Apple refreshes everything but kitchen sink, adds iPad mini

Everyone was expecting Apple to introduce the iPad mini at today’s event—and maybe a 13″ version of the Retina MacBook Pro, too. Apple delivered on those expectations, but a jubilant and slightly hyperactive Phil Schiller also took the opportunity to introduce a fourth-gen 9.7″ iPad, a new generation of iMacs, and a revamped Mac mini. Apple events don’t get much bigger than this, folks.

Let’s start with the iPad mini, which is the most affordable—and arguably the most exciting—of today’s introductions. The leaked images were accurate: this device has a 7.9″ display with a thinner bezel on the sides than the regular iPad, and it features an aluminum shell and the new Lightning connector that premiered with the iPhone 5. Apple has stuck with the same 1024×768 resolution as the iPad 2, which means all existing iPad apps should work on the new device right out of the box, with no modifications needed. Schiller went to great pains to demonstrate the difference between its strategy and that of Google, whose Nexus 7 tablet runs scaled-up phone apps.

The iPad mini isn’t exactly a Nexus 7 killer, though. While the Google tablet starts at $199, the smaller iPad will be priced at $329 and up. The base config will get you 16GB of flash storage capacity and Wi-Fi connectivity. 4G LTE will be available on a pricier, $459 variant. All versions of the iPad mini will also feature an A5 dual-core processor, front and rear cameras, a 10-hour battery, and 5GHz Wi-Fi connectivity. Apple quotes a weight of 0.68 lbs and a thickness of 7.2 mm for the device.

iPad mini pre-orders are scheduled to kick off this Friday, October 26. The Wi-Fi model will ship on November 2, and the cellular variant will arrive two weeks later in the U.S.

Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display is almost as exciting—although at $1,699, it’s probably out of the reach of many users. This is undoubtedly an impressive machine, however. Its 13″ IPS panel has an eye-popping 2560×1600 display resolution with 300 cd/m² luminosity, and according to Apple, contrast has gone up 29% and reflectivity has decreased by 75% compared to the regular 13″ MacBook Pro. There isn’t much graphics horsepower driving all those pixels, though: just plain Intel HD 4000 integrated graphics, which are quite a step down from the GeForce GT 650M inside the 15″ Retina MacBook Pro.

Apple says the 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro should be available today. The base, $1699 config packs a 2.5GHz Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of solid-state storage, and a seven-hour battery. Connectivity includes dual Thunderbolt ports, USB 3.0, and HDMI. Apple has skipped optical storage, of course, which is probably why the machine only weighs 3.57 lbs with a thickness of just 0.75″. Folks with extra scratch can spring for a Core i7 chip and up to 786GB of storage, but other extras will have to sit outside the machine.

What else? Apple has replaced the third-gen iPad with a largely similar fourth-gen offering, which has the same screen size, battery life, and asking price, but with a faster A6X chip and a Lightning connector.

Schiller also unveiled some redesigned iMacs. They’re thinner (apparently an important improvement for huge, all-in-one desktops that will never see the inside of a backpack), and they’re now powered by quad-core Ivy Bridge processors and Nvidia Kepler graphics. Display resolutions are the same as on older models—2560×1440 for the 27″ system and 1920×1080 for its 21.5″ sibling—but Apple touts an improved glass lamination technique that’s allegedly reduces reflectivity by 75%. Here, also, Apple has excised the optical drive, but the presence of four USB 3.0 ports, dual Thunderbolt ports, 802.11n Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth 4.0 ought to make up for it.

Oh, and there’s a new Mac mini. Apple still charges $599 for the base model, but that now gets you a 2.5GHz dual-core Ivy Bridge processor, 4GB of RAM, and quad USB 3.0 ports.

Incidentally, both the revamped Mac mini and the thinner iMacs feature an optional storage configuration called Fusion Drive, which pairs a 128GB SSD with either 1TB or 3TB of mechanical storage. The operating system and default applications reside on the SSD, and OS X Mountain Lion automatically distributes additional apps and files between the two drives, prioritizing solid-state storage for apps the user runs most often. Sounds nifty.

Comments closed
    • ronch
    • 7 years ago

    Is it just me or does Apple seem to be plateauing? I mean, with each product iteration it’s just more of the same things. If they don’t break away from this path I see people getting tired of their products. They need to create something new, something nobody thought of before which will excite everyone.

      • no51
      • 7 years ago

      It’s what having competition that actually advertises does.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      This thought has been growing for me over the last 6 months or so. One could certainly argue that the last true leap of innovation Apple made was the iPhone in June 2007 – every iDevice since then has been an iteration of the iPhone: iPod Touch is the iPhone without cellular (lesser iPods are more side projects like Apple TV and nothing too special), iPad is a giant iPod Touch, iPad Mini is a less giant iPod Touch. On the Mac side there’s been nothing that breaks the market like the iPhone and its derivatives. They’ve certainly pushed specs and what’s possible, but things like high PPI are iterative improvements co-developed with other companies not leaps into new paradigms.

    • d0g_p00p
    • 7 years ago

    Fusion Drive = Rebranded Intel SRT

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      I think you’re giving it too much credit. During the press event it seemed they were reserving the flash space on the iMac for only specific “blessed” apps and everything else goes on mechanical storage. IOW where SRT pays attention to how frequently a file is accessed, Fusion Drive does not. Additionally, SRT’s SSD cache is redundant in that the files also exist on the mechanical drive. That again does not seem to be the case here.

      It’ll give Apple apps an additional performance advantage over other vendors.

        • Chrispy_
        • 7 years ago

        Yep, unless of course they pay Apple extra to have their app fusion-certified. Just another dirty revenue stream for the richest company in the world.

        Walled gardens etc:
        GET OUT BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE!

