Apple introduces iPad Mini (and a new MacBook Pro, new iMacs, new Mac Mini, and other tiny stuff)
// October 23rd, 2012 // Hardware
A trash talking Schiller made a point to compare the new iPad Mini to the other guys (ahem, Google Nexus 7) in today’s announcements telling the crowd, “You get a tablet experience on the iPad Mini. You get a scaled-up phone experience on the other”. We noticed he remained notably mum regarding Apple Maps though.
Bunch of exciting Apple gear was announced today. Good specs for some and as expected, all were priced higher than relative competitor products. Here’s the scoop.
Introducing the iPad Mini
Yep, it’s for real. The iPad Mini, with its 7.9-inch screen, should fit in purses a bit better than its 9.7-inch iPad counterpart. But the aspect ratio is back to 4:3 so HD movies will be letterboxed. Tsk, tsk.
The iPad Mini features a dual-core A5 processor, 1024 x 768 resolution (compare to the smaller Nexus 7’s 1280 x 800 hi-res display), offering 10-hour battery life and housed in a anodized aluminum case. The Lightning connector that debuted with the iPhone 5 is included and now supports HDMI and VGA out. The front 1.2 megapixel camera is capable of 720P HD video and unlike the Nexus 7 or Kindle Fire HD, it features a 5 megapixel rear camera too. It comes in 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB flavors.
Per the norm for Apple, the price came in higher than expected, starting at $329 for the WiFi only version and up to $659 for the larger storage capacity versions (compared to $249 for the upcoming 32GB Nexus 7).
In addition, an updated Mac Mini was announced featuring a dual-core Ivy Bridge i5 processor with 4 GB RAM or quad-core 2.3 GHz i7 processor with Intel HD 4000 graphics, 3 USB 3 ports, and up to 16 GB RAM. The Mac Mini comes with up to a 1 TB hard disk drive or 256 GB solid state drive along with 16 GB of RAM at a starting price of $599 ($999 for the 1 TB “server” edition). The DVD burner has not returned.
New iMacs were announced too with Intel Ivy Bridge processors, a 2.7 GHz quad-core i5 with a discrete GeForce GT 640M graphics card and a 2.9 GHz quad-core i5 with a GeForce GTX 660M discrete video card. Apple’s new iMacs feature four USB 3 ports, a headphone jack, SD card, Thunderbolt and Gigabyte Ethernet. There is also an option for a new Apple Fusion Drive which features both a 128 GB Flash memory drive and a 1TB or a 3TB HDD that work in tandem to facilitate speedy reads/writes by ensuring documents sit on the HDD while core applications are stored on the SSD. There is a 27-inch 2560 x 1440 model running $1,799 and a smaller 21-inch 1920 x 1080 version running $1,299. The smaller 21-inch will begin shipping in November while the 27-inch iMac will start shipping in December.
New MacBook Pro
And finally, a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro was introduced. The new MacBook Pro has dual-core i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processors, depending on configuration. And it comes with a 7-hour battery, up to 768GB of Flash memory, and 8GB of RAM plus Intel HD 4000 Graphics to drive the 2560 x 1600 resolution display. Additional specs include a FaceTime HD camera, stereo speakers, and a backlit keyboard. The price of the new 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,699 for 2.5Ghz dual-core i5 processor with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of memory. Beautiful machine.
Are you kidding me? A new iPad already?
In a surprise announcement, and reminiscent of Motorola’s back-stabbing Droid Bionic/Droid RAZR fiasco, Apple revealed that it would be shipping a new, fourth-generation iPad on November 2. The updated device features a custom designed A6x processor, offering twice the performance of the A5X (and double the graphics performance as well), and a newer, faster Qualcomm 4G LTE chip. Included are new cables for SD and USB connectivity and a “screw you” card that you can hand over to envious third-generation iPad owners.
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