Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Fresh Out The Labs : Apple Edition
Eleven years ago, Apple released the first iPod and yesterday, they kept the tradition going by revealing 5 new products : the 13 inches MacBook Pro, the new MacMini, the fourth-generation iPad, their latest iMacs and the newest one in the family, the iPad Mini. Lets go more into details about what these new products bring to the table.
In June of 2012, Apple unveiled the third generation MacBook Pro called Retina because of their screen resolution. At that time, it only came in the 15.4 inches version but since yesterday, you can now get the 13 inches version. The differences are that it is thinner than it’s predecessor, it’s lighter and of course it comes with the Retina display which provides a resolution of 2560x1600 px. It also comes with 2 ThunderBolt ports, MagSafe 2, USB 3.0, an SD card reader, dual microphones to help with noise cancellation when video-chatting and FlashMemory instead of the usual spinning hard-drive. You will get to chose between a Core i5 or Core i7 processor and it will come with at least 8 GB of RAM which is a lot, even for a PC. The great news is that it will only cost 1700$ plus the AppleCare (cough cough).
During the presentation, Phil Schiller, Apple’s VP of worldwide marketing, said “You know there’d be something called Mini in this presentation” and he was right. Rumours about the iPad Mini were all around the Internet for the past month or so but Schiller was talking about a different product : the MacMini. It will come packed with USB 3.0, an SD card reader which seems to be a standard for Apple now, HDMI output, Firewire 800, a Core i5 or Core i7 Intel processor, Gigabit Internet, Thunderbolt ports and memory upgradeable up to an astonishing 16 GB. The cheapest model will be 600$ and they said it is the cheapest way to own a Mac. Still to expensive for me …
The new iMacs
This part was definitely the most amazing of the presentation. Apple showed their new iMacs which look crazy thin, in fact, they said they are 80% thinner than the previous ones. I am sure this will make them impossible to repair so like the folks at Gizmodo said during their live blog : Get AppleCare. The new iMacs will sport a FaceTime HD cam, dual microphones, stereo speakers which won’t probably be that good. They removed the optical drive, surely to make room for the 8 GB of RAM that is upgradeable to 32 GB and the 1 TB hard drive. You can also replace the hard drive by a 768 GB solid state drive. Just like the others, it will come with a ThunderBolt port, an SD card reader and four USB 3.0 ports. And without any surprises, it comes either with a Core i5 or Core i7 processor. The 21.5” version will start at 1300$ ans will start shipping in November and the 27-inch model will start at 1800$ and will be available in December.
The fourth-gen iPad
It seems like the folks at Apple were really excited about the iPad mini because they really did not talk much about the new iPad. What I was able to get is that it will come with a better camera than the previous one, it will likely have a better screen, it will come with the new lightning connector which does not work with the previous iAccessories and it will be the same price as the third gen iPad : 16GB for 500$. Also, the lightning connector will let you do HDMI or VGA out and read SD cards. You will be able to purchase an LTE version for 630$ and this will all be ready for the holidays.
Finally, the iPad Mini
This is probably one of the most anticipated product of the year since rumours have been circulating on the web for a while now. The first thing Schiller boasted about is the very thin bezel, he even compared it to some Android tablets. The iPad mini will have a 7.9 inch display with a resolution of 1024x768 pixels which means it is not Retina and that it only has 162 points per inches. The specs are very similar to the iPad 2, an A5 processor, a FaceTime HD camera which is an improvement, a 5 MP iSight camera on the back and the possibility of LTE connectivity. It will start at 330$ for the 16GB version and you will have to add 130$ if you would like to have the 4G version. Schiller also said that it should get 10 hours of battery life but the real number must be more around 7 or 8 hours of real usage.
From what I have seen today, Apple showed once more great devices but I think they are still stucked in their closed ecosystem. Having more devices running on the same platform is a step in the right direction but I believe they need to come out with even more form factors to keep up with the competition. I would still go with an Android device any day over any of the Apple products but hey, that’s just me.