Have you been keeping up with Apple rumors lately? Most of them have now been proven to be true. As expected, Apple unveiled a smaller 7.9 inch iPad mini today. In addition, Apple updated the regular iPad, which is now being called iPad with Retina Display, unveiled a redesigned iMac, and launched the 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display.
Despite Steve Jobs famously saying that “7-inch tablets are dead on arrival”, the iPad mini has finally arrived.
The iPad mini features a 7.9 inch IPS display (35% greater screen area than 7-inch tablets), with a resolution of 1024 by 768 (same as the iPad 2) for a pixel density of 163 ppi. Because the resolution is the same as the iPad 2, apps don’t need to be redesigned. Unfortunately, this pixel density puts it well below what qualifies as a Retina Display.
Rather than use the newer A6 processor, the iPad mini uses the dual-core A5 chip found in the iPod touch and iPad 2. Like the iPod touch (and unlike the iPad 2), the iPad mini will support Siri. It also uses the new Lightning connector from the iPhone 5.
The iPad mini starts at $329 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi model. The pricing model for additional storage and 4G LTE is identical to the regular iPad (+$100 for each tier of storage, +$130 for cellular connectivity). This starting price is just $30 greater than the fifth generation iPod touch ($299) and $70 less than the iPad 2 16 GB Wi-Fi ($399).
iPad with Retina Display (4th Generation iPad)
Apple unexpectedly unveiled the fourth generation iPad, making the 7 month old third generation iPad (the new iPad) obsolete. This is mostly a spec bump update.
The fourth generation iPad features an A6X chip (A6 from iPhone 5 with extra graphics capabilities), an HD front-facing camera (upgrade from VGA), expanded LTE support, and the new Lightning connector.
This early refresh of the iPad could indicate that Apple is changing the typical update cycle for the device.
The third generation iPad is no longer for sale, although the iPad 2 is still available for $399.
Apple also introduced a redesigned iMac, the all-in-one desktop computer. It features a dramatically thinner design and some spec bumps, including USB 3.0, third-generation Intel Core processors, and updated Nvidia graphics. The optical drive has been removed.
There is now also an option for a Fusion Drive, which is a combination between traditional hard drives and flash storage.
The iMac starts at $1299.
13-Inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display
Lastly, Apple launched a 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display. It features a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels, for a density of 227 ppi. This is slightly greater than the 15-inch model, which is 220 ppi.
The 13-Inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display starts at $1699.
What do you think of Apple’s announcements, particularly the iPad mini? Do you think the iPad mini can successfully compete with cheaper 7-inch tablets like the Nexus 7, Kindle Fire HD, and Nook HD?