This week Apple made a few interesting announcements. Lots of new hardware, some apps and the long anticipated iPad mini. We’ll get to that in a minute. Let’s go over the new software first as it wasn’t as ground breaking as I would have liked. There is a new version of iBooks author for the Mac, loaded with some new templates and a “portrait only” orientation, and some new widgets. Not much else has changed. There was also the release of iBooks for iOS. The new version will allow you to scroll though a book rather than turn the page. Nothing earth shattering. The earth-shattering part was kept for the hardware. Let’s start with the laptops. All reviews will be done based on the low end models, you can always change the configuration to whatever you like, so I won’t be going through every possible iteration.
New 13″ MacBook Pro with “Retina” display. The display is AWESOME with over 4 million pixels crammed into a 13″ monitor is very impressive. On the low end ($1699.00) it has a 2.5GHz Intel duel-core i5 processor, 8 GB of 1600MHz Ram, 128GB SSD drive. AND WEIGHS LESS THAN 4 LBS!
A new Mac Mini was released. But the price stayed the same, ($599.00). It is 7.7 inches square and 1.4 inches high. 2.5 GHz i5 processor, with 4GB ram and a 500GB (5400 rpm drive).
A new iMac was also announced, and it looks gorgeous. Starting at $1299.00, the new iMac comes with a 2.7 Quad-core processor, 8GB of ram, and has a 1TB 5400 RPM hard drive.
**One other thing worth mentioning with the new iMac, there is an option for a 1Tb fusion drive. The fusion drive is a hybrid hard drive that has part flash memory and part spinning drive. Mountain lion will move applications based on use into the flash portion of ram so that they will run much faster.
Then there is the announcement everyone was expecting. The iPad mini. With a viewing area of 7.9 inches diagonally, it has the same resolution as the iPad 2, so developers won’t need to recode their apps. The starting price for the 16GB iPad mini is $329.00.
My thoughts, most of the hardware announcements were very welcome and good looking updates. The only problem I had was the introduction of the iPad mini. When Steve Jobs was alive, he was asked about a smaller iPad and he said at the time nobody would want it. I think he was right. Don’t get me wrong the iPad mini is cool looking, at the same time it looks like you ran a full sized iPad through a dryer and shrunk it a bit. When iPad was released, it was supposed to fill a market between your iPhone and desktop. A satellite device the was lighter than a laptop, but ‘Almost” as functional. The iPad mini is tough for me to wrap my head around. I think that their won’t be much of a demand for the mini as there was in the iPad. I don’t think Apple should have created a 7’ iPad, just because someone else did. Apples strength has always been innovation. That’s what they need to return to.