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Lighter than air... more powerful than God

Apple's products are so popular they could just sit back and count their money - but, to their credit, they don't. The company is always iterating its products with regular refreshes, even if they don't always attract as much attention as banner product launches like the iPad 2.

This week, the upgrade fairy worked her magic on the MacBook Air and Mac Mini. Of these, the Air, introduced originally in 2008 then totally redesigned last year, is the more important, forming Apple's main assult on the big consumer laptop arena. On the surface, the refresh might seem minor - there's a Thunderbolt port, just like on the new MacBook Pros, and a backlit keyboard, useful for those who like to type in the dark (weirdos). But the really exciting stuff is what's going on inside - the Mac Air is now packing an Intel Core i5 processor, for significantly more graphical oomph.

That's not all. The desktop equivalent of the Air, the Mac Mini, also got a refresh - but rather than adding features, Apple has taken them away. The new Mini is smaller and cheaper, but with one big difference to before - it's got no disc drive. It can, however, access the drive on a nearby Mac or PC using network sharing.

What do you think - are you tempted by Apple's shiny new, well, Apples?

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