Apple’s October event is over, what’s new?

By | 30/10/2018

iMac Retina 5KToday was big day for all fans of Apple products. Apple hosted iPad and Mac-focused event in Brooklyn, New York. Apple finally updated long ignored Macs mini and MacBooks Air and also released redesigned iPads Pro. Also, new versions of iOS 12 and macOS Mojave were released too and are available as over-the-air update. Now, let’s look deeper what Apple announced.

Let’s start with Mac mini. This Mac was long ignored – last updated in late 2014 – but now, a big upgrade was issued. Mac mini was updated with actual quad and six-core 8th-generation Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost Speeds up to 4,6 GHz. Apple said it’s about 5 times higher performance in compare to late 2014 Mac mini models. With new CPUs, this Mac also received improved Intel UHD graphics card. RAM limit was upgraded to 64 GB with much higher clock speed of 2666 MHz.

All Macs mini got all-flash storage up to 2 TB with about 4 times higher speed compared to previous generation. As for ports, Mac mini received a Gigabit Ethernet, 4x Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, a headphone jack, and two USB-A ports, along with a 10Gb Ethernet option. You can connect 4K or even 5K Thunderbolt displays.

As for security, the T2 chip included in Mac mini features an SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption. It means, that all datas on SSD are automatically encrypted. The Secure Enclave in T2 ensures that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with. T2 also got HEVC video transcoding hardware, which allows to transcode up to 30 times faster.

Apple also uses its own-designed aluminum alloy made from 100% recycled aluminum for the first time. It has the same strength, durability, and finish as the aluminum in all other Apple’s products.

Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said “Mac mini is loved by customers for its ability to be used in incredibly diverse environments — from casual desktop use, to live professional performances, to multiple Mac mini computers powering through video renderings and compiling software code, to racks of thousands in giant app build farms — anywhere a small-but-mighty Mac is needed to get the job done.”

Mac mini starts at 799 USD. Base model features 8 GB RAM, 3,6 GHz Intel quad-core i3 CPU and 128 GB flash storage.

Next, MacBook Air got a great upgrade. This ultra-portable Mac laptop finally received Retina display featuring four times more pixels at 2560×1600, 48% more colors and 50% smaller bezels. MacBook Air was equiped with 8th-generation Intel Core i5 CPU with Intel UHD graphics cards and up to 16 GB RAM clocked at 2133 MHz with faster SSDs with storage up to 1,5 TB.

As for ports, MacBook Air got two Thunderbolt 3 ports and headphone jack connector.

For the first time, MacBook Air got Touch ID fingerprint sensor, but unlike MacBooks Pro, it did not receive full Touch Bar. After iMac Pro and current MacBooks Pro, MacBook Air got T2 Security Chip. There’s an onboard SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption for the Mac’s flash storage. Also, this chip enables “Hey Siri” support.

MacBook Air uses the same third-generation keyboard present in current MacBooks Pro, and Force Touch trackpad is here too. Speakers got 25% volume boost and twice the bass.

MacBook Air is also 10% thinner and it’s quarter pound lighter, rendering it as even more portable laptop than before and with its thinner bezels, it takes up 17% less volume. Like new Mac mini, it is made from custom-designed aluminum alloy.

MacBook Air starts at 1199 USD.

Alongside Macs, Apple also released two new iPads Pro. One of them is 3rd generation iPad Pro with 12.9-inch display and its smaller counterpart got 11-inch display. Thanks to slimmer bezels, both iPads Pro are smaller as their counterparts from 2017. iPads Pro feature Liquid Retina display, Face ID and magnetic attachment support for the new Apple Pencil. Liquid Retina display was for the first time introduced with iPhone XR, using rounded corners. As Apple said, it’s display with highest brightness and most color accurate iPad display.

Heart of iPads Pro is SoC A12X Bionic. As Apple said, it’s the smartest and most powerful tablet chip yet. It features 8 cores (four performance cores, and four efficiency cores) with 7-core GPU. Single core performance is up to 35% higher, multicore performance is improved by 90%. GPU is up to 2x faster in compare to A10X Fusion SoC, which was used in iPads Pro from 2017. A12X Bionic features next-generation Neural Engine for advanced machine learning.

Face ID came to iPads Pro and it works in all positions. Face ID uses the TrueDepth camera system to map and recognize your face and securely unlock iPad Pro. Of course, it can be used for Apple Pay and to access protected apps. It supports Animoji and Memoji.

Probably the biggest surprise is USB-C connector, which replaces Lightning connector, which was used since iPad 4. It can even charge iPhone, transfer data between devices and to connect one external display up to 5K.

New iPad Pro needs new Apple Pencil. And it happened. The new Apple Pencil can be attached to iPad Pro by magnets and even it can pair and recharge battery of this new stylus. It also supports tap—based gestures for advanced features, like changing brush tools in Photoshop for iPad, which is currently under development.

As for Smart Keyboard Folio, it now protects the front and back of iPads Pro, while providing a full-size keyboard.

iPads Pro are available in Silver and Space Gray colors, with 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB and 1 TB storage options. 11-inch model starts at 799 USD, 12.9-inch model starts at 999 USD. New Apple Pencil costs 129 USD and Smart Keyboard Folio costs 179 USD (11-inch model) or 199 USD (12.9-inch model). Apple also released a new Smart Folio for iPad Pro in many colors for 79 USD (11-inch model) or 99 USD (12.9-inch model).

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