Apple quietly released a slew of products this past week, indicating that the March 25th event will be product-free and more focused on subscriptions and its expected new video streaming platform.
Updated iPad Air Offers Greater Performance and Options
Apple introduced a brand new iPad Air with a 10.5-inch design, enhanced performance up to 70 percent via the A12 Bionic chip with Apple’s Neural Engine and twice the graphics capability. The advanced Retina display with True Tone technology is almost 20 percent larger with over half a million more pixels.
The new iPad Air retains some prior features such as Touch ID for biometric authentication, instead of Face ID; Lightning connection instead of the newer USB-C in use by the iPad Pro; and the 3.5-millimeter headphone jack, which has been disappearing from other products in Apple’s suite of hardware products. The cameras have also stayed the same with a front-facing 7-megapixel FaceTime HD camera and a rear 8-megapixel camera with up to 1080 video capture. Battery life is expected to last a maximum of 10 hours of time.
Available in silver, gold and space gray finishes, the 7th-generation iPad Air starts at $499 for the 64-gigabyte WiFi model and is $629 for the WiFi + Cellular model. There is also a third configuration of 256-gigabyte available.
5th Generation iPad mini with Apple Pencil Support, New Retina display and A12 Bionic Chip
Apple launched an updated fifth generation version of its iPad mini with a 7.9 inch screen at the same $399 price tag as the prior model with Apple Pencil Support, a new updated Retina display panel and a powerful A12 Bionic chip. The A12 Bionic chip speeds up performance up to three times and graphics a whopping nine times faster. The latest Retina display technology with True Tone and wide color support, now offers 3 million pixel density (highest in any iPad) and is 25 percent more luminous.
The new iPad mini has a 7-megapixel front-facing camera for FaceTime HD and better selfies, and an 8-megapixel rear camera with better performance in low light and HD video recording. The latest version of the iPad mini also has the same high quality Wi-Fi performance and Gigabit‑class LTE found in the newest iPad Pro models.
The new iPad mini is perfect for travel due to its compact size and is available in three colors - silver, space gray and gold. Pricing starts at $399 for the Wi-Fi model and $529 for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model. Available as of March 18, the new iPad mini can be purchased on Apple’s website and will soon be available in stores and via resellers. An Apple Pencil can also be bought separately for $99.
Apple Updates its Popular iMac and iMac Pro Models for Greater Performance and Speed
Apple announced updated iMacs using Intel’s latest core processors, boosting up performance for all models. The 21.5-inch 4K iMac now has a 3.2GHz six-core 8th-gen Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 4.6GHz while the 27-inch 5K iMac has a 3.6GHz eight-core 9th-gen Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz.
The new iMacs are substantially more powerful with 60 percent faster performance for the new 21.5-inch iMac models and 2.4 times increased performance for the 27-inch iMac models, thus decreasing the gap between the standard iMac and the iMac Pro models. In addition, the new iMacs have up to 64GB of faster 2,666MHz DDR4 memory and up to 2TB of SSD storage. The standard 21.5 inch 4k iMac now has 32GB memory and 1TB SSD upgrade options.
The design has stayed the same with a similar look and feel and I/O ports - two Thunderbolt 3 ports, four USB 3 ports, a SD card slot, a headphone jack, and Gigabit Ethernet. The iMac models also have improved Radeon Pro Vega graphics options with Vega 20 for 21.5-inch models and Vega 48 for 27-inch models, similar to the MacBook Pro.
The new 21.5-inch 4K iMac models start at $1,299 while the new 27-inch 5K iMac models start at $1,799. Both models are available for purchase on Apple’s website now, and will be available in Apple Stores and resellers by next week.