    • DragonDaddyBear
    • 7 years ago

    Of note on the comparison of the iPad Mini to the Nexus 7, the Nexus 7 costs much less but has a higher resolution screen (1200×800), resulting in a higher PPI count (216) than the Mini iPad (163), numbers based on Google results. RDF has struck again? I’m not saying the Mini is a failure, a halmark of Apple, displays, is inferior in some measurable way to soemthing that is much cheaper. And Apple does allow the use of iPhone Apps

    But the Mini is lighter(~10.5 Oz), by far, than the iPad 3rd gen(1 lb+) and even the Nexus 7(12 Oz) This, IMO is possibly the greatest accomplishment of the Mini. Being a new owner, as of Friday, of an “old” 3rd gen (it was a gift, so I’m really not complaining), the wight is my biggest complaint (other than I do like Jelly Bean much more, back button FTW!)

    Edit: clarified the PPI conts

    • dashbarron
    • 7 years ago

    The “refresh” of the iPad 3 is very, very surprising. It doesn’t seem like Apple to make nonimal improvements on a product that just came out, usually* they ride the archaic* design until the actual next product release.

    This coupled with an overall improvement with updated technology across the board (iMac), disregarding the integrated graphics in the MacBook, looks to me to signal an Apple that’s willing to change strategy from an pretentious-locked release cycle to, you know, a regular technology company that has to keep updated to stay afresh with the competition, regardless if their feverish fans indicate right now.

      • adisor19
      • 7 years ago

      The iPad 3 had a very high cost for the SoC due to the 45 nano process. With the A6X, Apple took care of that while boosting performance through the roof.

      Adi

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<]through the roof.[/quote<] You're silly. If this is "through the roof", what is the next one gonna be? To outer space? I guess X86 is already in a different galaxy.

          • jihadjoe
          • 7 years ago

          Through the next roof!

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            Make the roof higher!

        • esterhasz
        • 7 years ago

        Also, 1) it got very hot and 2) Apple needs to boost the new connector.

    • pedro
    • 7 years ago

    I like this new stuff mainly for what it means down the track. I’m still not tempted to get into the tablet market but the iPad Mini is definitely the closest I’ve got. One or two more gens of tweaking (double the res, double the RAM, slightly quicker CPU/GFX, improvements to iOS) and the Mini will be simply perfect for my needs.

      • BIF
      • 7 years ago

      I agree with your futures comment. The connector, Retina screens for the MBPs, and other standardization features are good. Of course, I would have preferred a micro-USB connector for apple products, but at least the standardization has been moved out to all of Apple’s lines.

      I see that the smaller “lightning” connector has also been ported to the 3.5 gen full-sized iPad, as well as the iPod models, and before yesterday’s announcement I was unaware that the connector is reversible.

      I wish my 3.0 gen iPad had that feature, but now I have an Alesis audio and MIDI dock which uses the old 30-pin connector, so I’m sort of tied in with this iPad now. You pays your money and you takes your chances…

      I would like to see bigger SSD storage options for the MacBook Pro line. I think if Apple came out with large capacities, there would be a market for it. If a 2TB (preferably larger) option came out, I would consider one for mobile DAW work. Cubase works on the Mac!

    • esterhasz
    • 7 years ago

    I would disagree with the idea that Apple products are generally “overpriced” – they make a value proposition that appeals to a specific audience with specific needs and desires.

    But $300 to go from 128GB to 256GB on the MBPro 13″ is simply insulting. I find this to be a highly desirable machine, but that is just obscene. The price is just too close to the 15″ and too far from the MBA, which costs nearly $500 less with very similar specs and still an OK display. I really doubt that this will be a very successful product.

      • raddude9
      • 7 years ago

      You think $300 for an extra 128GB is insulting? That works out at $2.34 per gigabyte, that’s actually very reasonable compared to the iPad mini

      The ‘mini’ iPad prices are
      16GB $329
      32GB $429
      64GB $529

      So to go from 16 to 32, you’re paying $100 for 16GB. This works out at a whopping $6.25 per gigabyte! Looking on the ‘internet’ you’ll be able to find a 16GB memory card for $10. So here Apple is charging you 10x the difference.

      I know Apple has over-charged for memory in the past, but the price of flash memory is reaching new lows, yet Apple is still charging the margins they were 4 years ago.

        • esterhasz
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks for the perspective! My perception is selective here – I don’t care much about storage on a tablet or phone, but could not live with less than 256GB on a laptop.

        I was toying with the idea of getting the new 13″ Pro, but this is just a bit too much.

          • sweatshopking
          • 7 years ago

          his point is that it makes even less sense than the other prices. both suck, and are insane, but people will be happy to pay it.

        • kvndoom
        • 7 years ago

        They charge what the market will bear. I don’t like it either (at $250 I almost certainly would have purchased) but so long as they sell tens of millions of everything they put out, no matter what it is or what they charge, why change? The iMini I won’t buy is already sold ten times over.

        Let us never forget the scarily accurate Onion article from a couple years back: [url<]http://www.theonion.com/video/apple-introduces-revolutionary-new-laptop-with-no,14299/[/url<]

          • esterhasz
          • 7 years ago

          [quote<]They charge what the market will bear.[/quote<] Sure. I just think that this time, they may be missing the sweet spot between the offer and demand curves - I for one will not get one, although I could afford it. But I am wondering whether they simply cannot produce more of the retina panels, which would suddenly explain the high price in terms of profit maximization.

        • travbrad
        • 7 years ago

        I guess we know why they never include a SD/microSD slot on any of these products.

      • JWDonnel
      • 7 years ago

      If you disagree with the idea of apple products being overpriced, then you obviously never have worked (warranty repairs) on an apple product. Their GSX site lists all the prices for each part in almost every single apple product out their. And yes, they are overpriced. Especially hard drives, video cards, and memory. They are all marked up because they slap the apple logo on it. If you don’t believe me, go look it up.

        • esterhasz
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t want to start a discussion about this, but price indicates utility and if people derive pleasure from the apple logo, it’s fine that they are charged for that… but it’s a boring question without a shared reference frame and I should not have mentioned it.

      • link626
      • 7 years ago

      price too high or insulting?

      for most apple consumers, it seems price is no object.

      • End User
      • 7 years ago

      I’m shocked by price of the 512GB SSD option on the base MBP 13″ – $1,000 CDN!!!!!

