-end machines getting a 256MB Radeon HD 4670 and top-ranging 27" iMacs receiving a 1GB Radeon HD 5750.

“We took the world’s best all-in-one and made it even better,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “With the latest processors, high-performance graphics and signature aluminum and glass design, customers are going to love the latest iMac.”

The new iMacs start at $1,199 for the 21.5" model and $1,699 for the 27" model.

To complement Apple's new iMacs, a new Magic Trackpad accessory has been announced. This Bluetooth-based accessory operates exactly like the trackpad found on MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro notebooks. It retails for $69.

Also seeing an update after a long, stagnant period is Apple's Mac Pro. The Mac Pro is now available with quad- and six-core Intel Xeon processors running at 3.33GHz. When equipped with two processors, Apple's newest Mac Pros boast up to 12 physical cores and up to 24 virtual cores with Hyper-Threading.

“The new Mac Pro is the most powerful and configurable Mac we’ve ever made,” said Schiller added. “With up to 12 cores, the new Mac Pro outperforms our previous top-of-the-line system by up to 50 percent, and with over a billion possible configurations, our customers can create exactly the system they want.”

The default graphics card on the new Mac Pros is now an ATI Radeon HD 5770 while a Radeon HD 5870 is optional. Another option that will surely set you back a pretty penny is a quad-512MB SSD array.

The new Mac Pros start at $2,499.

One final addition to Apple's new product onslaught is the new 27" Cinema Display. This beauty packs a screen resolution of 2560x1440, an iSight camera, MagSafe connector for your MacBook, and a three-port USB hub. Naturally, all of this doesn't come cheap -- the new display retails for $999.

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By Anubis on 7/27/2010 9:10:17 AM , Rating: 5
To complement Apple's new iMacs, a new Magic Trackpad accessory has been announced. This Bluetooth-based accessory operates exactly like the trackpad found on MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro notebooks. It retails for $69.

This could just be me, but why the hell would you want to use a trackpad on a desktop computer when you could be using a vastly superior and cheaper mouse?

RE: Why?
By Flahrydog on 7/27/2010 9:14:29 AM , Rating: 5
Because Jobs says that you are holding your mouse wrong.

RE: Why?
By headbox on 7/27/10, Rating: -1
RE: Why?
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2010 2:33:26 PM , Rating: 4
No, because the OS is designed for 1, 2, & 4 finger trackpad use- gestures, etc. But hey, keep on being a PC fanboi. It's important to be a narrow-minded follower of something in life.

PC's have had USB track pads like the one Apple has shown here for about a decade, it's not a "New and exciting" technological revolution by any stretch of the imagination.

RE: Why?
By sprockkets on 7/27/2010 8:42:05 PM , Rating: 4
PC's have had USB track pads like the one Apple has shown here for about a decade, it's not a "New and exciting" technological revolution by any stretch of the imagination.

Wasn't until this past year that trackpads on PCs could track more than one finger though.

RE: Why?
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:30:02 PM , Rating: 3
And? It doesn't somehow make the one for Apple "New and exciting." All you're saying is that PC still had them first.

RE: Why?
By erple2 on 8/1/2010 6:57:26 PM , Rating: 2
Wasn't until this past year that trackpads on PCs could track more than one finger though.

That's got to be wrong - my Compaq 2800T that I bought in May of 2001 seems to read and do two finger scrolling just fine in Vector Linux.

RE: Why?
By marvdmartian on 7/27/2010 3:28:09 PM , Rating: 3
You know, it just occurred to me that the gesture in the trackpad picture is eerily similar to that used by Obiwan Kenobi, when he used the force to convince the Imperial Stormtroopers that the droids in question weren't the ones they were looking for. The only difference is that Darth Steve uses it to convince all you Apple fanboys that you need the "new" device he's selling.

Darth Steve: "This is the new device you're looking for."
Apple Fanboys: "This is the new device I'm looking for...."
Darth Steve: "It is magical, and you need it."
Apple Fanboys: "It is magical, and I need it...."
Darth Steve: "It has all the features you would ever need."
Apple Fanboys: "All the features I'll ever need...."
Darth Steve: "You will go buy one immediately."
Apple Fanboys: "I will go buy one immediately...."
Darth Steve: "That is all......" (followed immediately by trampling feet, as all the Apple Fanboys run as fast as they can to the nearest Apple Store, to stand in line for their new product they "need".

Being an Apple supporter, you won't get far calling anyone else a narrow-minded follower.

RE: Why?
By apriest on 7/29/2010 8:15:40 AM , Rating: 2
"I want to go home and rethink my life." :-)

RE: Why?
By heffeque on 7/27/2010 1:05:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well... when used as a HTPC, a mouse is terribly unconfortable to use on the sofa or on the bed.
This thing might be very handy for that.

Also I often catch myself letting go of the mouse to do some specific gesture with my MBP's trackpad because sometimes it's easier and more confortable to do some specific gesture with the trackpad than to do it with the mouse.

As an Engadget user comented...

