Apple muscles in with Pod boombox

All together now: ‘the Daddy Mac will make you wanna jump! Jump!’. The twentieth-first century return of Kriss Kross? Fortunately not – we’re referrin

All together now: ‘the Daddy Mac will make you wanna jump! Jump!’. The twentieth-first century return of Kriss Kross? Fortunately not – we’re referring you to the first and long-expected iPod speaker dock with Apple branding.

Unveiled last night to a select audience in the US, Daddy Mac Steve Jobs declared the iPod Hi-Fi to be the first Pod speaker with ‘true high-fidelity sound quality’.

Monitor Audio might have something to say about that – we love its superb-sounding £200 i-Deck – and we’re always a tad suspicious when folk describe MP3 as hi-fi. Adding fuel to the gadget sceptic in us, Apple has also decided not to declare the number of Watts its boombox will crank out, so we’ll have to wait ‘til our first demo to inform you of its audio capabilities.

Still, the iPod Hi-Fi certainly lives up to one Apple promise – it looks superfly. Your iPod – including old models back to the Quicktime buttons one and the Mini and Nano – sits on the top and the speaker itself can be bared or covered with a foam grille. Power comes via mains or six D Cell batteries (not cheap) and there’s a digital/analogue input for other gear, be it an iMac or AirPort Express streaming your iTunes library.

It’s all much of a muchness compared to existing Pod speaker docks, though it does have one advantage – it works with the Apple remote. The Hi-Fi’s on sale now for a whopping £250.

Leather cases and Intel Mac Minis…

Apple’s also jumped its Mac Minis to Intel Core Duo processors, adding the Media Center-style Front Row and bundling Bluetooth 2.0 and Wi-Fi as standard. The £450+ pair are reportedly ‘4 times faster’ though we reckon a third faster than current ones is likely if our experience of the Intel iMac is anything to go by (story here)

And finally… if you have a cool £70 lying around, Apple would like to flog you an outrageously expensive leather case for your iPod or Nano. To soothe your smarting wallet, it’s offering free postage.

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