On Tuesday, Apple released a couple of new upgrades and even a new device, the iPad Mini. With the biggest release being in fact the iPad Mini, we should say the second star (or at least the thinnest) one at the announcement was the iMac. With a couple of subtle improvements to the Mac Mini and the MacBook Pro, the event went off as expected for many of us. Today, I will go a bit in detail about what occurred and a bit of product information about each one.
The last item of the announcement was actually one of the last things announced. The iPad Mini was announced before an excited audience at the iPad Mini event on Tuesday. The new iPad, which comes with a 7.9 inch screen, that is made out of glass of course. The iPad Mini isn’t with a Retina display, however that’s almost a given to be announced in a future iPad Mini improvement. The smaller build, of course leads to a lighter device of a little under .70 pounds.
Aside from this, many of the specs from the predecessor is still in the iPad Mini. The iPad Mini still has an HD FaceTime camera, a A5 processing chip, WIFI+Cellular options available, and a ten hour battery. Available in black and white, the WIFI only version is available for preorder tomorrow (October 26th, 2012) for $329. The 32GB is available for $429, and the 64GB follows at $529. The WIFI+Cellular version, with LTE support, will be available in November for $459, $559, and $669 for the 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB.
As for the predecessor, “the new iPad” was appropriately renamed the iPad with Retina Display or the iPad 4th generation. The iPad 4th generation included a couple of minor improvements, including an A6X processor. The iPad 4th generation will be available tomorrow as well starting at $499. The third option, the iPad 2, is the middle road and will be available for $399.
The next product updated was the iMac. The new iMac is thinner at the edge, exactly 5mm thin. This places the new display a little under half the size of the predecessor. The new iMac is available in 21.5 inch screen and 27 inch screen, for $1299 and $1799 respectively. The latter, the 27 inch, will be available in December while the 21.5 inch will be released next month in November. Featuring an HD FaceTime camera, dual microphones at the top, and stereo speakers, the new iMac also features a novel type of hard drive known as Fusion.
The Fusion Drive works by putting files and documents into your HDD, or hard drive disk. Most used applications will be saved in the solid disk drive, or the SDD. This ensures that your commonly used apps are safe, and your files and documents are extra safe. They both work when needed, which means your iMac uses energy when needed, reducing your power usage and pressure on your system. It’s quite smart and something I expect to see in the notebooks over time. The new iMac has support for up to 768 GB of space, and on the subject of space, the new iMac also features an SD slot on the back, along with the four USB 3 ports.
Lastly, on the subject of Macs, the Mac Mini and MacBook Pro also received their own respective updates. The MacBook Pro is 20% thinner at about .75 inches. Available at launch, the MacBook Pro is priced at a starting price of $1699. Also dubbed the lightest MacBook yet, the MacBook Pro had to sacrifice a couple of things, including an optical CD drive.
Why was the MacBook Pro 13-inch featured? According to Apple at the event, their most successful notebook (and Mac in general) was the MacBook Pro 13 inch. It offered users with the size that best suited them, at a price point approachable to them, while still providing the power we expect from a MacBook Pro.
As for the Mac Mini, it’s updates announcement was very brief and sped through. The Mac Mini, now including all internal updates, includes both an option for the Intel Core i5 and i7 processors (just like with the MacBook Pro and iMac). Released in two versions, the average Mac Mini and the server, the Mac Mini server computer includes between 1TB and 2TB of memory and 4GB of RAM. You can get the updated Mac Minis today starting at $599 and topping off, with the server version, for $999.
Last but not least, Apple provided a couple of improvements to iBooks and iBooks Author. The latter now including improved reading and more sharing options, with the ability to share a passage you are reading in iBooks to Facebook, Twitter, and Email. There are also better ways of picking up where you left off between iCloud supported devices and lastly, support of Korean, Japanese, and a few other languages not previously made available. As for iBooks Author, publishers now have more options for how their books look and better font options – all of which are free and available immediately.
What did you like best from the announcement? Let us know in the comments below!