Apple Take Excitement to the Macs – New Ivy Bridge iMacs, Mac Mini, 13” Retina MacBook Pro

Apple Take Excitement to the Macs – New Ivy Bridge iMacs, Mac Mini, 13” Retina MacBook Pro

Apple have unveiled a slew of new and updated products in a special media event in San Francisco. Aside from the iPad Mini and 4th-generation iPad discussed in an earlier post, most notable among the new arrivals was the new 13” Retina MacBook Pro, while the hotly-anticipated Ivy Bridge iMacs and an upgraded Mac Mini also made their debuts today. Here’s a brief rundown of what was in store.

MacBook Pro
The incredibly thin new 13” Retina MacBook Pro is now just 0.75” thick and weighs just 3.5 pounds20% thinner and 1 pound lighter than before. As with the 15” Retina model, there’s no longer room for an optical drive, but at a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels – four times the number of the previous generation MBP – that Retina display with 75% reduced reflection and 178 degree viewing angle makes up for a lot. Also now sporting an HDMI out and flash storage capacity of up to 768GB, the 13” Retina MacBook Pro starts from £1449 for the base 2.5GHz dual-core i5 128GB model, rising to £1699 for the 256GB version. The new 13-incher is available from today, but for those not bothered about the Retina display, the current non-Retina models are still available at the same price as before.

iMac
The new iMac closely resembles its predecessor, at least from the front, retaining as it does the much-maligned ‘chin’ beneath the display. However, the display glass now runs all the way to the edge, and from the rear, it’s a totally different shape, a bulge at the centre of the back panel gradually tapering to a 5mm thickness at the edge where it meets the display. It looks stunning in the images, and promises to be even more so in the metal. The display is fully laminated to the glass, dispensing with the 2mm air gap that formed part of the construction of the previous model. This astonishing 80% reduction in thickness means that the vertical optical drive has finally bitten the dust, as it has in the Retina laptops.
Following much speculation that the new iMac would have a Retina display, consumers may or may not be disappointed with the standard, non-Retina LED displays that the new models sport. However, with IPS technology for a wide viewing angle and a special anti-reflective coating that’s 75% less reflective than before, they should still be pretty impressive. The 21.5” model offers the same 1920 x 1080 resolution as before, as does the 27” with its 2560 x 1440 spec. A 720p Facetime HD camera, dual microphones, stereo speakers, NVIDIA Kepler graphics and 802.11a/b/g/n WiFi round out the specifications.
You can get the new iMac configured with either a 1TB or 3TB HDD or up to 768GB of flash SSD storage, but a third option is to go for Apple’s new Fusion Drive, which is essentially similar to a hybrid drive such as Seagate’s Momentus XT. A combination of a 128GB SSD and a 1 or 3TB HDD, this comes pre-configured with Mountain Lion and all Apple’s native apps on the flash partition, leaving you ample room for storage on the HD partition. This promises lightning-fast performance from the apps you use most day-to-day, coupled with the kind of storage capacity not yet achievable via an SSD alone. It’ll be interesting to see how much this sets you back as a CTO option.

Bundled, as before, with Apple’s wireless keyboard and magic mouse, the new 21.5” iMac will start at £1099 for the base 2.7GHz i5 1TB 8GB model when it ships in November, rising to £1249 for the 2.9GHz model. The base 27” 2.9GHz i5 1TB 8GB will be available in December for £1499, with the 3.2GHz i5 1TB 8GB version coming out at £1699. Quad-core i7 processors will be available as a CTO option on the higher-priced 21.5 and 27” versions.

Mac Mini
The smallest, most affordable Mac also gets a much-needed Ivy Bridge refresh, starting at £499 for the 2.5GHz dual-core i5 version, rising to £679 for the 2.3GHz quad-core i7 model. There’s also a server version available with twin 1TB hard drives for £849. All models ship with 4GB RAM and Intel HD Graphics 4000.

Apple expands iPad range with iPad Mini and 4th-generation iPad

Apple expands iPad range with iPad Mini and 4th-generation iPad

Apple have introduced the eagerly-awaited iPad Mini to its iPad product lineup, together with a revamped version of the full-size model that takes advantage of a faster processor and the new Lightning dock connector. With a diagonal screen dimension of 7.9 inches, the iPad Mini is an entirely new design, at just 7.2mm thick – 23% thinner than the revamped, 4th-generation iPad – and weighing a mere 0.68lbs – 53% lighter than the full size model. Maintaining the original iPad’s 1024 x 768 screen resolution and aspect ratio guarantees that all current iPad apps will work on the smaller device without any extra effort necessary from developers to release compatible versions of their apps.

The dinky new device has at its heart a dual-core A5 chip and boasts both a 720p Facetime HD front camera and a 5MP rear iSight camera. Featuring LTE cellular capability, 802.11 a/b/g/n WiFi and a touted 10-hour battery life, the iPad Mini will ship in black or white trim and will be available to pre-order from October 26th. WiFi models are expected to start shipping on November 2nd, with cellular models shipping 2 weeks later.
Prices start at £269 for the 16GB WiFi model, rising to £429 for the 64GB WiFi model. Cellular models will start at £369 for the 16GB, topping out at £529 for the 64GB. There’s also a range of bespoke smart covers, available in a choice of five colours (plus a product RED version), to make the teeny iPad even more dapper.

The new, 4th generation full-size iPad sports a speedy new A6X processor for double the CPU and graphics performance of its predecessor, together with the new Lightning dock connector as found on the iPhone 5. Prices for these start at £399 for the 16GB WiFi model, rising to £559 for the 64GB WiFi model. Cellular models will start at £499 for the 16GB, topping out at £659 for the 64GB.

WWDC 2012 Highlights – New MacBooks, Mountain Lion, iOS 6 – UK Prices

Unlike last year, where I missed almost the entire thing due to deadline pressures, this time around I was fully poised with live weblogs engaged as the 6.00pm keynote hour for Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference approached. Here’s a rundown of what was announced at the Moscone Centre in San Francisco earlier this evening.

Updated MacBook Pro and MacBook Air

The MacBook Air gets the new Intel Ivy Bridge processor, up to 2GHz dual-core i7, with up to 8GHz of 1600MHz RAM and 60% faster graphics. 512GB of flash storage, USB 3, and a 720p FaceTime camera. Display wise, the 11″ model sports a 1366 x 768 display, with a 1440 x 900 resolution on the 13″ . The 2012 MacBook Air ships today, with prices ranging from £849 – £1249.

The MacBook Pro also gets Ivy Bridge processors, up to 2.9GHz quad-core i7, (turbo boostable to 3.6GHz), 8GB of 1600MHz RAM and 60% faster graphics. The 13″ model gets the same integrated graphics chip as the new MacBook Air, while the 15″ gets the Kepler GeForce GT 650M graphics card with up to 1GB of video RAM. Both models get USB 3 ports. The 13″ version starts at £999 for the 2.5GHz variant, rising to £1249 for the 2.9GHz i7. The 15″ model starts at £1499 for the 2.3GHz, going up to Continue reading

New iPad / iPad 3 – UK Prices

Just a quick update to yesterday’s new iPad announcement. Official UK prices for the new iPad are as shown in the image, starting at £399 for the base 16GB WiFi-only model and rising to £659 for the top-of-the-range 64GB WiFi + 4G version. Details of data plans for the 4G models, and their associated costs, can be found at http://store.apple.com/uk/browse/home/shop_ipad/family/ipad/select_ipad