    • moog
    • 7 years ago

    How do they fit a display, quad core processor, Kepler graphics, and a PSU in that thin case?

    It’s like, magic.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, it’s like magic, if by magic you mean deceptive sleight of hand. ALL they mention is the ‘5mm edge’ which is really just the flat part of the edge after the curved back and not the actual depth of the case, and the pictures are so perfectly taken that the edge is brightly highlighted and the rest of the back of the case obscured. Go to the Apple website and it’s the same thing – nowhere is the actual case thickness mentioned and every picture except one ‘The evolution of iMac’ on this page [url<]http://www.apple.com/imac/design/[/url<] is taken from an angle that only shows the edge. That picture is quite small and shows the actual case depth isn't terribly much less than the preceding iMac. I do think Apple has good industrial design, but they go to such lengths to deceptively market it it irritates me instead of pleasing me.

        • nico1982
        • 7 years ago

        I don’t know if it is funnier that they think that ‘up to 40% less volume’ is a feature worth mentioning to their customers or that some of their customers actually think that is actually a feature. Strangely enough, they shaved off 4 kg from both models, but there’s no mention of it.

        I’m typing this from an iMac, by the way.

          • pedro
          • 7 years ago

          It’s a feature for me for sure. I feel we’re well served by having someone aggressively push specs that aren’t solely clock speed &c. It mean competitors take notice and do the same.

        • BIF
        • 7 years ago

        Burger King and MacDonalds have for years taken special pictures of their products.

        Car manufacturers do the same thing in their still and motion adverts, ensuring that only the “good side” goes out to the public.

        Most people have seen Apple products. Ever since the first iPhone, many of them have had a rounded back and I think most people know that. And certainly this is not concealed from those products that you can touch and hold and play with in the Apple stores.

        So…marketing sleight of hand? Sure, why not? Deceptive? Well, not any more than water spritzed on the Whopper’s tomatoes or pictures of those Buicks that de-emphasize that monstrous shark-like snout. Consumers are smarter than we give them credit for. Except for bell-bottomed pants; I’ll never get that one… 😀

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          No, consumers are NOT smarter, in a logical manner, than we give them credit for. If they were, emotionally-based psychological marketing and sales techniques wouldn’t work, nor would deceptive or misleading advertising!

          And what’s the rest of your point…that others do it therefore it’s ok for Apple? I find all emotionally-based psychological marketing and sales techniques to be slimey and underhanded. Sometimes they are just so blatent I can’t believe they work, like obvious ‘sex sells’ ads. Again, the fact that they do work shows that consumers on the whole are illogical.

            • BIF
            • 7 years ago

            Lighten up. It’s not misleading. That was the rest of my point.

            We’ve all been in an Apple store, and they’re not using dummy display models that are different from the ones they sell. And they have a return policy, so if you don’t like it you can take it/send it back.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            Wrong! I’ve never been in an Apple store. And yes, it is misleading, because it’s *strongly* suggesting that the entire display is 5mm thick when it is not. And they don’t even publish the real thickness anywhere – they actively hide it – so finding the ‘real’ non-marketing info is harder than for other companies who actually, omg!, publish specs.

            Or take take the iPad Mini info regarding the screen. Apple was pushing PPI hard ever since the iPhone 4…now that they don’t have the best PPI it’s all about ‘viewable image size’ which other tablets could always compete on. And, um, ok, so the 12″ WinRT tablets are better than the iPad right?

            After reading the Apple event stuff yesterday I’ve come to realize that my dislike of Apple is mainly due to their douchy advertising. Not just the stuff mentioned here, it goes back a long way to the ‘I’m a Mac’ commercials that were so full of utter cr4p and yet worked. That and the fact that plenty of people are skeptical of advertising from so many companies, and yet with Apple (outside of tech geek enclaves) the public and media just mindlessly fawns over and goes wild for them with so much less scrutiny.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i thought that the fact they were pushing physical size over ppi hilarious, actually. i noticed that yesterday and was like wtf?

          • BIF
          • 7 years ago

          A downthumb, yay!

          I was HOPING that my post would offend SOMEBODY from the 1970’s Museum of Bell-Bottoms. Or the Fugly Buick Fan Club. Now I can enjoy my day more fully. 😉

    • kamikaziechameleon
    • 7 years ago

    There seems to be major shortfalls with nearly each announcement. The Lack of optical drive or dedicated graphics make the 13 inch mack pro a bulkier macbook air, yipee 😛 The New Ipad has no allure with its ridiculous price point and rather disappointing screen resolution. The Imac’s simply don’t have a screen quality to justify their insane price tag compared to the mac books and other mac devices.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 7 years ago

    I think this is the biggest ‘announcement’ made today:

    [url<]http://store.apple.com/us/product/FC705LL/A/refurbished-ipad-with-wi-fi-16gb-black-3rd-generation[/url<] If you're looking for one, don't hesitate!

    • Decelerate
    • 7 years ago

    iPad mini: Meh

    New retina iPad: Damn, are refreshes in the fall now or are we still having something shown in March/April?

    Retina 13″: Eesh, will wait for reviews first

    New iMacs: Cool, but I still have an Editor’s Choice circa 2010-ish

    That Fusion Drive thing though was pleasantly unexpected.

      • Arag0n
      • 7 years ago

      It may happen that Apple will start to refresh the iPad in October since I think Microsoft will refresh the surface yearly and they don’t want to leave an almost 6 month span between Microsoft release and Apple release, they may fear that people spends the money in holidays to buy the new surface and have no cash to buy iPad on March.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Ah, very valid argument!

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      Apple dropped a set schedule for product releases almost 6 years ago ( heck they don’t even have a big gala anymore for product refreshes). It was stated as such from Jobs when the changed from Apple Computers to Apple Inc.

        • Decelerate
        • 7 years ago

        Exactly, but renewing the iPad so soon is either a product adjustment or changing the release cycle’s timeline.

        I’d like to know which.

