New Mac Pros and MacBook Airs to launch this week with OS X Lion (updated)

Update: New MacBooks and Mac minis, not Mac Pros (yet). Full story here.

We have been expecting new MacBook Airs this week and now it appears that the ultra-thin notebooks won’t be the only new Macs this week. According to our source Mr. X, part numbers for an upgraded Mac Pro line have appeared, hinting at a release for the new line of professional-minded desktop Macs in the coming days. Here are the new MacBook Airs:

As you can see from the Apple-internal part numbers above, Apple will be releasing four new MacBook Air models. This includes two 11 inch models and two 13 inch models; both screen sizes will come in entry level and upgraded configurations. Built-to-order options (BTO) will be available as well. We expect some RAM and processor upgrades. Our sources who handled the new MacBook Air told us earlier this month to not expect any noticeable exterior changes. Speedy Sandy Bridge processors and Thunderbolt I/O are this model’s main upgrades.

Surprisingly, it also looks like new Mac Pros are coming as early as this week. The new line was rumored to be launching in the last week of July or the first week of August, but it looks like Apple is getting them out earlier (or we just got the part numbers super early, which is unlikely). The new Mac Pros are may feature a re-designed enclosure that is both narrower and rack-mountable. A faster, 16 core model is also a possibility and Thunderbolt is an obvious addition. As expected, a new Mac Pro Server model will also debut. Here are the new Mac Pros:

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Apple Store overnight planned for July 13th, new MacBook Airs and Lion signage awaits

We’ve heard from a few overseas sources that Apple Retail stores are planning ‘overnights’ on July 13th.  Overnights are generally where Apple refreshes store displays and trains up management on new products.  Sometimes it is big stuff and sometimes it is insignificant (at least to us).

July 13th, however, lines up with our Lion release date pretty nicely.  We’re expecting the Lion release obviously, and also some new MacBook Airs which may or may not have faster storage (but not this fast), a Sandy Bridge CPU, HD Facetime cam and Thunderbolts coming out the side.

We’ve heard some stories of backlit keyboards, 3Gs, a black option and the mythical 15-inch MacBook Air HD but they seem unlikely at this point.

Along with the Airs, there have been shortages of the White MacBooks, Mac Minis and (perhaps redesigned) Pros  — everything that doesn’t currently have Thunderbolt — so those could also see updates.  If not on the 14th, then perhaps shortly after.

In fact, MacBook Pros and iMacs with Snow Leopard pre-installed have also seen some hiccups in inventory globally so we’re thinking Apple is going to re-package those items for Lion at some point in the next few months.  Probably sooner rather than later.

Just one question?  Anyone camping out?

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MacBook backordered at Best Buy with new shipments expected between July 15 – 27

We’ve been hearing reports of minor – not severe – white MacBook constraints as early as last week. The white MacBooks are not even close to as constrained as the MacBook Air and the Mac mini – which is in fact constrained as well – but the process leading up to a product refresh is booting up. Now, we’ve discovered that Best Buy is marking the $999 white MacBooks as “backordered” in their systems.

This is the same system that currently marks the constrained Mac minis as “backordered,” as we reported two weeks ago. Looking deeper into BestBuy’s online store, the major Apple reseller is quoted new white MacBook shipments between July 15th and July 27th. We’re not saying that this backordered status means a refresh for the MacBook, as this can just be indicative of Apple loading OS X Lion – rumored to be launching in mid-July – on to the consumer notebooks. More after the break:

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New MacBook Air features (Poll)

New MacBook Airs are right around the corner and just about everyone is expecting to see a Thunderbolt port, FaceTimeHD and Sandy Bridge processors.  Apple could even update storage and RAM pricing.

But what else could these new Airs have under the hood?  Put your answers below and any additional items in the comments.

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Airplay is now working to the Mac

For those of us who still use a Mac Mini (or other Mac) as a MediaCenter connected to our TVs, today’s hack from Erica Sadun is a blessing.  She created a Mac Application that can catch Airplay from iOS devices and output the video on the screen.  For all intents, AirPlayer lets your Mac do what an AppleTV does naturally.

You can download the Macintosh Application, called AirPlayer.app here.

The interesting question is: Does Apple want us doing this?  They make much more money selling Minis (and other Macs) than they do on AppleTV units.  However, it would seem easy enough for Apple to include this type of Application with Mac OSX.  So why does Sadun have to build it instead?  Are we in for another cat and mouse chase?

(update: it is a .01 release and we did have some trouble getting it to work with a YouTube video over wifi) Read more