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from the L.A. Times

New iMac from Apple and several other product boosts

Apple announced upgrades to its venerable iMac and its low-end (relatively speaking) laptops this morning, plus revisions of other products.

None of the changes were big enough to bring on a Steve Jobs-hosted public meeting, but they do come just two days before Microsoft officially unveils Windows 7 and several new computers tailored to the new operating system.

The Apple upgrades also come when the company is on a roll -- just Monday it announced record quarterly profits.

The new iMac comes in two models -- one with a whopping 27-inch screen (starting at $1,699) and the other with a 21.5-inch screen (starting at $1,199). Both screens are LED-backlit. The basic models in both sizes come equipped with processors that run at a swift 3.06GHz.

What the new iMacs don't have are drives to play Blu-ray discs -- a feature some Apple watchers had predicted.

The newly upgraded 13-inch MacBook laptop is $999 (no price change) and has some features that were available only on higher-priced Apple models, including a longer lasting, non-removable battery, and a multi-touch track pad.

The Mac Mini, which is Apple's lowest priced, stripped-down desktop computer (it comes without a screen, keyboard or mouse) has undergone some performance enhancements. Price remains the same -- it starts at $599.

The most radical changes are to Apple's wireless mouse, which comes with the new iMac models and can be purchased separately for $69. Its entire top surface is touch-sensitive, and it recognizes when you are using two fingers, instead of one, to trigger certain functions, such as right-clicking or going back or forward through pages on the Safari Web browser. 

All the new products, with the exception of some processor upgrades to the iMacs, are available now.

-- David Colker

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