Apple Announces iPad Air, New iPad Mini, Mac Pro, MacBook Pro

Apple October Announcement - Header

As with the iPhone annual announcement event, the remaining Apple products also received their 5 minutes in the limelight with their annual updates at the “a lot to cover” event at San Francisco’s Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Tim Cook and his colleagues took to the stage to announce and discuss the new iPad Air, iPad Mini, MacBook Pro, Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks. If you’re eager to relive the full broadcast of the event, pop on over to Apple’s website keynote addresses on each of the newly released products.

Apple October Announcement - iPad Air

iPad Air

Over the past year, Apple has seen a notable decrease in revenue share in the tablet market, which is to be expected given the slew of Android tablets landing on the scene. With more than 170m iPads sold before the event, Apple still dominate the segment and will be looking to improve on their year-on-year sales with the announcement, by Phil Schiller, of the, next iteration, iPad Air. [We’re thankful that Apple has brought some sense back into the naming convention] To sum it all up in one line, the iPad Air is “thinner, lighter and more powerful.” The new hardware weighs in at 1 pound (or 453g for those using the metric system). Just as impressive is that it also measures in at 7.5mm, some 20% thinner before. Other specifications include the same 9.7” retina display as the previous gen, 64-bit Apple A7 with M7 motion coprocessor, up to 128GB internal storage, the same cameras, and the same entry level price point. What’s surprising, though, is that Apple have downgraded 32.4Wh battery (from 42.5Wh), most likely to accommodate the decreased size and weight. All-in-all, you can expect processing of up to 8x faster and graphics 72x faster than the first-gen iPad. A noticeable absentee from the list of specs is the fingerprint scanner, which may be due to the complaints received on the iPhone 5s on the included hardware. If you’re looking to get your hands on the updated iPad, shipping will start rolling out on 1st November in the US, UK, China and Japan, with other regions to follow suit soon after.

Apple October Announcement - iPad Mini

iPad Mini with Retina Display

The iPad Mini was received with mixed responses from the general public citing the poor display and price its major concerns. Despite this, general reviews have praised many other aspects of the device, such as its size and design. Apple announced the updated iPad Mini, which improves on almost all the negative aspects, including a retina display with the same resolution as the iPad Air, which means a higher pixel density (326ppi) on the smaller screen. Also thrown in for good measure is the upgrade 64-bit A7 CPU, up to 128GB internal storage and 23.8Wh battery. Many other specifications remain the same, although the size and weight has increased slightly, and so has the price.

Apple October Announcement - MacBook Pro

MacBook Pro

Apple have gone wild with their retina display of late, fitting it to almost all of their latest hardware. The new MacBook Pro is no different. One of the more noteworthy additions is Intel’s Haswell chips, which promises a dramatic increase in performance, graphics, and battery consumption. The retina display comes in sizes of 13” and 15”, which has a battery life of 9 and 8 hours, respectively. Also included is a faster PCI Express SSD, Thunderbolt 2 ports, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The 15” version also sports a dedicated graphics processor, the GeForce GT 750M, for all your design and gaming needs. What’s good for the consumer is that both variants are cheaper than their predecessors, the 13” starting from $1,299, and the 15” at $1,999. The 13” version includes a Dual-Core 2.4GHz Core i5, 4GB RAM and 128GB SSD, while the 15” comes with Quad-Core 2GHz Core i7, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD.

Apple October Announcement - Mac Pro

Mac Pro

The Mac Pro, cylindrical computer, was announced earlier this year at Apple’s WWDC 2013 event, although with little information at the time. Apple has now announced the full specifications and pricing of the new Mac Pro, which is due to start shipping in early December, if you have $3,000 lying around that is. The entry-level model features a 3.7GHz Quad-Core Xeon CPU, which also included a Turbo Boos of up to 3.9GHz if required, 12GB DRAM, two AMD FirePro D300 GPUs and 256GB SSD. Options are available to increase specifications to 64GB DRAM, 1TB flash storage, 3.5GHz 6-Core CPU, to name a few. While the price seems quite high for many consumers, Apple is quick to point out that this computer is one you’ll have for “the next 10 years.” This may be somewhat optimistic, but those specs will certainly stand up to the test for many years to come.

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