updated 01:40 pm EST, Tue February 28, 2006
Coverage from Apple Event
Apple CEO Steve Jobs today said that it is on track to convert its entire line of Macs to Intel-based processors by the end of the year; in addition, Apple introduced its Intel-based Mac mini, which features either the single-core Intel Core Solo and the dual-core Intel Core Duo. The new entry-level Mac features Apple's Front Row software for easily viewing media such as movies, audio, and other content via an included remote control. Apple's new "Front Row with Bonjour", which will also be offered to current owners, has addd the ability to listen to and access shared iTunes and iPhoto libraries.
Jobs said that new single-core Mac mini is between 2.5 and 3x faster, while the dual-core Mac mini is up to 5.5x faster than previous models. Apple is bundling iLife '06 as well as a remote control for Front Row along with AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, four USB 2.0 interfaces, FireWire 400, GigaBit Ethernet, DVI video out, and Dolby Digital 5.1 and analog audio in/out. Apple, however, increased prices on the line offering the 1.5GHz Core Solo system with 667MHz bus, 512MB of RAM, a 60GB hard drive and "Combo" drive for $599, while the 1.67GHz Core Duo-based model features an 80GB drive and 8x SuperDrive for $800.
Jobs also introduced new high-end leather cases for the video iPod and the iPod nano, which virtual cover the entire iPod and also introduced the new iPod Hi-Fi calling it a "revinvented home stereo". The single-unit white system features three-drivers and an iPod dock on top (which accommodates all iPods with various shims), while an auxiliary input can take input from other devices such as the iPod shuffle and SPDIF optical audio input for other high-quality audio input. It features a built-in handle and an integrated power supply along with a black grille on the front of the speakers. It can optionally run on batteries (six D cells). It features two 80 mm mid-range drivers and a single 130mm woofer with a bass reflex design. Apple also said it had updated its software to for the new home stereo, adding a "Speaker" menu to the iPod's interface, allowing users to adjust tone control, control the backlight and turn on large album art. The iPod Hi-Fi can be be controlled using the Apple remote and is available today for $350.