Apple held another hardware press event today to introduce the world to some refreshed products from the Cupertino team. While it wasn’t as big as last month’s event, when Apple revealed the iPhone Xr, Xs and Xs Max, along with the Apple Watch Series 4, it still was a memorable event for iPad users and especially for Mac PC fans.
Apple not only announced new versions of its high-end iPad Pro tablets, but it also showed a new version of its popular thin-and-light notebook, the MacBook Air. Finally, the company revealed a new version of its small PC desktop, the Mac Mini, after a wait of several years.
New iPad Pro models have Face ID and USB Type-C
Apple announced two new iPad Pro models today at its event; one with an 11-inch display and the other with a 12.9-inch screen. Both models are getting a design refresh compared to the older iPad Pro tablets with reduced bezels on the front to show off more of their Liquid Retina displays. That also means both new iPad Pro tablets won’t have the traditional Home button for the first time. Instead, owners will use Face ID, via an onboard TrueDepth Camera, to unlock the devices. and it should work while holding the iPad Pro in any position. Yes, the use of Face ID on these tablets also means that the new iPad Pro models will be able to use Animoji and Memoji as well.
Apple is also adding in a USB Type-C port for powering up the new iPad Pro products, instead of its usual Lightning ports. The bad news is that these new tablets are also ditching the 3.5mm headphone jack as well. The worse news is that there won’t be a USC Type-C headphone included in the box of the iPad Pro devices, nor an adapter to connect your older wired headphones and earbuds to the tablets.
Inside, the new iPad Pro tablets will have Apple’s in-house quad-core A12X Bionic processor, with its seven-core GPU, and Apple says the tablets will have a battery life of up to 10 hours. Apple is also selling a new version of the optional Smart Keyboard Folio for the tablets, to give people a chance to do some serious work. In addition, a new version of the Apple Pencil will be sold as well, and it can be charged up simply by connecting it magnetically to the side of the new iPad Pros.
Both of the new iPad Pro models will be sold in 64GB, 256GB, 512GB, and new 1TB onboard storage options. Pre-0rders start today, with the 11-inch iPad Pro priced at $799 for the Wi-Fi model and $949 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. The 12.9-inch iPad Pro will have a starting price of $999 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Both tablets will officially go on sale on November 7.
New MacBook Air adds Touch ID and more
Mac fans got two nice new models today during the Apple press event. The first is the highly anticipated new version of the MacBook Air notebook. The thin-and-light 2.75-pound notebook has a 13.3-inch Retina display that Apple says shows off 48 percent more color compared to the previous model. It also includes the company’s Touch ID fingerprint sensor that’s inside the keyboard to help unlock the notebook. In addition, it has the company’s Apple T2 Security Chip installed, which will not only secure your Touch ID info but can also use data encryption to secure anything on the MacBook Air’s SSD.
Inside, the new MacBook Air has Intel’s eighth generation Core i5 processor, with memory options up to 16GB of RAM and SSD storage options up to 1.5TB. The battery should last up to 12 hours on a single charge. and it has two Thunderbolt 3 ports to not only charge the MacBook Air but also to connect the notebook to other devices. The new notebook is made of an Apple-created aluminum alloy that the company says is made up of 100 percent recycled aluminum. The new MacBook Air has a starting price of $1,199, with pre-orders starting today ahead of its official release date of Nov. 7.
Finally, there’s a new Mac Mini PC
Apple is also reintroducing us to the Mac Mini desktop PC. This will be the first new version of the tiny Mac desktop Apple has released since 2014. While the basic shape of the PC remains the same, (indeed, it looks much like the current Apple TV) the new Mac Mini has a space gray color scheme. Inside, you can expect to find quad- and 6-core eighth generation Intel Core processors, with up to 64GB of RAM supported along with up to 2TB of onboard storage.
Besides the updated processors, RAM and storage, the new Mac Mini will include the same Apple T2 Security Chip that’s included with the new MacBook Air, offering high-end encryption for its SSD. It also has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, two USB-A ports, an audio jack, and Gigabit Ethernet. In fact, you can upgrade to 10Gb Ethernet. Like the MacBook Air, the new Mac Mini is made of Apple’s new aluminum alloy made from 100 percent recycled aluminum. You can pre-order the new Mac Mini now starting at $799, and it will go on sale Nov. 7.