In case you managed to ignore most of the Internet this morning (or this afternoon if you are on the East Coast), Apple, after much speculation over the last few months has released the smaller version of its iOS 6-running tablet, aptly named the iPad mini.
But the iPad Mini was not the only exciting product revealed on Tuesday in San Jose — Apple also let fly a 13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro, a gorgeous new, impossibly thin iMac, and a refreshed Mac mini.
Spinning an iPad 2 to show the new iPad mini hiding coyly behind it’s bigger brother, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Hardware Phil Schiller unveiled the eBook reader-sized tablet, sending a life-threatening shockwave through the hearts of small tablet makers like Amazon, Samsung, and Google.
The iPad mini will come in White/Silver and Black/Slate, pairing nicely with the iPhone 5, released just a few weeks ago to rave reviews. As with the full-sized iPad, the iPad mini has a Wi-Fi-only option as well as a Wi-Fi plus cellular option.
The iPad mini weighs in at a nearly fictional 0.68 pounds and measures 7.87 inches tall and 5.3 inches wide with a 7.9-inch diagonal display at 1024 x 768 resolution.
Storage options include 16GB, 32GB, and 64GB. The iPad mini features Apple’s A5 chip, a front-side 720p HD FaceTime camera, a back-side 5MP camera that records video in 1080p, and the new Lightning connector.
If you’re planning on purchasing an iPad mini, check out Apple’s comparison chart:
With the major focus of Tuesday’s event being the iPad mini, the introduction of the latest version of the iMac lineup may have been slightly underwhelming. That, however, should not be the case. The new iMac is every bit as impressive in terms of engineering and build quality. And if you are even remotely in the market for a desktop computing solution, Apple just released the best option.
The iMac still comes in its traditional 21.5-inch and 27-inch display sizes, but both have been significantly whittled down to an amazingly thin machine, boasting 40% less volume than its predecessor. Of course the iMac comes in a variety of configurations, including Apple’s new storage and speed solution, Fusion Drive, which combines the speed of a flash storage drive with the capacity of a hard disk drive.
Fusion Drive automatically and intelligently manages your data so that frequently used apps, documents, photos, and other files stay on the faster flash storage, while infrequently used items move to the hard drive. You’ll enjoy shorter boot times, and as the system learns how you work, you’ll experience faster application launches and quicker file access.
The 21.5-inch model starts at $1299 and will be available some time in November, while the 27-inch will start at $1799 and be available some time in December.
13-inch Retina Display MacBook Pro
Apple’s notebook lineup also saw a major refresh when the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina Display was announced. With a resolution of 2560 x 1600, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro boasts 227 pixels per inch. At a $1699 starting price, the upscale technology, wrapped in a thinner, lighter machine body makes high-quality, professional-level computing extremely accessible.
The most under-stated, though equally interesting, announcement of the day came when Phil Schiller previewed the refreshed Mac mini. The updated tech specs for the Mac mini include the 2.5GHz dual-core Intel i5 chip, a 500GB hard disk drive, and 4GB of onboard memory — all starting at just $599.