Apple launches OSX, Macbook Air & Mac Mini Updates

So the rumors were true. Apple (s AAPL) — as reported earlier by many web publications — released the newest version of its operating system, OS X Lion this morning. It is a $30 4GB download from the Apple store. And unless you have a superfast connection – this is going to be one long download. However, if you are not in the mood to download and are looking to spend some of your money, Apple has released a slew of products that include OS X Lion.

Instead of recapping all its features, here are some of the articles about OS X from our archives:

The New Mac Mini:

It is 7.7-inches square and 1.4-inches thin. It has a compact aluminum design and comes in three different configurations with a choice to use one the latest dual-core Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processors, AMD Radeon HD 6630M discrete graphics, or a quad-core Intel Core i7 powered server configuration. It comes preloaded with OS X Lion. It doesn’t have an optical disc drive and can include up to 8 GBs of memory, a faster 7200-RPM hard drive and a 256GB solid-state drive. It comes with Thunderbolt I/O technology for expansion possibilities never before available to Mac mini users. It starts at $599 but is not exactly cheap as you opt for the top end of the line.

The New MacBook Air

Apple today announced upgrades to its MacBook Air line-up of products. It is available in 11-inch and 13-inch models and uses Intel Core i5 and Core i7 dual-core processors, high-speed Thunderbolt I/O technology, has a backlit keyboard and comes preloaded with Mac OS X Lion. MacBook Air also features Intel HD Graphics 3000 and offers up to 4GB of faster 1333 MHz memory. The new Intel processors make them twice as fast as the previous generation.

The New Apple Thunderbolt Display:

It uses the Thunderbolt I/O technology and it is 27 inches in screen size. It has a 16:9 edge-to-edge glass design and the display uses IPS technology with an ultra wide 178-degree viewing angle. The Thunderbolt Display includes a built-in FaceTime HD video camera for crisp video conferencing, a 2.1 speaker system for high quality audio, an integrated MagSafe charger to keep Mac notebooks charged, three USB 2.0 ports, one FireWire 800 port, one Gigabit Ethernet port and a Thunderbolt port for daisy chaining up to five additional Thunderbolt devices. From the looks of it, this screen is made entirely for the Thunderbolt Macs. Unfortunately, if you have one of the old Macs, it is not clear if you can use this display. It is going to cost you $999 and will be available in next 60 days.

My  initial take: All these devices are great if you a brand new buyer, but they don’t seem too appealing if you are someone who owns the last generation of Macbook Air and wants to upgrade. I am mildly irritated by this and hopefully a conversation later with the Apple executives would bring some clarity.

Update: Someone on Twitter tells me that while the mini-Display ports are going to work fine with Thunderbolt adapters, it might be difficult for others like DisplayPort and DVI and HDMI.