Apple Unveils New iPad Air 2, Mac Mini, 27-Inch iMac With 5K Display

By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-10-16 Print this article Print

The new machine also includes a 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5 processor and, for the first time, can be configured with a 4GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor, according to Apple. The iMac with Retina 5K display comes standard with 8GB of memory and a first-ever 1TB Fusion Drive. It can be ordered with up to 32GB of memory, a 3TB Fusion Drive or up to 1TB of PCIe-based flash storage. The new machines begin shipping immediately starting at $2,499.

OS X Yosemite

All new Apple machines will now include the company's latest OS X Yosemite operating system, which Apple is providing as a free upgrade to existing Mac users starting Oct. 17. Yosemite gets a new appearance and new "continuity" features that allow users to easily hand off activities between their Mac and iOS devices, according to Apple. OS X Yosemite has streamlined toolbars and translucent window sidebars, and app icons also get new looks and features.

OS X Yosemite supports all Macs since 2009, as well as some models introduced in 2007 and 2008.

Apple Pay

In addition to the new devices and OS, Apple announced that its Apple Pay mobile payment service will launch on Oct. 20 in the United States, allowing users to make purchases securely and with fewer steps when using their Apple devices.

Apple Pay supports credit and debit cards from the three major payment networks, American Express, MasterCard and Visa, and doesn't collect any transaction information that can be tied back to a user, according to Apple.

In a telephone interview with eWEEK following the event, Van Baker, an analyst with Gartner, said the latest new products from Apple are interesting, but not exactly game-changing.

"There was nothing of consequence for the enterprise other than the iPad gets slightly cheaper in the higher-end memory configurations," Baker said. "The standout product announcement was the iMac with the 5K display," which offers "astounding" image quality, he added. "The new iPads are a nice improvement, but they are not compelling. It's not like there's going to be a new wave of buyers going out and buying them right away."

Overall, his impressions were muted, he said. "They beat my expectations slightly, but my expectations weren't that high."


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