Apple refreshes iPads, iMacs and Macbook Pros

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Apple refreshes iPads, iMacs and Macbook Pros
Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Launches iPad mini.

Apple introduced a range of new hardware this morning, much of it being refreshed versions of existing models.

The widely-tipped iPad mini debuted, with Apple's marketing boss Phil Schiller saying it is not just a shrunken-down version of its bigger brother.

With a 7.9-inch 1024 by 768 pixel display, the iPad mini is 7.2mm thin and weighs 0.68lbs (308 grams).

Schiller suggested the iPad mini is lighter than most books, and Apple is targeting it as a media consumption device.

Unusually for Apple, the competition in the form of Android got a mention at the launch event. An unnamed Android tablet was compared to the iPad mini, so that Schiller could show off the apparent superiority of the Apple product.

The iPad mini starts at $369 (16 GB, wifi only). Larger capacity models with 32 and 64 GB storage cost $479 and $589 respectively.

Adding LTE support brings the iPad mini price to $509, $619 and $729 respectively for 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB models.

New 'large' iPad

A fourth-generation iPad with boosted hardware specifications was also introduced by Apple CEO Tim Cook, with a faster A6X processor, better camera and improved LTE cellular broadband support as well as faster wifi.

The 4G iPad uses the new Lightning connector and has an SD memory card reader for the first time.

Other than that, the 4G iPads have the same amount of storage as predecessors, and will retail starting from $679, $789, and $899 for the 16 GB, 32 GB and 64 GB wifi and cellular broadband models.

New Zealand and Australia are in the first wave of countries to get the new iPads, which can be preordered from this Friday and available in wifi only in retail stores from November 2.

As anticipated, Schiller also introduced a new Macbook Pro with a 13-inch screen that's considerably slimmer and thinner, as well as lighter, than its predecessor.

The new 13-inch Macbook Pro comes with a 2560 by 1600 high pixel resolution Retina display, high definition Facetime camera, two Thunderbolt ports, USB 3 and MagSafe 3 connectors.

It's powered by Intel Core i5 and i7 Ivy Bridge processors, with RAM starting at 8GB and solid state storage of up to 768 GB.

The lowest-priced Retina display model with a 2.5GHz dual-core i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 128 GB SSD costs $1899 whereas the 256 GB SSD-equipped model costs $2199 including GST.

Apple's Mac Mini standalone small desktop and server computer range was also unveiled, starting with a 2.5GHz dual-core i5 model with 4 GB of RAM and 500 GB hard drive for $699. Adding a faster 2.3GHz Core i7 quad-core processor and 1 TB hard drive brings the price up to $899.

The server model costs $1099 and features a 2.3GHz Intel Core i7 CPU, 4 GB RAM and two 1 TB hard drives.

A new iMac all-in-one desktop computer, which is a mere 5mm thin at the edge, also saw the light of the day, with:

  • 21.5- and 27-inch laminated IPS displays with up to 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution
  • Intel processors
  • up to 3 TB of storage
  • a smaller SSD used to cache larger electro-mechanical hard drives.

Pricing for the new iMacs is set at $1299 for the 21.5-inch model with 2.7GHz quad-core Intel i5 processor, 8 GB RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GT640M video card, and 1 TB hard drive.

A 2.9GHz processor and GeForce GT 650M video card model retails for $1698.

The 27-inch model has a 2.9GHz i5 processor, a faster GeForce GT660M video card and starts at $2199.

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