Watch for detailed blogs coming up, but right now we will hit the highlights for you.
Star of the Show
The star of the day was the iPad mini, and “mini” it is at a bit over 10 ounces, a smidgen over a quarter-inch thick and sporting a 7.9-inch screen. Design chief Sir Jonathan Ive assured the assemblage that the mini was not a “shrunken replica” of the original, but “a concentration” of it. It ships Nov. 2nd to compete with such 7-inch heavyweights as the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 that are priced starting at $199, while the mini is $329 (16GB Wi-Fi base model). Opting for cellular (LTE) adds another $140 to the price.
iPad Turns “4″
If you like the CRE iPad rental then you will love the fourth generation model that made its surprise debut last week. It has the same price points, 9.7-inch Retina Display and dimensions as the current model, but along with the smaller, sturdier and reversible Lightning connector, the latest iPad has an A6X processor that Don Reisinger at CNET figures will “double the current CPU and graphics power.”
New 13-inch MacBook Pro
CRE’s popular MacBook Pro rental got a new sibling, too, as Apple added the Retina Display to the 13-inch model. Apple is dropping optical drives, but the laptop has two USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, an SDXC card slot, HDMI port, headphones/line-out jack, and a MagSafe 2 charging port. MacBook Pros also use Solid State Drives (SSDs) now, instead of spinning-platter hard drives, so they boot up and launch programs a lot faster.
The Flagship Sails On
Apple veep Phil Schiller reaffirmed that the iMac was the company’s “flagship” at last Tuesday’s event. The computer whose 1998 debut saved the Cupertino company is now in its eighth generation, with two models carrying the last few editions’ 21.5-inch and 27-inch screens into the future in a body that tapers to just 5mm at the edges (it’s thicker in back). The new iMacs have Intel’s potent Ivy Bridge Core i5 and i7 chips, separate (discrete) graphics cards, and up to 3TB of disk space.
With the new iMac, Apple also introduced its “Fusion Drive.” This hybrid mates a 128GB SSD with a 1- or 3-TB hard drive, so the OS and applications go on the SSD for speed, the files on the hard disk for storage. Again, there is no optical drive, but you get four USB 3.0 ports, two Thunderbolt ports, an Ethernet port, and a headphone/line-out jack. The new iMacs start shipping in November (21.5-inch model) and December (27-inch).
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