So, Tim Cook and company took to the stage today to show off their revamped product line as well as adding the long-awaited iPad Mini to the Apple family.
We’re going to break it down for you.
What We’re Skipping Past
Number one — Apple always loves blowing themselves and letting everyone know how well Apple’s doing. That’s fine, it’s great, but we’re not going to talk about that right now.
iPhone 5 sold a whole bunch, inspired quite possibly the most obnoxious advertisement ever (that’s right, Samsung. You’re more annoying than the Cult of Mac. How does that feel?), and is the savior of civilization. Great.
iBooks Got A Little Upgrade
Right quick — they updated iBooks. Continuous scrolling, integration with Facebook and Twitter so you can prove that you’re actually reading Infinite Jest instead of just looking up grad papers about it and having it broken down for you, and it supports Japanese and Chinese text, which… well, I guess matters to a lot of people that aren’t me.
Upgraded 13″ Macbook Pro
They’ve made the Macbook Pro 3/4 of an inch thick, now, and at three and a half pounds, it’s almost a full pound lighter than the preceding model, which is actually quite nice. Though pretty soon — as in, three years or so — we’re going to start getting complaints that laptops are too light.
The optical drive is gone, and they’ve given it a Retina display, which was long-rumored and assumed by everyone so hard that no one seemed surprised. At 2560×1660 pixels, it has a larger display than most HDTVs.
Better speakers, an HD camera, and USB 3 connectors round out what else is upgraded, as well as the insides. I.e., it’s faster. I could talk a while about CPUs, y’know? Let’s just say it’s faster and you’ll believe me and we can move on.
Upgraded Mac Mini
The Mac Mini line hasn’t really been talked about in a while. It’s usually either ignored or a, “oh, by the way, we did something with this” is all you’ll get out of them.
So they’ve upgraded it, and added the option of a Fusion Drive — which is essentially a hybrid between a flash drive and your conventional hard drive. Both technologies are all under the same volume, so you’re not saving one thing onto the flash drive and another onto the hard drive.
Basically, you’re getting the processing speed of flash and the bigger, long-term storage of a hard drive. What Fusion Drive does is keep track of what applications and documents you use. The things you use more get put into flash. Things you use less get put into the deeper archives. And it does it automatically. You don’t have to do anything.
In reality, it’s a stop-gap until flash drives become cheaper to produce. But hey, if you need a lot of space and you’re a power user, this would be something helpful.
And the Fusion Drive is also in what I think is the most impressive piece of the event.
The iMac looks sexy. I like my Windows desktop. I like building that PC and I like using Windows 7. But damn, the iMac looks great, here. It is ridiculously thin. It’s 80% thinner from the previous generation. People originally thought it was going to be a monitor to show off some software, but turns out, the monitor also had a dang computer in it, too.
The iMac also has the Fusion Drive option, which I don’t know how you fit that shit in there, but go nuts.
Faster, Retina display, yes, yes, we’re there. Okay. It comes in every color you want — provided it’s either black or white.
There’s not much here, they know what y’all are waiting for. So here it is:
Unveiling: iPad Mini
And there it is. It’s an iPad. It’s smaller, with a 7.9″ diagonal (compared to iPad’s 9.7″ diagonal). They spent a long time talking about how it had to be smaller, but couldn’t be too small. A nice design move was to make sure the resolution between the iPad and iPad Mini didn’t change, so it doesn’t futz with your existing iPad apps. That was nice of them.
Also, on the inside, the iPad Mini is actually faster than the iPad 2. So if you’re planning on making an upgrade and want to stay in the Apple family, you can keep in mind that the Mini wouldn’t be a performance decrease, if all of a sudden the iPad feels too bulky.
It also has a 5 Megapixel iSight camera, which is cool. It starts at 16 GB for $329 (wifi only). iPad 2 still at $399. So the Mini is also a bit cheaper. If you want more price checks — go look for yourself.
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