By Siva Om on Tue, 10/23/2012
To call today's event, "the iPad mini event" is, in a sense, grossly inaccurate, since after all, we were introduced to a wide and varied line of truly impressive and noteworthy products. And yet, I suspect today's event is destined to go down in history first and foremost, as the day the world was introduced to the iPad mini.
Today, Apple introduced to us, the new iPad mini, the revamped 4th Generation iPad, the Mac mini, the new iMac and the new 13” Retina display MacBook. And that’s just talking about the hardware! Apple also unveiled an amazing update to iBooks as well as the iBook Author app. Quite the bountiful event!
What great icing on the cake after the iPhone and iPod event of last month. First Apple introduced their latest iteration of the world’s most popular smartphone which has gone on to sell in record numbers, breaking sales records set by its predecessor. Now, Apple has entreated us to an equally impressive and expansive line up of new and equally innovative and revolutionary products. Apple gave a great show today with a plethora of stunning new devices, while also demostrating their great flair for the theatrical and suspenseful that we have all come to love and perhaps, expect.
Saving the most-anticipated and speculated upon for last, Apple CEO Tim Cook first introduced to us, new and revamped iBooks and iBooks Author apps! After giving the run down on the new apps, Cook brought on stage, Apple’s Senior VP, Phil Schiller.
Schiller introduced us first, to the new Retina display 13 inch MacBook. The new 13 inch MacBook weighs in at a full 3.5 pounds lighter than the former version! It also sports more pixels (over 4 million) than any other 15 or 16-inch notebook and has a higher resolution than most HDtvs! Wow! Those are some impressive stats! The 13-inch MacBook is available now at a starting price of $1,699.00.
Following the MacBook was the Mac mini. As Phil joked with the audience saying: “You knew the word mini was going to turn up here somewhere…” The Mac mini also has some very impressive stats and is a hugely economic investment, starting at just $599.00.
Still, everyone was on the proverbial edge of their seats as the event continued. Next up was the absolutely incredible, new iMac which is a full 8 pounds lighter than the last version of the iMac, as is so ridiculously thin, that its actually significantly thinner at it’s edge (5mm!) than it’s smaller cousin, the iPad 2. With the introduction of the iMac, we heard all kinds of fantastic new terms like Fusion Drive and Plasma Deposition that I can’t wait to learn more about. The new iMac is truly a wonder of modern design. Starting at $1299.00, the new iMac 21.5-inch will be shipping in November sometime and the 27-inch version ($1,799.00) will be shipping in December.
Then it was on to the iPads, as Phil introduced the new, “new” iPad. What was once the “new” iPad, has received its first update and in it’s new and improved form, will be known as the iPad 4, or Fourth Generation iPad.
What we've all been waiting for...
The big new of the day, as well as the show’s closer, was the introduction of the iPad mini. As Sir Jonathan Ive said in an introductory video for the iPad mini “We took the time to design a product that was a concentration of - not a reduction of - the original.” A great way to describe this game-changing new family member to the iPad line.
In some ways the iPad mini is similar to the iPad 2, in some ways it is similar to the new, iPad 4. In many ways it is a unique entity unto itself! The new iPad mini has a Dual Core A5 chip, like its iPad 2 cousin, and the same screen resolution as the iPad 2, at 1024 x 768. It measures diagonally 7.9 inches as opposed to the 9.7 inches of the iPad 4.
In fact, speaking of screen size, during the course of the conversation, Phil Schiller couldn’t help but take a few jabs at Google’s Android tablet, comparing them side by side, and the specs spoke for themselves! The iPad mini isn’t just a better made, and smaller tablet in every way, the iPad mini manages to accomplish this feat while providing substantially more screen real estate than Google’s comparatively sized tablet. In fact, a whopping 35% more screen size to be specific. Instead of Google’s 21.9 square inch screen, the iPad mini boasts almost 30 square inches (29.6 to be exact) of screen space.
As Phil Schiller said about the mini: “It is equal to, or better than the iPad 2 in every way!” Sporting many of the features that Apple added to the formerly “new” iPad to make it the iPad 4, the iPad mini also comes with the same Ultrafast Wireless, the same enhanced WI-Fi speeds and the same long battery life, clocking in at about 10 -10.5 hours of moderate usage. Oh, and did I mention, better cameras than the iPad 2 had, with a 5 MP HD Face Time camera on front as well as a 5 MP iSight camera on the backside. And one more thing: full Siri integration! Woohoo!
Prices for the iPad mini start at $329.00 for the 16 GB Wi-Fi-only version and go up from there incrementally, going as high as $659.00 for a 64 GB Wi-Fi and Cellular model. The iPad mini will be available for pre-order on October 26th, this Friday, and the Wi-Fi model will start shipping on November 2nd with the Cellular-capable model shipping 2 weeks later in mid-November. The iPad mini will be available in both white and black models.
All in all, I’d say that Apple hit one out of the park with today’s event, and demonstrated why they are clearly considered the leaders of personal computing’s technology and innovation. Good job team!
Thank you as always for reading!