updated 3/3/2009 11:57:45 AM ET 2009-03-03T16:57:45

Apple Inc. introduced a refreshed line of desktop computers Tuesday, notable as much for their price tags as new features.

The rollout included a long-rumored update to the Mac Mini, as well as a less-expensive iMac and Mac Pro. In a significant nod to the recession, Apple pointed up the affordability of its new machines, a departure for a company used to focusing intensely on performance and design.

"Our flagship 24-inch iMac with twice the memory and twice the storage is now available for just $1,499," Apple Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said in a statement. Apple said the 20-inch  iMac will start at $1,199

The new Mac Pro, with Intel Corp.'s "Nehalem" Xeon processor, starts at $2,499, $300 less than its predecessor.

The latest version of Apple's top-line desktop offers "an advanced system architecture, new faster processors and our best-ever graphics options to deliver a faster, more powerful system," said Philip Schiller, an Apple vice president.

Apple's cheapest computer at $599, the Mac Mini, has been updated with a faster graphics processor and the ability to run more than one display at a time. Apple is also touting the Mini as the most energy-efficient desktop in the world, saying it draws less than 13 watts of power when idle, or about one-tenth of the power of a typical machine.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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