Apple Special Event October 2013: iPad Air + iPad Mini Retina + MacBook Pro Refresh + Free OS X Mavericks

iPad Air

So here it is again, the special event at Apple with the announcements on new products and the question on everyone mind is “What’s different?”. We like to think there isn’t much but sometimes less is more and this is the case with this announcement. With the event a little under 90mins, 4 key products are being released today. Let’s break them down and look at what new:

ipad-mini-2013iPad Air + iPad Mini with Retina Display

One of the most anticipated release and Apple doesn’t disappoint. The new iPad is now called iPad Air, something nobody expected clearly and it kind of make sense since the iPad naming is getting a little too confusing and everyone is still giving the models in numbers even when Apple doesn’t. Having a “Air” tag to it now makes it a lot easier for users and store retailers to relate and work with.

iPad Air – In line with the rumors, the new iPad Air is a little lighter, thinner and narrower weighing just 469g and 7.5mm thick when compared to iPad 4 weighing 652g and 9.4mm thick. Apple also managed to shrink the sides down by 16.2mm. For the hardware side, the iPad Air uses the same A7 processor you will find in the iPhone 5S. Display wise and camera there are no changes retaining the same resolution and 5mp camera as the iPad 4. Wireless on the iPads are upgraded to 802.11n with MIMO support.

[perfectpullquote]Both new iPads will have the same faster A7 processor[/

]

iPad Mini 2013– The new iPad Mini will have retina display and the same A7 processor. It will pack a 2048×1536 resolution, a 326ppi display right on par with the new Nexus 7 2013 version. We are both surprise and glad Apple chose to have the same faster A7 processor on the iPad Mini but we reckon buyers will have a tough time deciding on the iPad Air or the iPad Mini since the only difference between the two devices is only the screen size and weight.

Prices will start from S$688 for iPad Air and S$548 for iPad Mini, expected to available for online order in Apple store early November.

MacBook Pro 2013

MacBook Pro 2013 Refresh

The new MacBook Pro 2013 now utilizes the new Intel Haswell processors and the immediate notable difference is the battery life boost. Compared to the 2012 version the new MacBook Pro gets a speed increase and up to 2 hours more battery life. The new 13″ Macbook Pro is also lighter and thinner now weighing at just 1.57kg and 0.1cm thinner. There is also a significant price drop with the 13″ MacBook Pro now starting at just S$1,788. Below is the breakdown of the new features:

  • Intel Haswell processors i5 and i7 – faster and more power efficient.
  • Lighter and thinner
  • Price drop with 13″ starting at S$1,788
  • Thunderbolt 2 -20GB per second bandwith (10GB/s on Thunderbolt previously)
  • Wireless 802.11ac
  • Mac OS X Mavericks

Mac Pro – Wait No More

The Mac Pro is Apple’s flagship workstation targeted at professionals and it’s the most powerful Mac workstation Apple has ever built. You will be able to get your hands on one very soon, in fact as soon as December 2013 with a price tag of US$2,999 (SG price not released yet). The new Mac Pro runs on Intel Xeon E5 processors with up to 12 cores, up to 16GB ECC RAM and flash storage up to 1 terabyte options. It will also be the first Apple computer that will be design and assembled in the states since decades ago.

[perfectpullquote]Coming soon in December 2013[/

]

OS X Mavericks

OS X Mavericks – Free to Download

In another surprise announcement, OS X Mavericks will now be free to download and use for all Mac users. What this also means that we can also see free updates to new Mac OS in the future, gone are the days where you will ever need to pay for OS software upgrades for Mac users. This marks a significant change in Apple’s business model and we think somehow or rather Apple has got so many different monetization methods in their App store or hardware ecosystem it won’t cost them a bit to make their OS free for Mac users, in fact it might just boost their sales with more people switching to using Mac.

[perfectpullquote] OS X Mavericks will now be free to download[/

]

Key improvements to Mac OS X Mavericks includes better power saving, more accessibility gestures, a smarter tabbed finder (finally), better app integration to iCloud and many more. Over 200 new improvements and features altogether. The new OS X Mavericks is available for download as we are writing and we are seeing around 5GB worth of installs so you might want to bring up your Mac devices and start updating them now. iLife and iWork has been redesigned and rewritten from scratch and now utilizes the 64bit architecture, featuring better integration with iOS and iCloud, as well as better sharing and collaboration improvements.

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