Apple Updates Two Computer Lines and Releases the Thunderbolt display

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Apple announced expansive updates today to its line of MacBook Air and Mac mini computers, as well as releasing a substantially more powerful version of its 27-inch monitor, called the Thunderbolt display. Today also marks the debut of Apple’s latest Mac operating system, OS X Lion 10.7. 

The new Lion operating system helps unite the user experience between Apple’s popular iOS devices and the traditional Mac OS. The new MacBook Air and Mac mini ship with Lion installed, but if you purchased a qualifying new Mac between June 6th and July 20th 2011, you’re eligible for a free upgrade to OS X Lion (or OS X Lion Server, if you purchased a MacServer in that timeframe). Qualifying Mac purchases made on or after July 20th (such as a quad-core MacBook Pro or a Core i3 iMac) are also eligible for a free upgrade to Lion! You just need to submit your entry into Apple’s Up-To-Date program within 30 days of your purchase. All necessary information and entrance forms can be found at this page on Apple’s site.

The new MacBook Air and Mac mini both feature Intel dual-core i5 and i7 processors, and among other nice improvements, the big news is that they both come equipped with Thunderbolt ports. Thunderbolt technology enables you to add up to six data-consumptive devices (hard drives, interfaces, etc.) to a single port. For example, the new Thunderbolt display adds three USB 2.0 ports, a FireWire 800 port and Gigabit Ethernet to any attached Thunderbolt-equipped Mac. There’s so much bandwidth that you can daisy-chain even more Thunderbolt-equipped devices. For a more extensive look at these exiting new products and how they can streamline your workflow, check out this B&H InDepth review