    • ShadowTiger
    • 7 years ago

    Reducing the reflectivity with a new lamination technique seems very interesting, since glare is a big issue I have with Apple products. However… is it possible to reduce glare AND keep most of the backlight showing through, or is it a compromise between Matte and Glossy?

      • Anonymous Coward
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah the glare “update” could be the biggest news of all. Maybe they will manage a good compromise between pretty and annoying.

    • Xenolith
    • 7 years ago

    I now have a choice between a mini-pad and a maxi-pad.

    • link626
    • 7 years ago

    thinner desktop screens, just like thinner lcd tv’s, are indeed pointless.

    Unless it reduces weight, give me a thicker screen with a full backlit led array, not these thin side lit crap.

    Apple presentations seem to all be the same. Bigger this, thinner that. They have nothing else to talk about

    • sschaem
    • 7 years ago

    Apple grew its PC business 15%? It seem Steve Jobs distortion field is engulfing planet earth!!!

    The last 20 years been under Microsoft control, seem like the next 20 years will be an Apple world.

    “Microsoft product manager Petr Bobek said at a press event in the Czech Republic that native Office apps for iOS and Android will be available in March 2013”

    And …. one less reason to buy a Windows8 tablet.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Percentages are great when the numbers are low. You need percentages *and* absolute numbers to put things in proper perspective.

      • sweatshopking
      • 7 years ago

      they also said that statement was false, but i assume you read that. you just like to spread fud.
      [url<]http://www.examiner.com/article/microsoft-denies-leaked-timeline-for-office-2013-on-android-ios[/url<]

    • tasiv
    • 7 years ago

    Is flash the same as SSD? I was confused by Schiller’s description of the fusion Drive being a combo of flash and regular HDD. Your post calls it 128GB SSD. I didn’t think SSD was the same as flash.

      • Beelzebubba9
      • 7 years ago

      Flash Storage is Applespeak for SSDs. It’s not the most accurate terminology, but it makes sense in the context they use it in.

        • tasiv
        • 7 years ago

        Thanks. It’s double confusing because on their existing iMacs (the ones for sale just last week on the Store), they mention SSD upgrades, but do not call the drives Flash.

        • crazybus
        • 7 years ago

        Apple still calls them SSDs if they use a traditional 2.5″ enclosure. Otherwise it’s “Flash” storage.

          • glynor
          • 7 years ago

          Right.

      • Hattig
      • 7 years ago

      SSDs (Solid State Drives) utilise flash memory (the solid state part), but coupled to a SATA<->flash controller with lots of logic, cache and processing power to really make good use of the flash memory.

        • curtisb
        • 7 years ago

        The cells used in SSDs are different from the cells used on USB flash drives. They are only comparable in that they’re both solid state.

          • walruslove
          • 7 years ago

          Is this really true? I’m pretty sure most consumer SSDs and USB flash drives use MLC NAND flash and the main difference is SSDs have higher quality flash with more channels and also way better controllers.

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            It’s not a matter of cell type as in MLC versus SLC or (now) TLC, it’s a matter of flash quality. USB drives tend to use the lowest grade of flash, SSDs use higher grade. What that means in-depth I couldn’t tell you except flash manufacturers do bin their flash based on quality.

    • FatherXmas
    • 7 years ago

    To paraphrase from Jason Fox from Foxtrot about the new iMacs

    “I HAVE NO OPTICAL DRIVE!”

    • Alexko
    • 7 years ago

    It’s amusing to see that this new 13″ MacBook Pro has more pixels than the biggest iMac.

      • Decelerate
      • 7 years ago

      iMac Pro is always an option…

    • NeelyCam
    • 7 years ago

    That iPad Mini is cheaper than I expected

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      somehow I agree yet find it manages to still be too expensive. I thought for sure $349-399 since the iPod Touch 16GB (new) is an egregious pricing error at $299.

        • NeelyCam
        • 7 years ago

        Well, I was also expecting a “retina” display… with what it has it does seem a bit pricey

        At least I called the 32nn A5 right (not the highest difficulty rating on that one)

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          The only way you’d get a “retina” display is if it was some funky resolution. Apple has gone to great lengths to do as little of that as possible. The iPhone 5 and 5th generation iPod Touch share a new resolution, so as many devices as possible are all the same. To do that in an iPad you have two choices: a 16:9 display 1136×640 (in which case everything is OMGXBOXHUEG on the screen with a low DPI) or 2048×1536 which works out to 324dpi like the iPhone. Then all the sudden they have to do something else with the 4th gen iPad.

          1024×768 is the only resolution that makes sense, and I’d been asking for one of these since I got my Kindle Fire. Now that I have it, it’s around $100 too expensive.

        • crazybus
        • 7 years ago

        The new iPod Touch is 32GB for $299 but I digress, the 32GB iPad Mini could easily be sold for around $350 at a decent profit margin. Depending on how well it sells, we may see a price adjustment in the next few months.

        The $329 starting price definitely leaves room for Android tablets to grab marketshare below that price point.

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          My bad, you’re right. 32GB. Still an assault on the senses…lol

    • sweatshopking
    • 7 years ago

    it’s true. mac’s really are the computers to get. it’s a shame the other OEM’s can’t compete, but these machines, and these OS’ really are the best in the world.

      • ermo
      • 7 years ago

      The competition is trying to figure out how to compete with MacBooks, but somehow, most of them inevitably end up getting it wrong. Not really sure why, as it’s pretty obvious what you need to do.

      I think something like the Microsoft Windows Signature Edition program is the only way forward for the high-end laptops, as that guarantees a crapware-less experience from the outset.

      Couple that with intentionally pouring R&D dollars into ensuring that you have Ubuntu (Linux) compatible hardware and you’ll have won some mindshare with programmers right there. But you need to make sure that the hardware is truly (ultrabook-)elegant and can stand on its own and that it has a really nice ‘feel’ to it as well as a good multi-touch pad and a good, high resolution screen with as little glare as possible.

