Apple’s October Event: The good, the bad, and the boring.
Make no mistake: I don’t hate Apple. I’ve admired their sense of style, simplicity, and ability to “just work”. But the most recent Apple Event, the one that occurred just last Tuesday, honestly could’ve been better. So, before I start sounding like an Apple hater, let’s go through the good, the bad, and the boring of the most recent Apple Event.
The new iPad, known as the iPad Air, brings a thinner and lighter design, while still keeping the battery life, screen resolution, and even better performance than the iPad 4, or new iPad, which is now the old iPad, or…you get the idea. The smaller bezels would bring lots of screen room, and the new 64-bit A7 chip could mean more powerful apps for the iPad in the future.
The new iPad Mini, the iPad Mini with a Retina Display (creative name, huh?), brings an amazingly sharp 2048×1536 screen resolution, along with the A7 Processor. It also brings Apple’s premium design style along with it.
The new Mac Pro, barrels through with powerful hardware: an Intel Xeon E5 processor, which can bring up to 12 cores of computing power, 12-64 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM, dual AMD FirePro GPUs, and PCIe-based flash storage. It packs all of this into a 9.9” tall body with a 6.6” diameter, and yes, I said diameter, because this thing is cylindrical. New, huh?
The new MacBook Pro features Intel’s new Haswell chip, which means improved battery life. It’s also thinner and lighter than the original.
OS X Maverix is available as a free upgrade, supporting versions as far back as Snow Leopard. It brings new features such as a tabbed file manager, and the ability to reply to an iMessage when you get the notification.
The iPad Air does not bring the TouchID which is in the iPhone 5S. They probably left it out because the difficulty it takes to produce that sensor could be an issue, but otherwise, why leave it out?
The iPad Mini with a Retina Display costs $399: that’s as much as the iPad 2, which Apple is still selling. But $399?! There are 2 things I’ve always liked about 7” tablets: their price and size. The new iPad Mini defies these pros by being sized at 7.9” and costing $399. I know Apple’s supposed to be the BMW of consumer electronics: I understand. But when compared to the ASUS Nexus 7, which only costs $229 dollars, it seems like Apple’s going to go through the whole Mac thing again, when their products are great, but ignored for their price tag.
Other than the new processor, the new MacBook Pro barely has any new features to talk about.
The iPad Air is like most product upgrades in general: thinner and lighter with upgraded components. There’s a lack of new features. But then again, most people don’t buy the iPad for its features, right?
Of course, all these products aren’t for everyone. The new Mac Pro’s specs are absolutely overkill for the average consumer, and it starts at $2999 anyways, so I can’t see the average consumer buying it anyways. But graphics designers will definitely drool over this powerful workstation, since it can support up to three 4K displays.
That iPad Air isn’t for everyone, either. If you own the old iPad with a Retina Display, the iPad Air gives you little reason to upgrade. The new form factor will require a new case, the thinner and lighter design may be better, but it isn’t worth giving up on your old tablet.
If you’re one of those people that wants a compact tablet, this iPad Mini is a maybe. When it comes to upgrading, it isn’t worth it. I doubt you’ll be able to tell the difference between the old Mini’s display and the Retina Display unless you put them side by side, which you probably won’t. That 7.9” screen makes it a little harder to hold in one hand, so if you want a glorified eReader, the cheaper Nexus 7 will do you more good.
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