Apple announces iPad Mini and other upgrades (but sadly no new Maps app)
Apple announced a long list of upgrades to the products in their lineup, and added a new one -- iPad Mini -- during their special event Tuesday in California (which was streamed live for the first time). Here's a highlight:
This much anticipated iPad Mini is the smaller version in the lineup, with a 7.9-inch screen (vs. the iPad's 9.7-inch) and small enough to hold with one hand. The 1024x768 resolution is the same as the bigger iPad, and all of the apps created for the tablet will work fine on the Mini. It's 7.2mm think (as thin as a pencil) and weighs .68 pounds. Other features:
- A5 dual-core chip
- FaceTime HD
- 5 megapixel iSight camera
- LTE capable for cellular version
- faster Wi-Fi
- Lightning connector
- 10-hour battery
- Comes in black with slate backing, or white with aluminum backing
Wi-Fi: 16GB $329, 32GB $429, 64GB $529
Wi-Fi and Cellular: 16 GB $459, 32GB $559, 64GB $659
Preorders begins Friday Oct. 26. The Wi-Fi version will start shipping on Nov. 2, and the cellular version two weeks later.
4th Gen iPad
Big brother is getting improvements as well, with a faster A6X chip that's twice as fast for CPU tasks and graphics performance, new image processing, updated to FaceTime HD front camera, twice as fast Wi-Fi (802.11n), all-digital Lightning connector, graphics performance that's twice as fast. Prices remain the same as the third-generation iPads.
Also available are new lightning cables: to usb and card reader, and video out to HDMI and VGA.
8th Gen iMac
Before the iPad Mini, Apple had another jaw dropper: the new iMac. This all-in-one desktop shed some mass and is reborn at only 5mm thick. The fully laminated display improves the image quality and reduces reflection by 75 percent. It comes in two sizes: 21.5 inches and 27 inches, each with Intel quad core. One notable change: no optical drive. Instead, there's a built-in SD card reader. The configuration allows up to 3TB hard drive and up to 32GB of RAM.
The new iMacs has options to use Apple's new Fusion Drive, which is a combination of Flash drive and a hard drive in one volume. Using the high performance of a flash drive for frequently used applications and tasks, and puts the rest on a traditional hard drive for storage capacity. The iMac invisibly moves files as it adapts to how you use it.
The 21.5-inch iMac starts at $1,299 with a 2.7 GHz quad core Intel 5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 1TB of hard drive, and starts shipping in November.
The 27-inch iMac starts at $1,799 with a 2.9 GHz 8GB of RAM, 1TB hard drive, and starts shipping in December.
The stunning Retina display of the 15-inch Macbook Pro comes to the 13-inch version. It's 20 percent thinner at .75 inches, and weighs only 3.57 pounds (one pound lighter). It lacks an optical drive, but an SD card reader is built in. The 2560x1600 is the second highest resolution laptop display (to the 15-inch Macbook Pro). that's 4 times more pixels than the regular Macbook Pro.
The 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina display starts at $1,699 and ships with Mountain Lion operating system. 2.5 GHz dual-core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB flash drive. ($500 less than the 15-inch version). It starts shipping today.
The little desktop computer gets a makeover with two versions:
2.5 GHz dual-core i5 processor, 4GB of RAM, 500G hard drive for $599
2.3 GHz quad-core i7 processor, 4GB RAM, two 1TB hard drive for $999.
Each gets four USB 3 ports, 1 Thunderbolt port, SD card reader, HDMI, Gigabit Ethernet, Bluetooth, and 802.11n Wi-Fi.