"It's an unnecessary luxury.
I still want one."

Although in my case: I'm not going to buy one.

RE: Why?
By ians55 on 7/27/2010 2:05:52 PM , Rating: 2
I think that trackball mouse is absolute winner here.

RE: Why?
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:33:51 PM , Rating: 2
That's why HTPCs have remotes. So you want to hold a trackpad in your hand, then use your other hand to make gestures? I'd much rather just use one hand with the remote and the other hand for...ummmm...other things.

If I'm sitting at a desk, mouse all the way. I can zoom in/out with the wheel, I can click on crap. I don't feel like doing stupid gestures for the same result.

When I'm mobile, I have my tablet. I have yet to use the touchpad on my tablet.

RE: Why?
By jvillaro on 7/27/2010 11:02:11 PM , Rating: 2
Okay so you want something better? More practical for that... Maybe you could get the Kinect for that. It will work for PC's too. It will be more expensive but if you can pay $65 for a track pad (and more for every crap that Apple comes out with) I guess it would be a problem for you...

RE: Why?
By quiksilvr on 7/27/2010 9:29:41 AM , Rating: 2
Or better yet, why doesn't it come with a digital pen? And why is it running on SIX AA Batteries? And why is it $70?

The answer to all these questions: Apple. This is the final nail in the coffin for those wondering if Apple will ever make a two button mouse with a scroll wheel.

RE: Why?
By micksh on 7/27/2010 12:53:47 PM , Rating: 4
And why is it running on SIX AA Batteries?

Because Apple is selling $30 AA battery charger now.

RE: Why?
By Commodus on 7/27/2010 1:12:53 PM , Rating: 4
The actual device itself only needs two batteries. You *get* six batteries with the Apple Battery Charger.

Read, don't project your worries. :)

RE: Why?
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:36:05 PM , Rating: 2
Apple made a mouse like that. It had 2 buttons and a scroll ball, instead of a wheel. Their new mouse uses a touch interface on the top. It mimics 2 buttons and a scroll wheel. It also accepts gestures. Both still sucked, but they were/are available.

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/27/2010 10:08:29 AM , Rating: 4
Because of multitouch

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/27/2010 10:17:07 AM , Rating: 3
you know, multitouch was a great thing in a phone that had no mouse so that you can do alot more functions with ease. Great stuff... but its useless in a desktop device with a mouse. Anything you can do with a multitouch pad, can be done better, easier and cheaper with a mouse.

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By ClownPuncher on 7/27/2010 11:28:27 AM , Rating: 2
Outside of a very small handful of apps, why would you need to?

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/27/2010 11:35:16 AM , Rating: 2
The OS X itself uses multitouch extensively, plus small handful is going to expand inevitably

RE: Why?
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2010 2:39:17 PM , Rating: 2
The OS X itself uses multitouch extensively, plus small handful is going to expand inevitably

I have a 24" Dell touch screen on my system.

Generally... Touch devices cannot replace the mouse, the mouse is more precise and faster, and considering some people are capable of upwards of 200+ actions a Minuit with a keyboard+mouse... Good luck on a touch device being able to match it.

On a desktop, mouse gestures are cool, Windows 7 uses them and I would find it hard going without them now.
Touch screens and touch pads just don't seem to cut it as they are slow and clunky in comparison.

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/27/2010 2:45:59 PM , Rating: 1
If your Dell touchscreen is slow and clunky - doesn't mean Mac touchpad is the same.

RE: Why?
By StevoLincolnite on 7/27/2010 3:47:04 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't referring to the technology itself, the monitors touch is incredibly responsive (It registers touch before you even touch the surface of the screen).
It's navigating the OS and programs with touch that is slow and clunky, as you have to move your hand allot farther on a screen than what you would with a mouse.

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/29/2010 12:14:02 PM , Rating: 2
If you noticed the difference in size/area between a touchpad and a screen - you wouldn't be Stevo to begin with :))) har har har

RE: Why?
By jvillaro on 7/27/2010 11:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
You must must really be Steve's bastard offspring...

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/29/2010 12:06:49 PM , Rating: 2
And you came out of Ballmer's enuz, brown and slimy.

RE: Why?
By omnicronx on 7/27/2010 11:53:15 AM , Rating: 3
And what exactly do these 3, 4 finger gestures map to in many situations? Replace functionality that takes less effort on a mouse.

For example: 3-Finger Swipe Left/Right = Go Back/Forward in Folder History in the Finder.. So we are replacing 1 quick mouse click and perhaps hovering over a button (i.e barely moving your hand), to swiping 3 fingers and moving your hand dramatically..

Right click is another, you still have to scroll to the position you want, then you have to use two fingers instead of one.

Once again, aside from the 'cool' factor, do these kind of gestures really make things easier on a desktop?

Don't get me wrong, I use gestures here and there (zooming and scrolling for example makes perfect sense), but I never really understood things like 3/4 finger gestures on a desktop, and to claim that gestures can replace a mouse without being less efficient in the majority of situations is a pipe dream in my opinion.

