Week’s best Apple deals: Save hundreds on refurb iPhones, iPads and Apple Watches

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If you want to save cash, go refurb!
If you want to save cash, go refurb!
Photos: Apple

One of the big reasons we love Apple is because the company’s devices hold up so well over time, meaning that used items are often almost as good as new.

You can save hundreds this week buying used and open-box Apple devices, including a refurb Mac mini directly from Cupertino itself. This and more are in this week’s best Apple deals.

Should Apple streamline its product lineup? [Friday Night Fights]

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streamlining Apple product lineup
Do you find it difficult to choose Apple products?
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s product portfolio has expanded quickly since Tim Cook replaced Steve Jobs as CEO, what with the launch of larger iPhones, Apple Watch and the 12-inch Retina MacBook. But are things getting out of hand?

Friday Night Fights bug Some fans might argue Apple has too much on its plate, and that other products — particularly its software — are suffering as a result. Others might argue that Apple needs everything in its current lineup — and more! — to keep up with the competition.

So, who’s right? Join us in this week’s Friday Night Fight as we exchange insults and virtual blows over whether Apple desperately needs to streamline its product lineup.

Apple is discontinuing its Thunderbolt Display

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Apple's Thunderbolt display hasn't been updated since 2011.
Apple's Thunderbolt display hasn't been updated since 2011.
Photo: Apple

Apple’s only stand-alone monitor for Mac Minis and MacBooks is officially dead.

The company revealed today to news outlets that the Thunderbolt Display is no longer in production, after going five years without an update.

Today in Apple history: Aluminum Mac mini arrives

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10macmini_hero
Good things come in small packages!
Photo: Apple

wednesday15 While Apple originally introduced the diminutive Mac mini in 2005, it was on June 15, 2010, that it launched the sleek, unibody aluminum Mac mini redesign that persists to this day.

Starting at $699, the mid-2010 era Mac mini gave users a 2.4-GHz Core 2 Duo CPU, 2 GB of RAM, and a 320 GB hard drive. It also boasted an HDMI-out port for the first time, an SD card reader, a dazzling new NVIDIA GeForce 320M graphics chip and — very excitingly — no power brick, since all the power circuitry was housed inside the minimalist device, which stood at a not-so-imposing 1.4 inches tall.

The week’s best Apple deals: free classes, free headphones and more

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Update your fancy wrist computer to the latest watchOS.
Update your fancy wrist computer to the latest watchOS.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac
With WWDC 2016 just days away, you’d be right to hesitate at buying new Apple gadgets this week. But with experts expecting more new software than hardware, rest assured that these great deals and freebies will still look good next week. Read on for free headphones, free classes at the Apple Store, and more in this week’s best Apple deals.

How to build a gaming Hackintosh on the cheap: hardware

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More power, less money, runs OS X. Winning! Photo: Killian Bell
Want more power for your money? Build a Hackintosh. Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

I recently decided it was time to get a proper desktop computer. I needed it predominantly for work, but I wanted it to be powerful enough to play the latest games in 1080p without worrying about stuttering or terrible frame rates.

The new Mac lineup didn’t offer a perfect fit — the Retina 5K iMac was too expensive, and the new Mac mini simply wasn’t powerful enough — so I set myself a goal: To build a gaming machine with a dedicated video card, capable of running OS X, for around the price of a Mac mini.

I set a budget of $650 for my build. That’s $150 more than the base model Mac mini, but $50 less than the midrange model. In this piece, I’ll take you through the components I purchased and why I chose them, and how I put them all together. Next week, I’ll show you how I installed OS X to turn my DIY gaming rig into a Hackintosh.

The 12 biggest takeaways from Apple’s iPad event

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Tim Cook gets ready to show off some new Apple products at the iPad Air 2 event. Photo: Apple
Tim Cook gets ready to show off some new Apple products at the iPad Air 2 event. Photo: Apple

It’s been way too long, joked Apple, since any groundbreaking announcements like the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 Plus. While the product refreshes announced at today’s iPad-centric event aren’t as high on “wow” as the revelations during last month’s big show, these are solid updates to product lines that continue to make Apple great.

Here are the top 12 things you need to know from today’s Apple event.

What to expect from tomorrow’s Apple event

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oct event invite

Until September, 2014 was a pretty quiet year for new Apple products. But the drought is over.

After announcing new iPhones and the Apple Watch last month, another media event is being held October 16th at Apple’s Town Hall auditorium on its Cupertino campus. “It’s been way too long,” joked Apple in its invitation to select members of the press. For those itching to see new iPad and Mac hardware, indeed.

While Town Hall is only a fraction of The Flint Center’s size, October 16th’s event shouldn’t be viewed as any less important. iPad sales are stagnant, and Apple’s desktop displays have been needing an upgrade for years. Apple Pay, an entirely new venture for the company, is expected to come out any day now. And then there’s always the chance that Apple still has at least one surprise up its sleeve.