Mac Desktops

Tim Cook's Apple is the Apple we need

Since Tim Cook took the reins in Cupertino, almost four years ago, a gradual but inexorable change has taken place. And, speaking as a longtime follower of the company, there was to me no greater indication of that than this past week's kerfuffle over artist royalty payments, and the eventual policy reversal from the company. Let us count the ways in which this whole to-do reflects the changing face of the company.

Apple Mac mini (preview)

It didn't even rate its own press release in Apple's end-of-year refresh for its notebooks, desktops and tablets, but the Mac mini deserves some attention: it gets the same Ivy Bridge processor refresh and Fusion Drive storage tech that went into the new iMac.

Apple iMac (preview)

Apple has never had as much love for its desktop computers as it has for MacBooks, iPhones and iPads, but its venerable iMac has had an overall update, including changes to the screen, chassis, processing and storage hardware.

Apple iMac (27in, mid-2010)

Apple has updated its range of iMac desktop computers, with faster processors and better graphics the order of the day. The new iMac looks virtually identical to its predecessors, but the internal upgrades will keep most users happy -- though HDMI connectivity and Blu-ray playback are still absent.

Apple Mac Mini (2010)

The latest version of Apple's tiny PC -- the aptly named Mac Mini -- adds a much-requested HDMI connection, an aluminium, unibody enclosure and a removable panel that lets you upgrade its memory. The Mac Mini is a great option for a living room computer, but its steep price tag may turn many potential buyers away.

Apple iMac 21.5in (Late 2009)

Apple's refreshed iMac desktop computer is cheaper but more powerful than its predecessor, and it features a more vibrant display. If you're still a Windows user or have an older Mac, the latest iMac is certainly tempting. However, we weren't impressed by the new Magic Mouse, which is bundled with the iMac.

Mac Pro

You can't tell from the outside that Apple's new two-socket, eight-core Mac Pro, based on Intel's new Nehalem Xeon CPU, is much changed from the two-socket, quad-core Mac Pro that preceded it. The only giveaway? One front panel FireWire port has been upped from 400Mbps to 800Mbps.

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