I was thinking about why Apple would want to release their Apple Battery Charger product, since you can pretty much get batteries anywhere, and I think it comes down to Apple wanting to do their part in eliminating the annoyance that many have with changing batteries when a device runs out of juice. With the introduction of the Magic Trackpad, Apple now has three devices that are powered by AA batteries, with the other two being their wireless keyboard and Magic Mouse. According to Apple, they were able to come into the battery market with a few key advances. One such feature is an intelligent power management system so that once the batteries are charged fully, it goes into a low power state, using about 90% less power than your average charger. That’s nice. The batteries also have a long service life, which Apple says is up to 10 years. Also nice. Still though, this isn’t really a market that Apple needed to be in.
In our opinion, Apple’s goal here was to innovate a bit for the benefit of their own products. They sell you six batteries so you can have two in a wireless keyboard, and two in a Magic Trackpad or Magic Mouse, and then you can also have two always in the charger, ready to be swapped. It pretty much eliminates worry of running out of juice, which gives you all of the benefits of having wireless devices with none of the drawbacks since you always have two fresh batteries ready for you (unless you somehow have both the wireless keyboard and the pointing device run out at the same time.)
We like the strategy. You can pick up the Apple Battery Charger for $29 from Apple.
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Apple continues with today’s slew of updates with the new iMac (on sale now,) which sees a bunch of improvements. First, it comes in two new sizes, 21.-inch and 27-inch widescreen 16x9 LED-backlit displays, which have a 178-degree viewing angle. The 27-inch model rocks a 2,560 x 1,440 resolution, while the 21.5-inch model checks in at 1,920 x 1,080 (1080p.) Standard with these iMacs are the Apple wireless keyboard, and the brand new Magic Mouse - so the iMac has gone completely wireless. Both models gain an SD card slot, and the 27-incher also has a video in port, a first for the iMac.
As far as price goes, the introductory model starts at $1,199 and gets you the 21.5-inch display with 3.06GHz Core 2 Duo, NVIDIA GeForce 9400M graphics, 4GM RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. For $300 more, you get a 1TB drive, and the ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card. The 27-inch model starts at $1,699 with a 1TB drive and ATI Radeon HD 4670 graphics card. Lastly, there is a $1,999 27-incher that sports a 2.06GHz quad-core Core i5 processor and ATI Radeon HD 4850 graphics card. That one won’t ship until next month, but all the rest are available now.
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The Apple Magic Mouse is finally here, replacing the oft-despised Mighty Mouse. So, what’s makes this new mouse so magical? For starters, there are no moving parts, other than the actual button. Yeah, the whole mouse is a button, but you can do the right-, middle-, and left-click. You can also scroll with a swipe across the acrylic surface of the mouse, and it also supports a bunch of the multitouch gestures you are used to using on Apple notebooks, two-finger swipes and all. The Magic Mouse is wireless, supporting Bluetooth, and the battery lasts a whopping four months. You can pick one up today for $69.
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Well, between the Barnes & Noble Nook and this piece of news, tomorrow is shaping up to be pretty exciting. Our boy John Gruber is making it known that it’s his belief that Apple is going to be releasing a bunch of new hardware tomorrow. What’s on the a-frienda? Well, for starters, a much needed update to the plastic white MacBook line. You know, the one that get left all to its lonesome when the aluminum MacBooks went Pro? The Mac mini should also see a spec bump, including one version that runs OS X Server. Definitely interesting, I’d love to see how they position that one.
More interesting, though, are the claims of an “impressive” iMac redesign. We’ve been hearing so many rumors on where the iMac is going to go that we’ll have to wait and see what comes out of Cupertino tomorrow. At the very least, they’ll be thinner - but we’re not holding our breath for Blu-ray support.
Even more interesting are the mention of two currently unreleased products. The first being the Magic Mouse, a replacement for the Apple Mighty Mouse that would sport a multitouch surface. We can definitely see that happening, and being included with the new iMac line. The Mighty Mouse needs to be replaced, and a multitouch mouse would play nicely with Snow Leopard. There is also mention of a multitouch trackpad add-on for desktop Macs, like the iMac, Mac mini, and Mac Pro. It certainly sounds intriguing, and would give desktop Macs the full functionality set that are found on the notebooks.
Of course, we will have all the details for you tomorrow when things start popping off!
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