      ASUS, HP and Lenovo are all well placed to pull this off. Though HP should drop the whole ‘Envy’ marketing scheme as it’s in pretty poor taste really. Zenbook, Spectre and ThinkPad are all good names, though. Of those three, ThinkPad is obviously the most well established brand, but I think the Zenbook will go down in history as a good brand as well if ASUS keeps executing well on it. The Jury is still out on Spectre and HP in general.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        honestly, i think MS is really the only one able to compete with apple in terms of design. the surface is compelling hardware, even if you don’t like the software. same with the zune stuff. it’s good hardware, but it’s often late. I don’t have faith in the likes of hp, dell, or acer, that’s for sure

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        The other thing is economies of scale.

        Most Wintel laptop vendors go for eleventy billion models and configurations, meaning their manufacturing is in smaller runs per model, and they have far more unique parts in the supply chain, increasing costs.

        Those vendors then try to apply their model strategy to MacBook Air clones, and find that they can’t beat Apple (who’s run by a supply chain guy right now) on price.

        So, they decide to instead skimp on quality or features, to match the price, and then the inevitable happens.

          • blastdoor
          • 7 years ago

          What a crazy world we live in where Apple has the economies of scale advantage in computers.

          • ermo
          • 7 years ago

          This is where something like the ASUS Zenbook line could hit it big, as they have enough of a different visual identity to not just look like MacBook clones and since ASUS has enough experience building laptops and motherboards for them to have the supply chain down pat.

          Just limit the amount of models and options and make good deals on the parts you source.

          But yeah, it’s probably harder than it sounds — otherwise, it would have happened already…

          As an aside: If my memory serves me correctly, ASUS conceived and executed pretty well on the netbook concept (and so did HP with the dm1). ASUS also conceived and executed pretty well on the Transformer ARM-based Android concept, something which is likely to stand them in good stead with Win RT.

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            Asus seems to be quite good at throwing a bunch at the wall and seeing what sticks.

            They’re quite bad about not managing the “a few really good models, rather than a thousand crappy ones and a few really good models” problem, though.

            How many different Eee Pads, or, to narrow down even further, Transformers are there, now, with confusing market segmentation? (And then there’s the whole Eee PC line.)

      • Ringofett
      • 7 years ago

      You might’ve got -6, but if people ignore the price… their hardware is mighty impressive.

      • albundy
      • 7 years ago

      many people do more than browse the web and type something up. unfortunately, thats all you can do with these limited horsepower pretty toys with no upgrade path.

      • l33t-g4m3r
      • 7 years ago

      This is why your comments on windows have no credibility.

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        because apple has the best hardware? the best software integration with their hardware? show me a windows machine that has those physical features and the new ssd tech. I’ll wait.

    • Anarchist
    • 7 years ago

    just what the world needs more of … anorexic computers … by the way $329 for shrunken down ipad-2 seem a bit greedy.

      • mcnabney
      • 7 years ago

      Why? The suckers will buy it. Can’t blame the rancher for sheering the iSheep.

    • bhtooefr
    • 7 years ago

    Integrated on the 13″ MBPR… all I can say is wow, that’s amazingly stupid.

    Also, so is only having an 8 GiB RAM config.

    (Full disclosure: I work for a direct competitor of Apple, but this is my opinion, not my employer’s opinion.)

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      and how many times have you ran into a 8 GB of ram limit?

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        Plenty of times.

        Hell, I’m sitting at 9.09 free on my 15″ MBPR right now, and that’s high for free memory for me.

        8 is actually plenty for most users today, but in the future? And remember, the MBPRs can’t take RAM upgrades.

          • Deanjo
          • 7 years ago

          By the time 16 GB is required you will have long upgraded. I guarantee that most of your ram that you see being used is cached memory. What is your active memory level at?

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            4.10 right now, but I’ve had it over 8.00 before. Multiple VMs will do that.

            ([b<]Edit[/b<]: And 2.24 wired, which is also in use IIRC on OS X. It's just the inactive that is truly unused.) And, I specced the machine out with the goal of avoiding swapping - swapping is death to SSDs.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            And you really run multiple VM’s at a time on a 13″ laptop? One has to only ask why?

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            i know a few guys that do that. run a few linux distro’s and windows and osx to test code and stuff. our in house (at my last job) rubyonrails guy used to do that constantly.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Sure but for testing purposes like that you do not need to have huge ram allotted to each vm. I can see having those many VM’s going on a desktop where you have lots of area to play with (my development machine has 4 widescreens for that purpose).

            Besides, there is probably less then one-tenth of a percent of people who would want to run so many VM’s on a 13 inch machine.

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            I’ll note than on a 15″ MBPR, with HiDPI disabled, you get 2880×1800 native – equivalent to 2.25 average 24″ widescreen LCDs.

            Even the 13″ with HiDPI disabled gives you equivalent space to your average 30″ LCD.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Ya and with HiDPI disabled your fonts and icons disappear into unusable ridiculously small dots and lines.

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            Depends on your eyesight, and any augmentations on your eyesight. I have a lazy right eye requiring bifocals, and a 20/20 left eye, so it’s ridiculously easy for me.

            20/20 unassisted would be on the edge of usability, admittedly.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Not even close. It’s not even a matter of being able to see the icons, fonts and controls (I have excellent eyesight BTW 20/16). It’s that matter of even trying to use them. Just how accurate do you think you are going to be able to even click on a close window icon for example on a VM running at presumably < 1280×800 that icon becomes less then 2mm actual size on a MBP 13. To top it off, you are going to try to do that on a touchpad. GOOD LUCK!

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            The mouse pointer doesn’t move any faster than normal (looking at pixels), though, unless I make it move faster (and I’ve got it set to 6 out of 10 on speed – and I’m one to crank speed up and lose the precision normally). So, I can move the pointer just as precisely as before, and it really is just a matter of seeing the target.

            And, due to the touchpad being huge on Apple’s products, I can also move it quite a long way before needing to reposition my finger, even on a slow speed. (But, I use displays like this in a sort of “regional” manner – the program I’m actively using is in the section of display I’m looking at, and the other programs are in my peripheral vision. Basically, think of it like having multiple very small monitors all side by side.)