RE: Why?
By headbox on 7/27/10, Rating: 0
RE: Why?
By omnicronx on 7/27/2010 12:33:50 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks for your little rant (that for the record made your sound like a child).

My point still stands, look at what those gestures map too and how many fingers/movesments you have to perform said gestures.

Using your little ALT Tab as an example; do you not keep at least one hand on or very close to your keyboard when on a desktop? If not thats your preference, but the fact remains many people do, my left hand is always on the keyboard. So are you actually going to imply its easier to swipe 4 fingers (i don't care how you do it, whether its dramatic or not) than pressing two buttons where my hand is alreay lying?

With a laptop then by all means it makes perfect sense, i rest my hands on the trackpad and only move up to the keyboard to type (not too sure about others), but once again, on a desktop to make the claim that it is more efficient just does not make sense to me.

Gestures make sense in many situations, but they also make little sense in many others. So to completely get rid of a mouse for a trackpad on a desktop makes little sense to me. Seems a mix of both would be the best solution.

RE: Why?
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:49:07 PM , Rating: 2
Depending on the program used (as Windows users have a wider variety of programs that aren't made by Apple) for zoom. You can use the scroll wheel to zoom in/out. In IE, you can press ctrl+scroll wheel to zoom in/out.

I use ACDSee, where I just the scroll wheel lets me move to next image. I can hold ctrl+scroll wheel to zoom in/out. I use a side button to rotate image.

My mouse has left click, right click, scroll wheel, scroll wheel click, 3 buttons to change dpi, quick launch button, and also records macros. It has a screen to display dpi, has feet that you can change, also adjust the weight.
Hell, I can set my mouse to automatically sort through a folder of images, resize them all, and save them.

WTF is a trackpad that cost more going to do for me?

RE: Why?
By jvillaro on 7/27/2010 11:07:56 PM , Rating: 2
Well maybe we'll wait for something like Kinect for PC's and not something that turns my Desktop into a notebook

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/28/2010 8:26:53 AM , Rating: 2
"How would you do two, three and four finger gestures with a mouse? "

What 3,4 finger gesture would you need to do if you had a mouse? Not a crappy 2 button Apple mouse, but lets picture a real mouse with a wheel and more buttons.

Those mouse gestures are great on a phone, and were designed around a lacking mouse or no mouse.

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/29/2010 12:22:43 PM , Rating: 2
Play with multifinger 2D swipes in OS X and then you'll understand.

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/29/2010 1:17:32 PM , Rating: 2
I dumped my laptop that has OSX on it so I cant, but I'd really much rather use my g500

11 fully programmable buttons including the left and right scroll. Programmable to do diff. functions in diff. apps and games as well... All accessible by barely lifting a finger ;)

RE: Why?
By Pirks on 7/29/2010 3:24:35 PM , Rating: 2
if only all the pc mice were like yours

RE: Why?
By retrospooty on 7/30/2010 12:04:38 PM , Rating: 2
many are. It's not like a rare product.

There are certainly alot more programmable mice out there than there are trackpads.

RE: Why?
By LifeByTheHorns on 7/27/2010 11:14:44 AM , Rating: 1
I personally prefer the trackpad on my MBP to a multi-button mouse for everything except drawing/painting. Once I got used to the gestures, they were much more comfortable and productive than a mouse.

I never thought that would be possible.

RE: Why?
By Suntan on 7/27/2010 12:47:12 PM , Rating: 2
I would agree.

I knew this pad thing would bring out a lot of ire among people that hate Apple. But it isn't *that* bad. Yeah, its expensive and kinda silly to be battery powered just so it can be wireless, but it gives a person an alternative if they would rather use a trackpad than a mouse.

Personally, I wouldn't buy one, but it isn't the most offensive thing Apple has tried to cram down customer's throats.


RE: Why?
By captainBOB on 7/27/2010 5:45:55 PM , Rating: 2
IDK why people are getting PO'd over a silly trackpad...

Still like Suntan said it isn't the worst thing Apple has tried to "force" on customers.

Remember those candy colored tower iMacs? Remember that mouse that was shaped like a hockey puck? Yeah, worst idea ever, and that WAS forced upon customers.

RE: Why?
By afkrotch on 7/27/2010 10:52:15 PM , Rating: 2
You mean the ugly colorful iMac all-in-one or the Mac G4s? iMac has never been a tower.

RE: Why?
By gcor on 7/27/2010 7:54:05 PM , Rating: 2
Me personally, I've been using a Mac laptop with a trackpad for a while & I really like all the gesture controls.
Also, when at my desk I like having an external big screen, full size keyboard & mouse for better ergonomics. However, swapping b/w a mouse and trackpad controls is a hassle I don't need. So, with this new device I can have the best of both worlds. I'm looking forward to trying it out.

RE: Why?
By jvillaro on 7/27/2010 10:55:40 PM , Rating: 2
Because it's MAGICAL! Don't you get it! Trust Apple they want the best for you!

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