Apple Inc. held a live keynote event today in San Francisco, streamed live to Apple devices. Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives presented updates and price changes to a raft of new hardware and software. New products showcased include the iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina Display, updated MacBook Pro with Retina Display, and a new Mac Pro. The new version of OS X Mavericks was also released, free to download for Mountain Lion users.
The larger iPad tablet is refreshed and now called the iPad Air. It weighs just one pound (down from 1.4 lbs on the last model) and is 20 per cent thinner than the fourth generation iPad. New 64-bit A7 CPU means the battery is smaller but deliver 10-hour battery life. Available Nov. 1 in silver or “space grey” starting at $519 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model.
The updated iPad mini now packs the higher resolution Retina Display and Apple’s new 64-bit A7 chip. Both new iPads have two WiFi antennae, supporting Multiple-In-Multiple-Out (MIMO) technology for improved WiFi reception of up to 300 Mbps. LTE cellular is also an option. The new iPad mini with Retina Display is expected later in November, priced starting at $419 for a 16 GB Wi-Fi model, while the last generation iPad mini now starts at $319.
Apple also updated the MacBook Pro with Retina Display. Now 0.71 inches thin, the MacBook Pro is packed with Intel’s Haswell Core processors and improved Iris Pro graphics chip. The 13-inch model has up to nine hours battery life (two hours more than previous generation) and starts at a lower price of $1,349 with 128 GB SSD hard drive.
The 15-inch MacBook Pro is also price reduced at $2,049. Buyers will be able to add an optional GeForce GT 750M discrete graphics with 2 GB of video memory. Its battery life is rated at up to eight hours, one hour more than the previous generation. Both MacBooks now come with PCI-e flash storage and new 802.11ac Wi-Fi. They ship with OS X Mavericks installed.
The new Mac Pro features Intel Xeon processors with up to 12 cores, dual FirePro graphic processors, six Thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe-based flash storage, and ECC memory. Its designed around a thermal core to distribute heat and an internal fan runs as quietly as a Mac mini, Apple promises. Pricing starts at $3,099 and it will be available in December.
OS X Mavericks, the newly updated OS that runs on those new MacBook Pros and is available today for download from the Mac App Store for free for OS X Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion users. The 10th OS X update brings iBooks and Apple Maps to the Mac. It also comes with a new version of Safari and interactive notifications, among other new features.