Apple Late-October Keynote Wrap-up

Individual Pages:

13-Inch MacBook Pro

Apple’s keynote was packed full of new releases across multiple product lines. That said, aside from the iPad mini, the next biggest update people have been clamoring for is a Retina equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro. Today Apple delivered.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,699 and comes in at just 3.57 lbs - almost a full pound lighter than the previous-gen 13-inch MacBook Pro.

Specs for the base model include a 2.5 GHz quad-core with 128 GB SSD an 8 GB of RAM. Other options/tiers include a 256 GB SSD equipped model (with the same 2.5 GHz processor and RAM as base model) as well as a 13-incher packing a 512 GB SSD and upgraded 2.9 GHz quad-core processor (also same 8 GB of RAM). All of the aforementioned Macs will ship with a 2560 x 1600 Retina display. It’s worth noting that an optional upgrade to a 768 GB SSD is available for purchase. Battery life, as quoted by Apple, is rated at 7-hours despite the massive resolution upgrade. Ports are like the 15-incher - dual-Thunderbolt ports, SD card slot, HDMI, etc. The FaceTime HD (720p) camera from the 15-inch model is here, too.

As for the display, it comes in at 300 nits in brightness, features 29% higher contrast and offers a 178-degree viewing angle.

Shipping: Today

We’re curious. If you bought the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro simply for the display, will you move back to the 13-inch model, add it to your arsenal or are you new to Retina Macs altogether?

Mac Mini

If new 13-inch MacBook Pros with Retina displays and iPad Minis aren’t your forte, Apple managed to give Mac Mini owners something to talk about too.

The late 2012 Mac Mini refresh will include three new models.

  • Base: 2.5 GHz dual-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB hard drive
  • Mid-tier: 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and 1 TB hard drive
  • Server: 2.3 GHz quad-core processor, 4 GB of RAM and 2 TB hard drive (2x 1 TB configuration)

RAM is low in our opinion, regardless of the user’s needs. Thankfully the RAM is easily upgradable. You can go the Apple route (not recommended - overpriced) or DIY from one of many online and physical retailers.

Ports include 4x USB 3.0, SD card reader and HDMI out. Bluetooth 4.0 is also included.

For Mac Mini enthusiasts, today’s upgrades sweeten the deal and make them even more worthy as a (relatively) cheap entry point to Mac and OS X.

Shipping: Today


And the new iMac is all about the display. It’s a full 5mm thinner and no longer features an air gap between the glass and display. Speaking of which, the display is now “edge-to-edge”. Like the trend on Apple’s mobile line-up, the optical drive is gone. Overall, the new design changes in the display and omitted, antiquated tech equate to an iMac that is ~80% thinner than the previous-yen iMac.

Specs for the display come in at last years resolutions at 27-inch and 21-inch respectively. Ports are plentiful with 4x USB 3.0 ports, 2x Thunderbolt ports, Gigabit ethernet.

Storage is where it gets interesting (again). The new iMacs will feature “Fusion Drives”. Essentially it’s just a solid state and traditional drive in a configuration such as: 128 GB of Flash Storage + 1 or 3 TB hard drive. Software “fuses” the two drives together for faster reads and writes. “Works automatically”. According to Apple, all default apps and installed applications will install on/fit on the flash drive while files will reside on the traditional hard drive. Also, apps that you don’t use all that often (or ever) will get automatically moved to the hard drive to free up flash space for apps that you use more often - nice!

Pricing for the base 21.5-inch iMac with 2.7 GHz quad-core processor, 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB hard drive and Nvidia GT 640m GPU ships starting in November for $1,299 while the 27-inch and it’s higher resolution, larger display and upgraded GT 660m will set you back a minimum of $1,799. The 27-inch iMac will take a bit longer to reach market, with Apple quoting a December launch time frame.

iPad Mini and 4th Gen 10-Inch iPad

The iPad Mini is finally here. After several years of development and constant criticism from the late, great Steve Jobs, it appears that Apple is finally ready to truly own the tablet market. And while it is more expensive than competing tablets from Amazon, ASUS, Samsung and many others in similar sizes, it is the overall experience and ecosystem that Apple is pushing with the iPad Mini.

iPad Mini

  • Dislpay: 7.9-inch 1,024 x 768 display
  • Processor: A5 processor (dual-core)
  • Battery Life: 10 hours
  • Storage: 16 GB/32 GB/64 GB
  • FaceTime HD Front-side camera + 5-megapixel iSight rear-facing camera
  • LTE + Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Lightning connector
  • Availability: Pre-order iPad mini this Friday, October 26th with shipping occurring on November 2nd (Wi-Fi model only).
  • Pricing: See below

The iPad Mini is 7.2mm thin (23% thinner than 10-inch iPad) and weighs just 0.68lbs. Color options are matte black and un-colored aluminum. The construction process (and ending result) is similar to the iPhone 5 as you can see.

4th Gen 10-Inch iPad

While the iPad Mini was today’s white knight, Apple didn’t leave out the larger iPad from the fun. It too has been updated with a faster A6X processor with 2x faster CPU and GPU performance as well as the new lightning connector.

The FaceTime HD 720p camera has received some attention as has the iPad’s LTE support. Apple says it is “greatly expanded” meaning more carriers will be able to join in on the fun. For those of you not into the whole cellular tablet thing, the 4th-gen iPad’s Wi-Fi performance is reportedly 2x as fast as well.

For accessory junkies, Apple is introducing four new cables today, too. The include Lightning to USB, SD card, HDMI out and VGA out.

Pricing starts at $329 for the 16 GB model with 32 GB and 64 GB options available. Pricing for the entire iPad range (and launch countries) can be seen below.