Apple Introduces iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina Display and More

By Michelle Maisto  |  Posted 2013-10-22

Apple Introduces iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina Display and More

—New iPad Air
—Apple Mini with Retina display
—New MacBook Pro
—New Mac Pro
— OS Mavericks Now available
—Improvements to Garage Band, iWork, Keynote and More

Apple's Oct. 22 San Francisco event, at which it was widely expected to introduce new iPads, included not only the introduction of an iPad Air and an iPad Mini with Retina display, but new MacBook Pro laptops, an updated Mac Pro PC, the launch of its Mavericks operating system—which Snow Leopard users can now download for free—and updates to Garage Band, iWork, Keynote and more than 20 apps overall.

Below is a rundown of the goodies.

Meet the Apple iPad Air, iPad Mini With Retina Display

The iPad Air is Apple's fifth generation of its category-defining device. It features a 9.7-inch Retina display, weighs just 1 pound and is 20 percent thinner than the fourth-gen iPad—now 7.5mm, versus 9.4 mm.

"It is so thin, light and powerful, once you hold one in your hand you will understand what a tremendous advancement this is," Philip Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of worldwide marketing, said in a statement.

The new iPad Mini with Retina display has a 7.9-inch screen, with all the pixels of the 9.7-inch iPad. That is, 3.1 million pixels, for a resolution of 2048 by 1536 pixels.

Both new iPads run Apple's A7 chip with 64-bit, desktop-class architecture; faster built-in WiFi, thanks to multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) technology; expanded Long Term Evolution (LTE) connectivity; and iOS 7, with its hundreds of new features, including iTunes Radio, the iLife suite of productivity apps and an improved Siri.

Apple shrank the bezel on the iPad Air, for Apple says is an "even more immersive" experience, and on the new iPad Mini, it says it delivers 35 percent more screen real estate than on other 7-inch tablets.

Both also have next-generation FaceTime cameras and 5-megapixel iSight cameras.

The iPad Air will be available in silver or space gray on Nov. 1. The WiFi-only model will start at $499, and the WiFi and cellular model (with connectivity from AT&T or Verizon Wireless) at $629.

The iPad Mini with Retina display will arrive in "late November," in silver or gray, and start at $399 for WiFi-only and $529 for WiFi and cellular (from AT&T, Verizon or Sprint).

Apple also introduced new Smart Covers, which start at $39, and Smart Cases that start at $69. It also announced that pricing on the iPad 2 now starts at $399.

New Apple MacBook Pro

Apple updated its MacBook Pros, which of course run OS Mavericks. The 13-inch Pro now weighs 3.46 pounds, is 0.71 inches thin and has a battery that can last through nine hours of iTunes movie playback.

Apple Introduces iPad Air, iPad Mini with Retina Display and More

The 13-inch also has flash storage that's 60 percent faster with 802.11ac WiFi. It runs Intel Haswell chips with Intel Irish Graphics—which make it up to 90 percent faster than the previous generation—and it has Thunderbolt 2 ports that are two times as fast as last year's.

The new 15-inch MacBook Pro is powered by an Intel Crystalwell chip with Iris Pro graphics and has the option of GeForce GT discrete graphics. Battery life is eight hours.

Both are available immediately. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, with a 2.4GHz dual-core i5, 4G of DRAM, Iris graphics and 128GB solid-state drive (SSD), starts at $1,299.

The 15-inch, also $200 less expensive than the last generation, starts at $1,999.

New Apple Mac Pro

The newest Mac Pro—the black cylinder that instantly elicits Darth Vader and Dyson vacuum jokes—features next-generation Intel Xeon quad-, 6-, 8- or 12-core processors, up to 30MB of L3 cache and 40 lanes of PCI Express. It uses 70 percent less energy than the previous model, was designed in California and assembled in the U.S., and will arrive in December.

Apple showed videos of professionals—filmmakers, a National Geographic photographer, Lady Gaga's music producer—gushing over the Mac Pro, saying how it speeds up their work "exponentially" and is shockingly quiet.

With a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor, 12GB of DRAM, dual FirePro D300, 2GB VRAM each and a 256GB SSD, the Mac Pro starts at $2,999.

OS Mavericks, New Productivity Apps

Apple's 10th major OS release not only departs from its big-cats theme in favor of beautiful spots in California (Mavericks is a world-renowned surf break), but is "the world's most advanced desktop operating system," per Apple, and now available free in the Mac App store.

Among its 200 updates are the inclusion of Maps and iBooks—new to the desktop—a new version of Safari and efficiencies that in some cases can improve the battery life of older MacBooks by an hour, according to Apple.

Apple also updated its iWork productivity apps and iLife creativity apps. All have been updated to 64-bit, are integrated with iCloud and are now free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device.

"This is the biggest day for apps in Apple's history," said Eddy Cue, Apple's senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. "These new versions deliver seamless experiences across devices that you can't find anywhere else."

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