Tim Cook (CEO, Apple) has been busy. Despite skeptical predictions, Apple Inc is still going strong, having hit new records with a new iPhone, a few new iPods, a new iPad and even more iLawsuits. On Tuesday, the 23rd, Apple brought out three new devices: the much-discussed iPad Mini, a 13-inch Macbook Pro and a brand-new iMac.
Firstly, the iPad Mini, which is the subject of much back-and-forth between tab users. Spec-wise, this shrunken iPad measures 7.9 inches diagonally, runs a dual-core A5 processor and weighs in at a mere 308 grams – which is half the weight of the iPad. This puts the iPad Mini directly into the territory of Android tabs such as the Google Nexus and the Kindle Fire. This is a direct turnaround from Steve Jobs’ statement two years ago, who scoffed that “The 7-inch tablets are tweeners: too big to compete with a smartphone, and too small to compete with an iPad.” However, things changed once Amazon put out the Kindle.
Right now the question is not whether the iPad Mini is a good product: the question is whether it’s worth the money. The Mini faces some stiff competition from the likes of the Google Nexus, which is far cheaper than the Mini’s rather high asking price (upwards of £269) and packs Android 4.0 with more point-for-point performance. Given the popularity of Apple products, people will always buy the Mini. Given its specifications, it’s around the norm for the 7-inch tab market, and exceeds expectations – in pricing.
Less controversial, and perhaps far more accomplished, was the new Apple iMac, with its razor-thin design and distinct Apple looks. It’s an all-in-one computer – display, storage, Mac OS X Mountain Lion, the works. The iMac comes in two main flavors: a 21-inch and a 27-inch system, running quad-core Intel i-Series processors and Nvidia Geforce GT650 / GTX 680 (respectively) for graphics. The processors available are third-generation i5’s and i7s: the standard offering iMac comes with 8 Gb of RAM, with the 27 inch system upgradeable up to 32 Gb – which is a workhorse by anyone’s standards.
There’s also a new Macbook Pro and a new Mac Mini: at 7.7 inches square, the Mini starts at $599, comes with Core i5/i7 processors and. Like the iMac and the Macbook, the processors here are third-gen, which means – in this case – Intel HD Graphics 4000. It comes with WiFi, Bluetooth and plugs into your TV via an HDMI port.
What still hasn’t changed is the need for more USB ports. The Mac Mini comes with 4 USB 3.0 ports. Unless you’re buying Apple-specific mice and keyboards, you’ll want to keep a USB hub handy.
All in all, the Apple pushed out enough goodies to rival their famous iPhone 5 launch. Unlike most tech companies, Apple excels at polishing and perfecting a small product range, with each device targeting a specific portion of the market. In that regard, they’re doing even better than before, though the relatively underpowered iPad Mini might eventually turn out to disappoint.