Apple Event Recap – iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina, and More!

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Apple’s press event held earlier today definitely packed in its fair share of announcements, so I’ll talk through them one by one, bullet-point style. Let’s go!

iPad Air

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Some of us were expecting the iPad 5, but instead we got the iPad Air, which weighs just over a pound and is the “thinnest, lightest, and most powerful iPad” according to Apple designer Jony Ive. The new iPad shares the 9.7-inch display of the previous model but uses a 43 percent smaller bezel that’s only 7.55 millimeters.

It uses an Apple A7 64-bit chip that doubles the tablet’s speed when it comes to opening files and rendering images. There’s also a 5 megapixel iSight HD camera, an HD front-facing camera, and improved backside illumination, and dual microphones.

The most impressive part is the price tag of $499 for the 16GB WiFi-only model, scaling up to the top-end 128GB WiFi+Cellular iPad Air for $929. The iPad Air will launch in several countries simultaneously, including China, which is the first time China has gotten an iPad on launch day.

iPad Mini with Retina Display

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Like almost everything else announced today, this was leaked prior to the event, but here it is: the first iPad Mini to use the Retina display. Like the iPad Air, the new mini uses an A7 processor and a faster MIMO Wi-Fi antenna. It also includes more global LTE support. The screen resolution is 2,048 by 1,536, which is double that of the previous, Retina-lacking iPad Mini. It comes in a few different colors, is roughly the same size as the previous model, and will retail at $399 for the 16GB model. As expected, you get options for 32GB, 64GB or 128GB too; the 128GB WiFi+Cellular version is $829.

Mac Pro

When talking about high-performance computing, it can be a little hard to take things seriously. Can you say “teraflop” while keeping a straight face? I can’t even type it without giggling.

The new Mac Pro was first shown off in June of last year. It’s an impressive beast. It offers seven teraflops of power, a 3.7 GHz quad-core Xeon chip, 12GB of RAM, dual FirePro D300s with 2GB of VRAM each, and a 256GB SSD. And that’s all crammed into a computer that’s one-eighth the size of the previous Mac Pro.

Of course, all of this power isn’t cheap, and the Mac Pro will start $2,999.

MacBook Pros

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There’s even less surprises in this area, and not even because of leaks, just because it’s what we all expect. The latest MacBook Pros come in 13 and 15 inches and offer faster Wi-Fi, Thunderbolt 2, and OS X Mavericks. However, they also contain Intel’s latest Haswell chips, which should offer significant upgrades in multiple areas, including power, performance, and battery life. Apple claims that the 13 and 15 inch models will last eight and nine hours, respectively.

The MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 and offers 2.0GHz quad-core, 8GB DRAM, and a 256GB SSD. The 13-inch starts at $1,299 with a 2.4GHz processor, 4GB RRAM, and a 128GB SSD.

OSX Mavericks, iLife, and iWork – All Free

Apple engineering VP Craig Federighi announced today that Mavericks, the latest version of OSX, is now absolutely free and will support almost every Mac released after 2007.

Then there’s the new versions of the iLife and iWork apps, which include things like GarageBand, iPhoto, iMovie, and Keynote. Those are all free as well. iCloud will be incorporated into some of the apps, and some of them will be more “freemium” than free, but there’s no base cost for any of them.

It’s a strong showing for Apple and a good time to be an Apple fan.

 

 

About

Dylan Duarte is a freelance writer who's covered videogames, film, television, and now tech! Be sure to check out his site, Dylan Reviews Everything, and follow him on Twitter: @dylanduarte.

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