Apple has announced a whole host of new and upgraded products in their most anticipated announcement as of yet, which took place at the California Theatre in San Jose. The venue was a good choice for the announcement (especially given its ornate interior) and at 10 AM PST, Tim Cook took to the stage with all eyes on him.
A new MacBook Pro 13-inch with retina display
Cook then proceeded to talk about the Mac, which has been outgrowing the PC market for the past 6 years and consistently ranks in the top spot for customer satisfaction. So with that, Phil Schiller came up on stage to announce, you guessed it, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a retina display. It measures a mere 0.75 inches thick – 20% lighter than the previous model – and weights only 3.57 lb (1.6 kg), which is a full pound lighter than the previous generation model – it's the lightest one ever. There's also a MagSafe 2 port, a Thunderbolt port, an SD card slot, 2 USB 3 connectors and, just like the 15-inch model, HDMI support.
That retina display measures in at a mean 2,560 x 1,600 pixels (or 4.096 million pixels) resolution, making it the second highest resolution notebook display out there on the market (of course, the 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina still rules the roost). The display has been enhanced with richer colour and a 75% reduction in glare, which certainly makes it attractive for designers and developers and comes with Intel's new range of Ivy Bridge processors, making it all the more faster and more efficient.
The new model starts shipping today and the base model, which comes with a 2.5 GHz processor, 8 GB of RAM and 128 GB of flash is priced at $1,699, which is still an eye-watering amount but a full $500 cheaper than the 15-inch model.
An updated Mac Mini
The long-forgotten Mac Mini, Apple's most affordable Mac ever which ships sans monitor and keyboard also got its update today with the new range of Ivy Bridge processors, HD graphics and 4, yep count them, USB 3.0 ports. There's also a 1 TB hard drive or 256 GB of flash storage (SSD) and the base model, which comes with a 2.5 GHz processor, 4 GB of RAM and a 500 GB hard disk drive is priced at a mere $599. Bargain.
A new, thinner, stunning iMac
Probably the biggest redesign came to the iMac, and boy was it due. The iMacs last got their update back in May 2011 and it seems that today, that long wait definitely paid off. The new iMac measures an jaw dropping 5 mm, yes – you read that right – 5 mm thick, making it 80% thinner than the previous model thanks to a new technique called friction stir welding (don't ask me what this is. Just realise that it makes a damn sexy computer!). The iMac still comes in the classic 21.5 inch and 27 inch models and the displays are still the same, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels for the 21.5 inch model and 2,560 x 1,400 for the 27-inch model (no, they're not retina…yet).
The new iMac also comes with a FaceTime HD camera, dual microphones, up to 768 GB of flash storage and 3 TB of hard drive storage, up to 32 GB of RAM, 4 x USB 3.0 ports (just like on the Mac Mini) and 2 x Thunderbolt ports. Interestingly enough, there's no optical drive at all (is Apple trying to kill it off, do we think?), but for those “still stuck in the past” you can get one for the iMac, at extra cost of course. There's also a handy new tool called Fusion Drive, which combines both the flash and HDD storage onto one dynamic volume. So, 128 GB of flash storage and a 1-3 TB hard drive would, essentially, be treated as the same volume on the operating system. Mountain Lion, of course, stays on the flash bit so it can be accessed a bit quicker.
The new iMacs start shipping in November (for the 21.5-inch model) or December (for the 27-inch model) and are priced at $1,299 for the 21-inch starter model with a 2.7 GHz i5 processor, 8 GB of RAM and a 1 TB hard drive or $1,799 for the 27-inch starter model with a 2.9 GHz i5 processor and the same RAM and hard drive specifications.