Apple was firing on all cylinders with their event last night that formally introduced to the world to the iPad Mini along with a refreshed iPad and Macs. Here’s what I think about the new products from Apple:
From what I have read, the iPad Mini looks like a beautiful tablet that is not only thin and light but has an impressive screen even though it’s lower in resolution to the dime-a-dozen Android tablets. With the same screen resolution and aspect ratio of the original iPad, Apple has made sure that all of the 275,000+ apps for the iPad work on the mini right away which is good for Apple and great for developers.
Where I see people fired up about it is the pricing. At $329, it is certainly not the cheapest 7″ tablet but when has Apple ever competed on price. From their first iPod to the latest series of Macs, Apple has ALWAYS focused on catering to the premium sector for it’s market and that is exactly what the new iPad Mini does. I think Apple is perfectly happy letting Amazon, Google and Samsung battle it for the budget sector while focused on getting the iPad when they’re willing to “upgrade” to a premium device.
The refresh to iPad certainly took me by surprise. I bought the iPad 3 about six months back and there is a new one already which is very un-Apple like. It has the faster A6X processor, the new lightning connector and an HD ready FaceTime camera. Good updates but I see no reason to upgrade my iPad 3.
Certainly my favorite devices from last night’s event. The design for the new iMacs is stunning and Apple has not skipped on specs either. You can order one with the latest Intel Core i5 and i7 CPUs along with they latest NVIDIA GPUs for mobiles- all the way unto the GTX 680MX which will surely pack quite a punch for gamers. The Fusion drive with a mixture of SSD and mechanical is certainly a good welcome, however, I think it should have been made a standard instead of an optional add-on. I will certainly be upgrading to the new 27″ iMac.
13″ MacBook Pro Retina
The 15″ MacBook Pro Retina is stunning and the family expanded with the 13″ model last night. It is pretty much what was expected out the 13″ model, however. the lack of a dedicated GPU makes it a bit less desirable. Had it featured one, I would have sold my 15″ MBP and gotten that but now I’ll wait until Intel releases their new generation of Maxwell CPUs before moving back to the smaller form factor. Maybe the Air would gain Retina by then as well which would totally rock.
I have two Mac Minis at home- one acting as sort-of server for my media and the other connected to the TV acting as a Media Center with Plex. With faster CPUss, I could easily see the Mac as a decent office level computer as well. The upgrade to USB3 will certainly help and with the Fusion drive, should make the device fairly zippy.
All-in-all, I think it was a pretty packed event from Apple last night with more new hardware announcements than any other recent events. Will these new products be successful? Do we really need to ask?