Apple Unveils New iPad, iPad Mini, 13” MacBook Pro with Retina Display
SAN FRANCISCO– Apple announced several new models at a San Jose, California media event today, including the much-rumored iPad Mini and smaller, 13” version of the MacBook Pro with Retina display (pictured). In addition to revealing the worst-kept secrets of the last few months, Apple also introduced a new, fourth-generation full-size iPad, a new iMac all-in-one desktop, as well as a refreshed Mac Mini desktop.
The new iPad Mini has a 7.9” display with 1024×768 resolution, and is much closer in actual size to the Samsung Galaxy S III so it can be more easily held with one hand. The smaller device is available in the familiar configurations offering 16, 32, or 64 gigabytes of flash-best storage and either a Wi-Fi only or with LTE capability for mobile internet connections. The device uses the A5 processor used in the second and third generation iPads as well as in the iPhone 4S. The iPad Mini is set to go on sale at the end of this month, with prices starting at $329 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi model, and going as high as $659 for 64 GB of memory and LTE.
The 13” version of the MacBook Pro with Retina display brings portability to the 15” version that was released and reviewed by us this summer. In addition to the smaller footprint, the two-inch reduction in screen size allows the new device to weigh in at 3.57 pounds (1.61 kg), almost a pound less than the larger version. Up to a 2.9 gigahertz dual-core Intel i7 processor, 768 gigabytes of solid-state storage and 8 GB of RAM are available. Prices start at $1699 for a 2.5 gigahertz i5 model with 8 gigabytes of RAM and 128 GB of flash storage.
One thing that was not on the forefront of Apple fanboys’ minds was that a new, fourth-generation iPad would be introduced alongside the iPad Mini. Having fully abandoned numbers, or “the new” from the name, the latest iPad offers the same 9.7” retina display, but has an upgraded processor (the A6X processor found in the iPhone 5 versus the older Apple’s A5). The new LTE support is reported to be more world-traveler friendly and compatible with more networks, and Apple’s new and proprietary Lightning adaptor is also part of the package, making Video-Out a thing of the past and forcing users to Apple’s proprietary AirPlay wireless streaming.
Apple’s desktop computers received upgrades as well. The iMac has a new, thinner form factor along with upgraded displays and what Apple calls Fusion storage, which combines high-speed solid state storage with high-capacity traditional hard drives. The all-in-one machine is available with a 21.5” or 27” LED backlit LCD display, and the larger model is one of few Macs with user-upgradable RAM, supporting up to 32 GB of it. The Mac Mini gets a performance boost, with quad-core processors and Fusion storage as well. Neither have a built-in optical drive, though an external SuperDrive can be purchased for $79. The Mac Mini starts at $599, and the 21.5-inch iMac will start at $1199 in November, and be followed by the 27-inch model in December at $1799.