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            No the mouse pointer doesn’t move any faster then normal but your “hotspot” that you must click is now 4x smaller. To maintain some sort of accuracy your would actually have to decrease your mouse speed to maintain a level of accuracy.

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            No, the hotspot is the same size (in pixel count, which is what matters here), when you disable the HiDPI mode.

            Ignoring acceleration effects (which are an important factor on OS X, but they’re the same regardless of the display, so they’re not relevant to this discussion), if I move my finger 1 inch on the trackpad, it’ll always move the same number of pixels without HiDPI (twice that many pixels in HiDPI). So, if it moves 200 pixels for 1 inch of trackpad movement on a non-Retina MacBook Pro, it moves 200 pixels for 1 inch of trackpad movement on a Retina machine with HiDPI disabled, and the hotspot is just as easy to hit. It just has twice the pixels to move from one end of the screen to the other, meaning you have to do twice the movement on the trackpad.

            If you enable HiDPI, then, yes, the trackpad moves the pointer twice the number of pixels, but that’s OK, because everything on the screen is using twice the width and twice the height, so it’s just as precise as it was on a non-Retina machine.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            he had them open a lot, and i don’t disagree that very few people will use it.

            • Washer
            • 7 years ago

            Yes, I would like to be able to run multiple VMs on a $1700 laptop.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      BUT IT’S A BARELY NOTICABLE AMOUNT THINNER! THAT MAKES IT WORTH THE SACRIFICE!

        • sweatshopking
        • 7 years ago

        [quote<] BUT IT'S A UNNOTICEABLE AMOUNT THINNER! THAT MAKES IT WORTH THE SACRIFICE! [/quote<] ftfy

    • Mithent
    • 7 years ago

    “Scaled-up phone apps” isn’t really very fair to Android… it uses a different layout methodology to Apple that’s designed to fit the resolution. Not all developers use it well, but Gmail is a particularly good example of how the same UI elements are used on both mobile and tablet in different ways in the same app.

      • jeffcutsinger
      • 7 years ago

      Typing this out on an android tablet. Just like the iPad, some apps have native tablet UIs, some don’t. My understanding is that Android does a better job of scaling up apps than iOS, but that more apps have tablet UIs on iOS.

    • flip-mode
    • 7 years ago

    Still no Mac Pro.

      • riviera74
      • 7 years ago

      Wait until Haswell, then you might see a new Mac Pro.

        • Deanjo
        • 7 years ago

        Yuppers, it was known after the previous Apple event that we would not see a new Mac Pro until the new year.

        [url<]http://www.macrumors.com/2012/06/12/apple-spokesperson-confirms-new-mac-pro-and-imac-designs-likely-coming-in-2013/[/url<] [quote<]Soon after we posted the article, we received a report from a reader who had emailed Apple CEO Tim Cook about his disappointment in the lack of a significant Mac Pro update yesterday, with Cook responding to indicate that users can expect significant upgrades next year. Our pro customers are really important to us...don't worry as we're working on something really great for later next year.[/quote<]

          • jihadjoe
          • 7 years ago

          I think that means IVB-E.

        • shank15217
        • 7 years ago

        why haswell? Mac pros are made with xeon lines, there isn’t even an ivy bridge xeon available, hsawell xeons will probably come in 2014 by then broadwell will be out. Face it, Mac Pros are dead along with xserver because it’s a low margin high cost system for apple and fully user upgradable. If you don’t see a trend by now you are blind.

      • derFunkenstein
      • 7 years ago

      The base iMac having a quad-core Ivy Bridge probably started cranking up the organ to play the funeral music.

        • internetsandman
        • 7 years ago

        Pretty sure there’s still some high end server CPU’s with 8 physical cores, bigger caches and so on that would still give Ivy a sound beating even if you only have one of them in a system, the Mac Pro takes 2 CPU’s and at least double, if not 4 times the RAM.

        The iMac might be much faster, but when the Mac Pro finally gets its update, it’ll be much faster even than that, and speed is everything for prosumers

          • derFunkenstein
          • 7 years ago

          That doesn’t mean that Apple is going to update anything. The current Mac Pro is around 2 years old with minor refreshes in the meantime.

            • internetsandman
            • 7 years ago

            If anything that’s all the more reason why they should update it, it’s long overdue and they’re not likely to abandon that segment of the market. They’ve also said that a refresh will be coming next year

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            They abandoned the xserve line so why not the mac pro line?

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Mac Pros outsold Xserve’s multiple times over.

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            yea so? xserve’s cost multiple times over mac pros, whats your point? The same companies or government agencies that would buy mac pros would buy xservers for their back office for obvious reasons.

            • derFunkenstein
            • 7 years ago

            They should, I agree, but the fact they haven’t should probably mean something: it’s not important to them.

      • blastdoor
      • 7 years ago

      Yeah, definitely a bummer. I will not be upgrading until there is a new Mac Pro.

      • sjl
      • 7 years ago

      Still no Mac Pro, and the updates on the Mac Mini and iMac strike me as being rather weak. It’s as if Apple doesn’t really care about the Mac lineup any more, which is a shame.

      Oh well, guess I’ll continue to bask in the knowledge that the Mac Pro I bought in 2010 is still pretty much “state of the art” as far as Apple is concerned. Toss in 48 GB of RAM, an SSD, and a chunk of hard disk space, and it will serve my needs for a considerable time to come, I reckon. (Multiple VMs, to play around with backup software – it’s a professional learning tool for me, is why so much RAM. If it weren’t for that, I’d be more than happy with the 12 GB I had last year.)

      • Krogoth
      • 7 years ago

      Apple doesn’t care about Mac Pro platform.

      It is a niche product at best.

      Their main focus is iGadgets and laptops.

    • chuckula
    • 7 years ago

    If by kitchen-sink you mean the Mac Pro towers, then yes.

    • Sam125
    • 7 years ago

    So are we to assume that Apple doesn’t care about the Macbook Air anymore?

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      The MBA was just refreshed this summer.

      • jeffcutsinger
      • 7 years ago

      The retina MBPs are the new MBA.

