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Apple talk I: A look at the updated MacBook Pro, iPad mini & new iPad Air

At an event held in California (US) yesterday, Apple unveiled its next generation of iPad devices, along with a number of other products that including an updated MacBook Pro and the new Mac Pro. The company also made available OS X Mavericks, its 10th major release of the operating system, to consumers for free. Both Mac Pro and OS X Mavericks were first unveiled earlier in June this year. Here is a look at the specifications of the new devices.

iPad AiriPad Air

The latest addition to the iPad family features a 9.7 inch LED-backlit multi-touch touchscreen retina display with IPS technology (2048×1536 resolution) and 264 ppi pixel density and is powered by Apple's A7 processor. It will run on the iOS 7 operating system and this one also comes in 16GB, 32 GB, 64 GB and 128GB of internal storage.

iPad Air also sports a 5 megapixel auto focus iSight camera that can record full high definition videos (1080p) with 3x zoom, and a front-facing 1.2 megapixel FaceTime camera that can also record HD videos (720p). The rear camera comes with five-element lens, backside illumination, and f/2.4 aperture. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth 4.0 and comes in a Wi-Fi only and a Wi-Fi+cellular (supports a nano-SIM) model.

Since it has a 10 inch screen, it measures 240mm x 169.5mm x 7.5mm and weighs 469 gm (478 gm for the Wi-Fi+cellular model), making it thinner (1.9mm) and lighter (183 gm) than its predecessor. According to the company, the iPad Air is 20 per cent thinner and 28 per cent lighter than the fourth generation iPad, and with a 43 per cent narrower bezel, the borders of iPad Air are dramatically thinner. Its battery can provide up to 10 hours of web surfing (on Wi‑Fi), video watching and music. The company has also done away with the earlier connecter and added a lightning port in the device.

The Wi-Fi only version has been priced at $499 (Rs 30,739), $599 (Rs 36,900), $699 (Rs 43,060) and $799 (Rs 49,220) for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models respectively. The Wi-Fi+cellular version has been priced at $629 (Rs 38,748) $729 (Rs 44,908), $829 (Rs 51,068) and $929 (Rs 57,229) for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB model respectively.

iPad miniiPad mini with retina display

The new iPad mini features a 7.9 inch LED-backlit multi-touch touchscreen retina display with IPS technology (2048×1536 resolution) and 326 ppi pixel density and is powered by Apple's A7 processor. It will run on the iOS 7 operating system and users can opt for 16GB, 32 GB and 64 GB of internal memory that is non-expandable. The company has also added a 128GB model to the mix.

The device sports a 5 megapixel auto focus iSight camera that can record full high definition videos (1080p) with 3x zoom, and a front-facing 1.2 megapixel FaceTime camera that can also record HD videos (720p). The rear camera comes with five-element lens, backside illumination, and f/2.4 aperture. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth 4.0 and comes in a Wi-Fi only and a Wi-Fi+cellular (supports a Nano-SIM) model.

The iPad mini measures 200mm x 134.7mm x 7.2mm and weighs 331 gm (341 gm for the Wi-Fi+cellular model), making it slightly thicker (0.3mm) and heavier (23 gm) than its predecessor. According to the company, its battery can provide up to 10 hours of web surfing (on Wi‑Fi), video watching and music. The company has also done away with the earlier connecter and added a lightning port in the device.

The Wi-Fi only version has been priced at $399 (Rs 24,579), $499 (Rs 30,739), $599 (Rs 36,900) and $699 (Rs 43,060) for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB models respectively. The Wi-Fi+cellular version has been priced at $529 (Rs 32,587), $629 (Rs 38,748), $729 (Rs 44,908) and $829 (Rs 51,068) for the 16GB, 32GB, 64GB and 128GB model respectively.

The company has launched new custom-designed polyurethane 'Smart Covers' for iPad Air and iPad mini with retina display that will be available for $39 (Rs 2,402) in a range of colours including blue, green, pink, yellow, black and red. It is also offering redesigned aniline-dyed leather 'Smart Cases' for the iPads that will be available in six colours (yellow, beige, blue, brown, black and red) for $79 (Rs 4,866) for iPad Air and $69 (Rs 4,250) iPad mini.

The tablets will be launched in the US, along with a number of countries from next month. The company has also redesigned its iWork productivity apps (pages, numbers and keynote) and iLife creativity apps, (iPhoto, iMovie and GarageBand) to take full advantage of OS X Mavericks and iOS 7.

MacBook Pro with retina display

There are no dramatic design changes in the new MacBook Pros, and the only difference between them and their predecessors are in terms of what's inside. The laptops are available in 13 and 15 inch versions, run on the OS X Mavericks operating system and come with retina display. According to the company, the new MacBook Pro with retina display also features PCIe-based flash storage with up to 60 percent faster read speeds than the previous generation.

13-inch MacBook Pro: This one has 13.3-inch LED-backlit glossy display with IPS technology (2560 x 1600 pixel resolution) and 227 ppi pixel density; and its dimensions are 314mm x 219mm x 180mm and weight is 1.57 kg.

15-inch MacBook Pro: This has 15.4-inch LED-backlit glossy display with IPS technology (2880 x 1800 pixel resolution) and 220 ppi pixel density; and its dimensions are 358.9mm x 247.1mm x 180mm and weight is 2.02 kg.

MacBook Pro

In addition to a FaceTime high definition (HD) camera (720p), the device also comes with dual microphones and stereo speakers. On the connectivity front, it has Bluetooth 4.0, Wi-Fi, two Thunderbolt ports, two USB 3.0 ports and a HDMI port. The 13-inch Pro has a built-in 71.8-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery, which the company claims will provide up to nine hours of battery life (two hours more than its predecessor) and 30 days standby time. In comparison, the 15-inch Pro has a built-in 95-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery that will provide up to 8 hours of battery life (an hour more than its predecessor) and 30 days standby time.

The new MacBook Pros are available for purchase from the Apple Store. The 13-inch model has a 2.4 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 2.9 GHz, 4GB of memory, 128GB of flash storage, and Intel Iris graphics, and is priced at Rs 99,990, which goes up to Rs 1.34 lakh depending on the model. Configure-to-order options include faster dual-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.8 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.3 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 1TB.

In comparison, the 15-inch MacBook Pro is available with a 2.0 GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.2 GHz, 8GB of memory, 256GB of flash storage and Intel Iris Pro graphics, and is priced at Rs 1.49 lakh, which goes up to Rs 2 lakh, depending on the model. The configure-to-order options available in this one include faster quad-core Intel Core i7 processors up to 2.6 GHz with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.8 GHz, up to 16GB of memory and flash storage up to 1TB.

Also check out our coverage of the new Mac Pro and the OS X Mavericks here.

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