Apple October 23 event roundup, part 1: Hardware

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Apple held its “iPad mini” event today. There, the company introduced a number of new products – all of which you can learn about right now by reading this roundup post!

13-inch Retina MacBook Pro

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As rumored, Apple introduced a brand-new 13-inch MacBook Pro. This one has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 – and to drive the new display, includes dual-core i5 or i7 chips with HD Graphics 4000, 8GB of RAM as standard, and will come with flash storage expandable up to 768GB.

It’s only 0.75-inches thick, and weighs just 3.5 pounds. In an Apple tradition, the DVD drive has been removed. Luckily, it has MagSafe 2, two Thunderbolt ports, a USB 3.0 port, headphone jack, and dual microphones on the left side; while the right side has an SD card slot, another USB 3.0 port, and an HDMI-out port.

The new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at $1,699 with a 2.5GHz dual-core i5 and a 128GB SSD. They are shipping today.

4th generation iPad

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Apple was expected to slightly update the new iPad, but it is calling the iPad that it just announced its 4th generation iPad. It’s got an A6X chip inside – and a Lightning connector out – the same battery life as before, and the same Retina display.

It does have faster WiFi, expanded LTE compatibility (read: more carriers). Other than those things, it’s the same iPad as before: same capacities and same prices, only now there are a few more carriers from which to choose should you want the LTE version.

One more thing: Apple has changed the name of what was formerly known as the new iPad to iPad with Retina display. This change is likely due to the fact that the iPad mini doesn’t have a Retina display.

iPad mini

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The headliner of the event was the iPad mini. It is a truly beautiful device that takes cues from the brand-new iPhone 5 and iPod touch designs. It comes in white or black glass on the front, like the iPhone 5, and has the same aluminum backing as the two smaller iDevices. Apple claims that it is machined with margins that are “unheard of” in the tablet industry.

The screen is 7.9-inches diagonally, and its resolution is the same as the iPad 2’s – meaning that every app that has been written for the iPad 2 will work beautifully and look great on the mini. As for the rest of the dimensions, it’s only 7.2mm thick – which means that it’s 53% lighter and 23% thinner than the iPad with Retina display.

Inside, it is essentially an iPad 2. It has an A5 processor – the same one that currently powers the iPad 2. Of course, it has a lot of upgrades, too, including LTE connectivity, a better FaceTime HD camera on the front, a 5MP shooter on the back, and, of course, Apple’s new Lightning connector.

The device will start at $329 with 16GB of memory. If you want cellular connectivity, you’ll have to pay $130 extra, just like the bigger iPad. You can also get 32GB and 64GB varieties, in both WiFi and LTE models, for $100 and $200 more than the base prices, respectively. Preorders start this Friday, and the WiFi models will arrive next Friday. Cellular models will be shipped later.

That’s a wrap for all the pocketable hardware Apple introduced today. You can check out our software roundup post here.

[iPad mini | iPad with Retina display | 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro]
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Calob Horton

Calob Horton is an associate editor at Pocketables. He loves all technology, no matter which company it comes from. This unbiased view of the tech world allows him to choose the products that best fit his personal needs and tastes: a Microsoft Surface Pro, a Samsung Galaxy Note 3, and a third-gen iPad.Google+ | Twitter | More posts by Calob | Subscribe to Calob's posts

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16 thoughts on “Apple October 23 event roundup, part 1: Hardware

  • Avatar of Dan Davis

    The devices look great and I am sure they work perfectly too, but the prices are a little brutal, especially on the new 13″ rMBP. Not sure how the bump up in resolution, 4 more gigs of ram and a SSD amounts to a $500 bump up in price. Plus it does not include a dedicated GPU as many were hoping.

    Also, the iPad mini look a little wide to fit in only one hand. Won’t know until i get to hold one though. Just speculating.

    • Avatar of Calob Horton

      The prices are right in line with what was rumored, but I agree – they are a little high. At the same time, the iPad mini seems like a great device… and it’s going to take some self discipline for me not to pull the trigger on yet another gadget.

  • Avatar of Michelle

    $329 for 16GB ipad mini….. I don’t know, just seems a little bit too much for me…

  • Avatar of kasrhp

    iPad mini pales in comparison to the Nexus 7. Better and “tighter” display for 60% of the price. Not to mention, I actually significantly prefer the feel of the soft backing of the N7 to my wife’s aluminum iPad. No contest!