        • Sam125
        • 7 years ago

        Put retina on the Air long after every other MacBook gets one. That drives sales of their more expensive Macbook Pros which is a great strategy from a high margin sales perspective. Sucks if you had your eyes set on an 11″ or even a 13″ Macbook Air though because I sure as heck aren’t going to consider a tablet to replace a real laptop. =P

        Yes, I know. I’m so infuriatingly contrarian. 😉

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          The Retina Displays require a lot more power to drive than the TN panels Apple uses in the Air, so switching to them would kill the Air’s battery life in the current chassis. Also, the 13″ Air is a good bit cheaper.

            • Sam125
            • 7 years ago

            Only if you go with the 2560×1600 resolution. Going 1080p or even 1440×900 would be quite sufficient for an 11″ Air. I’m sure the engineers at Apple wouldn’t have a difficult time sizing down the hardware components to include a larger battery.

            I mean, these are all duh statements which again, leads me to believe that Apple is intentionally delaying retina on the Air.

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            Could it be because they have to manage supply constrain?

            Ex: why is Intel still making any 32nm parts…

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            The problem is that Apple’s approach to higher usable display densities is to render 4 times the pixels.

            Which means, to not lose desktop real estate, there’s two things they can do:

            1. 2732×1536 panel on the MBA 11
            2. Lower resolution panel (let’s use 1920×1080, because that actually exists in volume, even in IPS), and render the desktop at 2732×1536, then scale down to 1920×1080. This is what Apple does for the higher density modes on the MBPRs, but not for the default mode, and it’s kinda obvious that it’s a bit fuzzier than it should be.

    • danny e.
    • 7 years ago

    suprised Amazon and Google havent announced lawsuits over stolen size design.

      • ludi
      • 7 years ago

      Ah, you misunderstand. Amazon and Google infringed on Apple’s time machine in the future and went to the past to release the unprecedented designs Apple invented for today.

      Another lawsuit in 3…2…

        • willmore
        • 7 years ago

        Did you mean “Another lawsuit in 1…2…3..”?

    • jjj
    • 7 years ago

    ipad 5 tomorrow

      • Peldor
      • 7 years ago

      Well, they’re 3 generation behind the Nexus 7 if they don’t rev it again.

    • lilbuddhaman
    • 7 years ago

    Can’t wait for yet another wave of mac-kiddies flooding the steam forums asking why their amazing new macbook can’t run their games at all….let alone at 2560×1600.

    p.s. still waiting on a decently priced 24in+ monitor @ this (or better) resolution.

    • hubick
    • 7 years ago

    Hmm, integrated Intel HD 4000 graphics in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro could make it a better supported target for a binary-blob-free Linux install 🙂

      • Diplomacy42
      • 7 years ago

      yes, because the point of linux is to have a free OS that you can put on the most overpriced piece of hardware you can find.

      its like a dream of mine to put linux on a $3500 dell or something… maybe next year.

        • thesmileman
        • 7 years ago

        I think the point of Linux is doing what ever you want with it not defining which hardware is appropriate for it.

        Linux is installed on much more expensive/marked up server grade hw.

          • Beelzebubba9
          • 7 years ago

          I run Linux on ~$500k VMware clusters at work so I guess I’m doing it wrong!

        • hubick
        • 7 years ago

        I’m a programmer who values software freedom and also wants a high-density retina display for programming tools like Eclipse, what’s the problem?

          • riviera74
          • 7 years ago

          None. I would point you to the 15″ MacBook Pro with Retina Display.

          • lilbuddhaman
          • 7 years ago

          it’s called a desktop.

            • shank15217
            • 7 years ago

            naw he does his programming at starbucks

      • Deanjo
      • 7 years ago

      It would also mean sacrificing speed and openCL capabilities (ran on the GPU). The intel blobs on OS X are still way ahead of the linux oss drivers on intel systems.

      • paulWTAMU
      • 7 years ago

      I’ve got a relative on my wife’s side that does this. Id o not understand buying Mac hardware and then shoving any Linux distro on it at all. I mean, just roll your own and THEN put linux on it…

        • superjawes
        • 7 years ago

        I suppose the issue would be that if you’re after a laptop, most non-Apple machines have terrible resolutions, wheras Apple is sporting a 1600p resolution on their SMALL Macbook.

        Which could all be solved if laptop makers would realize that we want nice screens…

        • bhtooefr
        • 7 years ago

        By “rolling your own”, do you mean getting a ThinkPad T61 or T61p 14.1″ 4:3 motherboard, frankensteining it into a T60 or T60p 15.0″ 4:3 case, and installing an IDTech IAQX10, IAQX10N, or IAQX10S?

        Because that’s the only way to even get in the state as a MacBook Pro Retina, on display density. And even then, there’s nowhere near as many pixels (3.1M, instead of 4.1M or 5.2M), and it’s a LOT dimmer (150 nits, versus 300), with a LOT worse contrast (400:1 claimed, versus AnandTech testing a 15″ MBPR panel at 892:1), and a LOT worse response time (IDTech claims 60 ms for the IAQX10 and IAQX10S, 30 ms (and it’s badly overdriven) on the IAQX10N. No claimed number for the MBPRs, but I’m sure it’s a LOT better).

        Plus, you’re tied to either GMA X3100 on IGP, or Nvidia Quadro NVS 140M (G86) or Quadro FX 570M (G84). GMA X3100 means downright awful performance, the Quadros mean failtastic (unreliable) GPUs, with poor Nouveau support. (Apparently it works, but it can be unstable and have video corruption.)

        Oh, and you’re tied to, at most, a 2.6 (with 2.8 Turbo) Core 2 Duo, and 8 GiB RAM. SATA I, too, so disk throughput suffers badly.

          • paulWTAMU
          • 7 years ago

          He does it to desktops. He’s done some mac minis (kind of understandable, building a small form factor is a pain with the cramped space) and a couple of mac pros (WTF). He’s done it to a laptop too, but ya’ll explained that and I can understand it.

