02. 28. 2006
iPod Hi-Fi- the only new iPod in town
There was an Apple press event today, something that all new iPod owners dread, since it usually means that your weeks-old new toy, complete with pricey accessories, just a took a huge step towards obsolescence. Since the 5G iPod made its debut just last October, it would have meant an even shorter than usual stint at the top before the thinner, lighter, better model came along. I was bracing myself, along with everyone else with a Christmas iPod, for the news, but it's okay for today, your iPod just got a few new Apple-branded accessories to play with.
First up, Apple's new iPod Hi-Fi is a speaker system with a Universal Dock, and "audiophile quality" sound, which lets you turn your iPod into a sound system capable of replacing the old home stereo. It has Apple's standard, clean minimalist black and white styling in a sturdy body that's built to minimize sound-distorting vibrations. At 14 1/2 pounds, the Hi-Fi is not exactly everyday portable, but with the option of using 3 D-size batteries for power (which brings the weight up to 16 lbs.) it can easily be toted from room to room or house to house, with a minimum of wires, cords, and fuss.
The Hi-Fi charges your iPod when it's docked, even when it's powered by batteries. The iPod Hi-Fi is available now for $349, remote control included.
Also new is the Apple Leather Case for iPod, in versions for the 5G and the Nano. Apple avoided the issues with screen and click wheel protection by just making a case that covers everything completely. The iPod will need to be removed each time it's used but Apple's included a sliding black ribbon for pulling the iPod out gently with a minimum of friction. Nice, but stupidly expensive, in my opinion, at $99. The Nano case is just $50 less than the Nano itself.
The new Intel-based Mac Mini was also introduced, and it's still tiny (under 3 lbs.), and now includes iLife, and the Apple Remote. They're available now, and start at $599.