Apple has officially released OS X Lion, the latest incarnation of the platform that powers its Mac computers, along with a new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and 27in display, all boasting the super-fast Thunderbolt I/O technology.
As expected, Apple made OS X 10.7 Lion available to download from the Mac App Store on Wednesday for £20.99, bringing multi-touch gesture support to the Mac, along with new features such as Mission Control that gives a bird's-eye view of all applications, support for full screen apps and AirDrop for peer-to-peer wireless networking.
Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president for worldwide product marketing, described Lion as the best version of OS X yet.
"Lion makes upgrading a Mac easier than ever before; just launch the Mac App Store, buy Lion with your iTunes account, and the download and install process will begin automatically," he said.
Apple also announced new systems that will ship with OS X Lion pre-installed, and which also feature the Thunderbolt connect technology that Apple debuted earlier this year.
These include an updated line of MacBook Air ultra-thin laptops, featuring 11in and 13in displays and the latest Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processors, with prices starting from £849 for an 11in model with 1.6GHz processor, 2GB of memory and 64GB Flash storage.
The other is an updated Mac Mini, delivering up to twice the processor and graphics performance of the previous generation, according to Apple. Pricing for the ultra-compact desktop starts at £529 for a 2.3GHz Core i5 system with 2GB of memory and a 500GB hard drive.
Apple also announced the Thunderbolt Display, a 27in flat-screen display that doubles as a docking station for a MacBook with three USB ports, a gigabit Ethernet port and FireWire ports that costs £899.
All of the signal connectivity between the Thunderbolt Display and Mac is carried over the 10Gbit/s Thunderbolt interface, including the display data, audio output, and video feed from the monitor's built-in webcam.
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