    I personally wasn’t very impressed with the announcement. They still continue to play catch-up in so many areas and IMO are struggling to improve on anything besides the hardware quality of their products. At some point, I hope to see iOS actually improve and bring useful software to the user experience besides just a grid of icons. Apple just really isn’t “advancing” the cause anymore…besides continuing to build well made and quality hardware. Look at the “risks” Android and Windows seem to be taking with different products and hardware combinations.

  • IPad mini seems pretty cool, price point seems ok not to bad, still gonna wait for a 10” Nexus.

  • I thought 7″ tablets were “Dead on Arrival”?

  • Avatar of Kris B

    I’d love to get the iPad Mini. It would take the place of my iPod Touch 4 Gen. I haven’t used my iPod Touch since I’ve gotten my Samsung Galaxy S III. The iPad 2 I have is just to big to take everywhere. An Apple device is that size would be perfect for me. If I do get one I’ll be looking forward to the dev community providing a jailbreak.

    • Avatar of Vakeros

      Too big Kris.
      This site is called Pocketables and I think Jenn got it spot on when she chose that name.
      You have pockets and you put things in them. These pockets are designed for hands. Yes, you get some weird styles of pockets which aren’t usable except possible for a key (really they are finger pockets.)
      You therefore have two sizes to deal with –
      1) Trouser pockets
      2) Jacket pockets
      Anything bigger requires a bag.
      This mini is too big for trouser or jacket pockets. The width is too wide for comfortable holding with one hand being more than half an inch wider than a Nexus 7 or other comparable 7″ devices.
      It is a bit lighter which is good, but size is wrong.

      • Avatar of Kris B

        LOL… I usually come here for the nothing but tablets news. I’ve enjoyed the additional content from the other contributors on this site.

        I will say that the size may be a problem for portability. It is however much smaller than the iPad 2 or the Motorola Xoom, my other large devices. I have carried around one of my daughters Nook Tablet in my jacket pockets and in on of my trouser pockets. It was not an ideal fit, but definitely doable.

        I don’t mind having to carry something in my hand. The iPad or Xoom just takes up a lot of room on my desktop at work which is why I don’t always carry them around. I could potentially see me keeping this with me everyday.

        I loved my iPod and do miss some of the apps from it. I just feel silly carrying around two devices of the same size that do basically the same thing. If I get an iPad Mini I can have both my iOS and Android fix all day long.

        • Avatar of Vakeros

          Nook is just doable – this bigger (wider) than a nook and I don’t believe unless you have extra large pockets doable. Always worth trying out in a store if you are determined to get an Apple Pad. I think they wanted to make an 8 inch screen so they weren’t doing the 7 inch size, but realised that they couldn’t hold it in one hand with any grip due to their aspect ratio.
          They had to choose between going to the iPhone 5 aspect and losing there claim to Tablet apps or sticking with this ration and shrinking below 8 inches, but as large as possible to show their tablet had something to offer over other tablets.

  • Avatar of hisuwh

    Price point on the iPad mini seems absurd next to the likes of the nexus 7.
    Seems like apple are back to their old strategy of price being irrelevant

  • Avatar of Jenn K. Lee

    The price of the iPad mini is a little better than I expected. Considering the new iPod touch starts at $299, an extra $30 for the lowest iPad mini model really isn’t bad.

    $329 is expensive compared to the current crop of $199 tablets, sure, but people are willing to pay more for Apple products (and Apple knows it!) and I don’t think it’s unreasonable in the context of their other devices.

    It’s actually pretty amazing how cheap these ~7″ tablets have become. The original 7″ Galaxy Tab came out in 2010 for $600+ unsubsidized ($400 w/contract). Two years is a “long time” in tech, but it’s really not THAT long.

    • Avatar of Vakeros

      I agree the price for an Apple product is decent, but as they were using the lower res. screen, they should have used the same chip as the iPhone5.
      Also I don’t think they should have released the Ipad4 yet! Takes focus away from the Mini and makes previous buyer of the new iPad look out dated already.

  • Yes, the iPad mini seems like a fine device for those already locked into the Apple ecosystem, even if they have to change all their accessories to take Lightning connectors. But just how non-compelling this is as a value proposition compared to the latest Kindle Fire or the Nexus 7. And how this did *not* redefine the 7″ mini-tablet/ereader space.
    Apple could have made up for its late start in this form factor by predatory pricing. But with $329 as the price point, it’s just conceded to Amazon and Google. Yes, the Apple App Store may have a richer suite of offerings, but if you’re looking at this from an ereader POV, why go with anything but Amazon? At $129 cheaper?! And get Youtube too?!

    Just like with the latest iPhone, Apple is just getting too incremental, trailing-edge and *dull* these days. Ludicrously extended patent interpretations seem to be the only real innovation they’re capable of these days.


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