Apple's October Event: What To Know About The New MacBook Air, Mac Mini And iPad Pro

Apple unveils major additions to its Mac and iPad lineups during its event in Brooklyn.


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As Apple has turned much of its focus to the iPhone in recent years, many Apple fans and solution providers have regularly wondered: What about the Mac? The Cupertino, Calif.-based company sought to address that question Tuesday with major updates to two long-neglected members of the Mac family, the MacBook Air and Mac Mini. The company also unveiled a refresh to the iPad Pro during the Apple October event in Brooklyn, which includes a new 11-inch iPad Pro size.

What follows are the key details on the new MacBook Air, Mac Mini and iPad Pro.

MacBook Air

Apple unveiled a full redesign for its MacBook Air, which had stayed mostly unchanged for years. A leading update is the addition of Apple's Retina display, along with a boost in resolution (to 2,560 x 1,600) and 50 percent reduction on the bezel around the 13.3-inch screen. The new MacBook Air also adds Touch ID for fingerprint login (with the T2 security chip), the third-gen butterfly keyboard, a 20 percent larger trackpad and an eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor (dual core). The MacBook Air can now also be configured with up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 1.5 TB of storage.

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It's gotten an improvement on portability, too—the new MacBook Air weighs 2.75 pounds (down from 2.96 pounds previously) and measures 0.61 of an inch thick (compared with 0.68 of an inch previously). The new MacBook Air holds steady at up to 12 hours of battery life, and—like the MacBook Pro—goes all in on USB-C with the inclusion of two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports.

In addition, the new MacBook Air body is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum thanks to Apple's invention of a new custom alloy—the first Mac with that distinction.

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini, which hadn't seen a refresh since 2014, has gotten an update as well. Apple said that the compact-size desktop has gotten a major upgrade on specs, with the processor choices starting at a four-core, eighth-gen Intel Core processor and going up to a six-core Intel Core i7. Performance is now 5X faster, Apple said. RAM options will reach up to 64 GB, meanwhile, while all-flash storage will be available up to 2 TB. For ports, a range of options will be preserved including Ethernet, four Thunderbolt 3, HDMI and two USB-A. Like the MacBook Air, the new Mac Mini will be made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.

iPad Pro

Apple unveiled a major refresh for the iPad Pro with the introduction of an 11-inch iPad Pro—taking the place of the existing 10.5-inch iPad Pro—alongside an upgraded 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which now will have 25 percent lower volume thanks to smaller bezels. Key changes for the new iPad Pro include thinner bezels and rounded corners around the screen, along with a switch to USB-C for connectivity. Performance is also getting a major boost with the inclusion of the new A12X Bionic, an eight-core processor that offers 35 percent faster single-core performance and 90 percent faster multi-core performance, according to Apple. A new seven-core GPU provides 2X faster graphics, as well.

Meanwhile, the new iPad Pro switches from Touch ID fingerprint authentication to Face ID facial recognition for authentication. The home button is also gone, since it's no longer required for fingerprint login. The new iPad Pro thus introduces the types of navigation gestures used on the iPhone X and XS. In addition, the Apple Pencil has been redesigned to attach magnetically to the iPad Pro and to charge wirelessly, while the Smart Keyboard Folio has been redesigned with changes including two screen angles (for lap and desk use). And on apps, a full version of Adobe Photoshop will be available for the iPad Pro in 2019, Apple said.

Price And Availability

Apple said that the new MacBook Air has a starting price of $1,199. The Mac Mini will start at $799.

As for the iPad Pro, the 11-inch model will have a starting price of $799, while the new 12.9-inch model will start at $999.

Apple said that all of the new Macs and iPad Pros are available for pre-order today and will ship on Nov. 7.