            • bhtooefr
            • 7 years ago

            …Why would you ever do that to a Mac Pro? There’s tons of better built, cheaper, and much faster workstation-grade desktops out there, if you want prebuilt, and you could build something FAR faster and FAR cheaper if you don’t mind going down from workstation grade.

            Mac Minis, I’ll grant, because even Mini-ITX boxes tend to not quite be that small.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Depends on the vintage of Mac Pro. The Mac Pro’s typically when they out a updated version are often cheaper (as long as you stay away from the built to order upgrades) then equivalent workstations from the likes of Dell.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            they also have far poorer support and warranty vs dell.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            So that’s why Apple’s support have constantly beat Dell’s by a large margin for the last 12 years? Warranty is also the same.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            are you talking enterprise support or consumer?

            you clearly don’t know what you’re talking about, and should maybe google something:
            [url<]http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/precision-t1650/fs[/url<] see the warranty length on dells workstations? 3 years?????? see apples? 1 year??? [url<]http://www.apple.com/support/macpro/service/faq/[/url<] how about onsite service? the dells all have it.... it seems to be lacking on the beloved apples.... what?!?!!? SSK WAS RIGHT?!?!?!?! SOUND THE ALARM!!!! IT HAPPENED!!! apple has crap professional support. it's not news.

            • Deanjo
            • 7 years ago

            Umm no onsite support is avalable for enterprise hate to bust your bubble. I’ve also dealt with both extensively and Dell’s enterprise support is a joke. 1/2 the time they blame it on windows and call it case closed. Hell just last week I has to explain what a SAN was to one of their “enterprise” support people.

            • sweatshopking
            • 7 years ago

            depends on the size of your organization, as you probably know. As for your anecdotal evidence, don’t QQ cause you lost.

      • willmore
      • 7 years ago

      You misspelled hubris.

    • blastdoor
    • 7 years ago

    So is fusion really two separate drives, or is it a single drive? In other words, is this an Apple thing or are they just using one of the existing hybrid drives on the market? If it’s a hybrid drive, then it’s really not that interesting, since those aren’t very impressive (somebody correct me if I missed those things becoming good). But if they are really using two drives, and if the OS is really being smart with optimization, and that makes a real word difference — well, that would be cool.

      • bthylafh
      • 7 years ago

      Two drives.

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      It’s just software RAID but they had to make it sound all fancy and mysterious.

        • Beelzebubba9
        • 7 years ago

        No, I’m pretty sure it’s file level auto tiering using the Core Storage APIs. Very different from software raid.

        • Hattig
        • 7 years ago

        No it’s not. It’s not rocket science though – files that are accessed more often (+ entire OS) are put on the SSD, other files are on the HDD, and the filesystem manages it transparently.

        It’s probably not that much different from the years and years old Mac OS X constantly-running defragger that moves commonly accessed files to the centre of the HDD platter, where they can be accessed quicker – except it’s now spread over two drives.

          • MadManOriginal
          • 7 years ago

          So it’s SSD caching. My mistake, I got the impression from another website that it’s a configuration available for two HDDs. I’ll fix my comment then:

          [b<]It's just Intel Smart Response [s<]software RAID[/s<] but they had to make it sound all fancy and mysterious.[/b<]

            • Beelzebubba9
            • 7 years ago

            [url<]http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2012/10/apple-fusion-drive-wait-what-how-does-this-work/[/url<]

            • blastdoor
            • 7 years ago

            Very cool — Thanks for the link

            • MadManOriginal
            • 7 years ago

            That’s cool, even if it’s still all speculation. What Mithent said below is in a way what I was getting at while throwing a little sarcasm Apple’s way – *in use* it acts like SSD caching regardless of the implementation differences under the hood.

            • sschaem
            • 7 years ago

            Are you sure its caching ? from the description it seem like a location service, the data is not duplicated.
            Its like mapping a single large drive and mapping different access criteria when doing allocation.

            Its not like SRT, its not like raid. This is the type of stuff I expect from Microsoft, but never see happening even so they spent billion and billion on R&D.

            • Mithent
            • 7 years ago

            Is it really very different though? There are implementation differences, i.e. the data is only kept in one place at a time rather than having a hard drive as backing storage and using the SSD purely to mirror cached data, but all said it’s going to give much the same results if you’re equally as intelligent with your use of the SSD. I’m using Nvelo Dataplex SSD caching software myself right now.

            • blastdoor
            • 7 years ago

            So, is the speed similar, but does Apple’s solution give you more usable space?

      • MadManOriginal
      • 7 years ago

      Here is Anand’s explanation: [url<]http://www.anandtech.com/show/6406/understanding-apples-fusion-drive[/url<] It does sound a lot like Smart Response still, with some tweaks to the operation details. A set 4GB SSD write buffer, with no duplication of files between the SSD and HDD so there is some more total space in the single volume - (SSD+HDD) GB in the Mac version instead of just (HDD) GB in Smart Response. That's a plus, if a small one, because SSDs still aren't very big. The downside is the buffer is small, you can use up to 64GB read and write with Smart Response. It may or may not be based on Smart Response, but Apple is prone to leveraging other company's advances and marketing them as unique so until there is confirmation I am going to figure it's a version of Smart Response for that reason.

        • sschaem
        • 7 years ago

        SRT is a read caching and write through
        1) you lose space
        2) data is still written to the HDD, even if its first written to the ssd.

        Apple solution is to make one volume and place often accessed file automatically on the faster drive
        1) you combine the size of both drive
        2) reads AND writes can be ‘accelerated’

        like I said, this is the type of feature you would expect Microsoft to have offered with windows7 or at least windows8… Apple seem to have hired/assembled a great team.

    • 5150
    • 7 years ago

    Meh.

      • rhysl
      • 7 years ago

      Facebook is down .. !! arggh

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        Be patient grasshopper. Facebook needs time (perhaps a lot of time).

        By the way it may be a good time to be on the sidelines with regard to the stock market.

        • oldog
        • 7 years ago

        Correction. You just had to wait overnight. Could be time to sell though, 19% is a superb profit in anyone’s book.

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