Apple’s October 16th special event is over and here’s what happened on the day. A lot of things were spoken of on stage, but the two most important announcements were the iPad Air 2 and the 27-inch iMac with a Retina 5k display. Apart from that, Apple also announced updated Mac mini, iPad mini 3, OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1 with Apple Pay.
Lets talk about the new iPad Air 2 first. Apple is claiming that it’s the thinnest tablet in the universe and that is probably true as it’s only 6.1 mm thick. The iPad Air 2 has an improved Retina HD display that is supposedly 56 percent less reflective than before, thanks to a new display production method and lamination.
The iPad Air 2 is powered by a 2nd gen 64 bit Apple A8x processor that gets some help from the M8 motion co-processor. It’s apparently 40 percent faster than the previous gen iPad in terms of CPU performance and 2.5 times faster when it comes to the GPU. Then there’s an improved camera that now comes with several features such as Burst Mode, Slo-Mo, Timelapse and HDR video. The camera lens is an 8 megapixel, 1.12 micron pixels and f/2.4 aperture setup that shoots 1080p videos. The front FaceTime HD camera has a burst Selfie feature for all the duck-face selfies. Also, the new iPad Air 2 gets the Touch ID home button.
Along with the iPad Air 2, Apple also announced the iPad mini 3, which only gets a new Touch ID home button. Same old processor and other internals that were present in the iPad mini 2.
Then there’s the beast of an iMac. The 27-inch iMac now comes with a Retina 5k display, which has 14.7 million pixels and a native resolution of 5120×2880 . That’s 67 percent more pixels than a 4K display and 7 times more than a standard full HD screen. Apple has also added a new timing controller chip for the 5K display which improves efficiency by 30 percent. The basic version comes with a 3.5GHz Intel i5 processor, AMD Radeon R9 M290X graphics, 8GB RAM, 1TB Fusion drive and Thunderbolt 2. All that for just $2499.
Apple also gave the Mac mini some much needed upgrades, which received its last hardware refresh two years ago. The Mac mini 2014 comes with the latest 4th gen Intel i5 processors, faster WiFi chips, Thunderbolt 2 ports, PCIe based flash storage and Intel Iris graphics. The price for the standard model, which features a 1.4 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 4GB RAM, Intel HD Graphics 5000 and 500GB HDD, is $499.
Mac OS X Yosemite and iOS 8.1 were also given stage time and the updates will be arriving Monday. The iPad Air 2 and iPad mini 3 will be available for pre-order today and will start shipping on October 24th. The 27-inch iMac with Retina 5k display and the new Mac mini are currently available for purchase.