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New iPads, Macbooks & Mac Pros. Oh my!

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apple-logo.pngThe autumn leaves have revealed themselves which means it’s time for another round of hardware updates to the Apple lineup.

There was a lot of speculation as to what Apple had in store for this event. And just like with every event, most of the rumors were spot on while a handful omissions were disappointing.

Macbook Pro w/ Retina Display Haswell update

The first generation Macbook Pro w/ Retina Display was a solid effort for the 15″ but the 13″ was lagging behind due to Ivy Bridge’s relatively weak integrated GPU solution. The Haswell update and its Iris Pro offerings seems to be the missing pieces that will help Apple properly bring their high density Macbook Pro into reality.

Mac Pro Update

At $1999, it’s pricier than what I would normally pay for a desktop but then again I am not the target audience for such a machine. I don’t mind admiring exquisite design but I love tinkering and upgrading too much to give that up — especially a machine that costs $1999 or more.

iPad Air

I don’t quite understand why Apple decided to add the word “Air” to their latest 9.7″ iPad. They didn’t introduce a direct replacement to the thicker iPad 4 and they are phasing it out as well. So why did they? Why did they feel the need to the emphasize the the thin and lightness of it with the moniker?

I’m also confused by their continued use of the A7 in the full sized iPad. Historically, Apple took their latest SoC added additional GPU cores, bumped clock speed and slapped on the X suffix. They didn’t do that this time around. I doubt the A7 is running at the same clock speed but what about the number of GPU cores?

iPad Mini w/ Retina Display

The mystery behind the A7 continued when Apple revealed the iPad Mini w/ Retina display. The iPad Mini has the same number of pixels so the A7 is required but will it be running at the exact same speed? Apple is promising the same 10 hour battery life for both the 9.7″ and 7.9″ tablets, so either Apple engineers are wizards or there are some compromises that we’re not aware of.

Perhaps both are running at the exact same speeds and by doing so, Apple was able to get the weight of the 9.7″ down to 1 lb. I’m very curious how it all pans out.

The lack of Touch ID and gold color options for both iPads were disappointing. I don’t necessarily need the Touch ID for my iPad because I just leave that unlocked at home. It makes sense on a phone but not as important for me on the tablet. The lack of gold option though? I don’t understand why they wouldn’t offer that. Too gaudy to have a solid gold back? Or perhaps all of the above was held back due to supply and manufacturing concerns? After all, the gold iPhone 5s was (is?) a bit tough to acquire.

OS X Mavericks Is Free

So this is it. The end of charging for the operating systems from Apple. We’ve all come to expect free iOS updates from Apple, so this is just an extension of their philosophy of giving users software to keep them in the ecosystem.

I didn’t mind paying $20 for a yearly update but I certainly don’t mind free.

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