Just last month, the Cupertino giant took the curtains off three new iPhones – the iPhone XS (review), iPhone XS Max (review), and the iPhone XR (review). And today, at its Special Event in Brooklyn, NYC, Apple has introduced a slew of new hardware, including an all-new MacBook Air, iPad Pro and more. If you missed the event, then fret not… here’s a rundown of everything the company announced today.
New MacBook Air
Apple’s MacBook Air was long due for an update, and finally, it has gotten a much-needed refresh. The new MacBook Air comes with a 13.3-inch Retina Display and sports 8th-gen Intel processors under the hood. Available in gold, space grey and silver hues, the machine offers a third-gen Butterfly keyboard and a Force Touch trackpad. The biggest changes on the new Air are the inclusion of Touch ID for unlocking the device, and Apple T2 Security Chip, an enclave which protects the Touch ID info, and hosts an always-on processor to listen to “Hey Siri” commands. The rig is also said to offer up to 25 percent louder speakers. Hardware-wise, the new Apple MacBook Air sports dual-core Core i5 CPU, Intel UHD graphics and can be configured with up to 16GB RAM and 1.5TB SSD. The device also comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which can be used for charging and data transfers, along with connecting to accessories like external storage, 4k / 5k displays, etc. Of course, the Air continues to boast incredible battery life, with the brand claiming up to 12 hours of web surfing and 13 hours of movie playback on iTunes off a single charge. Another interesting thing worth noting is that the MacBook Air has been built from recycled aluminium.
The pricing of the MacBook Air starts from Rs 1,14,900 and it will be available to buy in India starting November 7th. The brand is yet to confirm if and when the laptop will be heading to India.
The new iPad Pro comes in two screen sizes of 11-inches and 12.9-inches, and features minimal bezels around the fascia. Interestingly, while the brand has welcomed Touch ID on the new MacBook Air, it has bid adieu to the same on its new iPads in favour of Face ID. The new slates are just 5.9mm thin and feature Liquid Retina displays. Inside, they come equipped with one of the most powerful mobile chipsets around, the 7nm A12X Bionic. The SoC takes a step forward from the A12 Bionic chipset powering the iPhone trio, and packs in 10 billion transistors. With a combination of an octa-core CPU and a 7-core GPU, the silicon also comes with a Neural Engine to enable AI processing, faster Face ID and AR capabilities among other things. Amidst the big changes is the inclusion of a Type-C port in lieu of the proprietary Lightning connector. This allows the new Apple iPad Pro to connect to external displays with up to 5k resolution and even charge iPhones.
With storage ranging from 64GB and going all the way up to a whopping 1TB, the price of the 11-inch iPad Pro starts at Rs 71,9000 for the Wi-Fi model, and Rs 89,900 for the 12.9-inch Wi-Fi variant. While the exact launch date for India hasn’t been divulged, the duo is said to launch by later this year.
2nd-gen Apple Pencil and Smart Folio keyboard
The Cupertino brand has also updated the iPad accessories. The Apple Pencil, now in its second generation, is more powerful and versatile. The device can not only be attached magnetically to the iPad Pros, but also charges wirelessly. It also supports double tap functionality, which can enable interesting features in apps like Notes, and Photoshop (due to arrive in 2019). The Pencil will set you back by Rs 10,900.
While the iPad Pro continues to be a powerful tablet, you can also convert it into a laptop replacement by opting for the Smart Folio Keyboard. The new accessory promises to offer a better typing experience in a thin and light form factor. Available in multiple colours, the cover for the 11-inch iPad Pro will cost Rs 7,500, while the folio for the 12.9-inch model carries a sticker price of Rs 9,900.
The event wasn’t just about portable gadgets, as Apple also announced a new Mac mini for those who were looking for a space-saving desktop running macOS. Similar to the new MacBook Air, the Mac Mini comes enclosed in a recycled aluminium and draw power from Intel’s 8th-gen chipset. The quad- or hexa-core CPUs can Turbo up to 4.6GHz, and are coupled with Intel’s UHD graphics, the combination of which is tipped to offer up to five times faster performance than its predecessor. While its predecessor only supported up to 16GB RAM, the newer machine supports up to 64GB of RAM and up to 2TB SSDs. The desktop also comes equipped with the T2 Security Chip, ensuring that the data stored on the SSD is encrypted. The new Mac mini features as much as four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB Type-A ports, an Ethernet socket and an HDMI 2.0 port.
As far as the pricing and availability is concerned, the new Mac Mini starts at Rs 75,900 and can be purchased from retail stores as well as online from November 7th.
That’s not all, the brand has also announced the availability of the iOS 12.1 update which enables dual-SIM functionality, brings Group Facetime and more on the new iPhones. The company also announced ‘Today at Apple’ program which has 60 sessions, and aims to educate consumers on various aspects of Apple’s products.