Apple October event roundup: New MacBook Pros, iPads, and software
Apple introduced a bunch of new products today, so let’s get right into the meat of what went on at its October event in California.
OS X Mavericks
First up today was OS X Mavericks. As expected, SVP of Software Engineering Craig Federighi was on stage to talk about all the improvements that have been made to OS X in its latest iteration. Among the most important are improvements to battery life for all supported MacBook models, improved 64-bit compatibilty, and a new feature Apple calls “memory compression.” Federighi stated that 4GB of RAM would hold “6GB of data,” though that’s impossible; a more apt description is 4GB of RAM now can hold as many apps and processes as 6GB of RAM was able to in previous iterations of OS X.
Perhaps the most important part of OS X Mavericks is that it’s a free upgrade to all supported Macs, dating all the way back to 2007 iMacs and MacBook Pros. If you’ve followed Apple for any amount of time, you’ll know that a 2007-era MacBook Pro is pre-unibody – Apple definitely tried and succeeded to support as many Macs as possible.
It’s available today on the Mac App Store, and you can upgrade from Snow Leopard and newer.
New Retina MacBook Pros
The second product updates that Apple talked about today dealt with its Retina MacBook Pro line. Today, both models see a price drop: the 13-inch model (which is now thinner and lighter than the previous generation) starts at $1299, while the 15-inch model’s base price is $1999.
The 13-inch is the most upgraded model of the two. It now measures at 0.71-inches thick and has slimmed down to 3.46 pounds. On the inside, Apple has finally updated to Haswell chips. Naturally, those processors come complete with their Iris graphics which will help in driving the 2560 x 1600 display – a problem that plagued the first generation from the beginning. Starting at a lower $1299, the new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is a much more compelling buy than its predecessor.
The 15-inch has also been upgraded to Haswell processors. Specifically, it’s Intel’s Crystalwell line, which comes with the powerful Iris Pro graphics. The base model of the 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro starts at $1999 and will be driving its 2880 x 1800 display by Iris Pro; however, there is also a model with an NVIDIA GeForce 750M video card with 2GB of GDDR5 memory and Optimus, which will automatically switch between the two graphics cards depending on power requirements.
Both models are available today.
iWork and iLife
Apple also updated its dated office and creativity app suites today. Free for customers who purchase a new iDevice, iWork and iLife have been rewritten to take advantage of the 64-bit A7 chip that Apple introduced with the iPhone 5s, They’ve also been redesigned to fit into iOS 7’s design language. Mac versions of iLife and iWork have also been written to take advantage of 64-bit architecture.
The biggest announcement today was not of the iPad 5 – in fact, that device doesn’t exist. Instead, Apple slimmed down the 9.7-inch iPad and dubbed it the iPad Air: a 1-pound, .29-inch-thick tablet that is very obviously Apple’s flagship device.
The Retina display still measures at 9.7-inches, but the bezels have been cut significantly to make the iPad Air a much smaller device than the iPad 4. Inside that very small aluminum body is the now-ubiquitous 64-bit A7 processor. Starting at $499 like its predecessor, the iPad Air comes in 16GB, 32GB, 64GB, and 128GB varieties. Just like previous generations, adding an extra $130 to that price will give you an LTE model.
iPad mini with Retina display
The iPad mini was updated today, too, and was given an A7 chip and a Retina display at the same 2048 x 1536 resolution as the iPad Air. The PPI comes out to the same 326 as the iPhone 5s, which means this will be the most beautiful non-phone display that Apple offers. The new mini costs $399 for the 16GB model, and goes up to $699 for the 128GB model; LTE connectivity will cost the same $130 extra.
Surprisingly, neither iPad has a TouchID sensor; instead, Apple opted for the traditional home button that is found on every iDevice except for the iPhone 5s.
Apple October event roundup
Apple certainly had a lot more to cover, and while not everything that was expected made an appearance today, the company’s latest additions to its portfolio of products looks very promising. What do you guys think about the announcements? Will you be buying anything that was announced today? Let us know in the comments!