Apple updates iPad Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Mini – what you need to know

Apple Inc. announced its new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac Mini at its Oct. 30 event held in Brooklyn, New York.

iPad Pro

Device Apple iPad Pro 11″ Apple iPad Pro 12.9″
Processor 8-core (4×4) A12X Bionic
Graphics 7 Core GPU
Storage Up to 1TB
Display 120 Hz, 2,238 x 1,668 liquid Retina Display
Features Stereo speakers, 2x tweeter and subwoofer pair

Neural engine

1x USB-C

Reverse charging

up to 10-hour battery life

Optional LTE

Price Starting at $999 Starting at $1,299


The iPad Pro 2018 uses a 120Hz, 2,238 x 1,668, 120Hz Liquid Retina Display. By removing the home button, the new iPad Pro’s displays could be made 0.5″ larger, but due to the narrower bezels and no bottom chin, their widths and heights remain unchanged from the previous generation iPad Pros. In fact, they’re 1mm thinner than before, dropping from 6.9mm to 5.9mm.

The dedicated home button has been replaced by the same gesture controls on the iPhone. Removed along with the home button is the fingerprint sensor. Instead, the 2018 iPad Pros now rely on its 7MP, depth sensing front camera for Face ID unlock.

The new A12X Bionic SoC drives the 2018 iPad Pros. Built on the same 7nm transistors as the A12 Bionic in the iPhone X, the A12X carries 10 billion transistors. Apple says the new chip is 35 per cent faster in single-core performance and 90 per cent faster in multi-core performance compared to the previous iPad Pros. In addition, Apple goes on to say that the new 7-core GPU is 1,000 per cent faster and rivals the Xbox One X in graphics performance.

The reworked Apple Pen now attaches magnetically and charge wirelessly when attached to the iPad Pro.

The iPad Pro 2018 can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. Its included 18W charger now attaches via USB-C instead of Apple’s Lightning port.

Both the 11″ model and the 12.9″ model are available for pre-order starting today and will ship on Nov. 7.

Macbook Air

Device MacBook Air
Processor Intel 8th Gen dual-core i5 1.6 GHz/3.6 GHz
Graphics Intel UHD 650
RAM Up to 16GB
Storage Up to 1.5TB NVMe SSD
Display 2,560 x 1,600 13.3″ Retina display, 4 million pixels
Weight 2.75 lbs
  • Touch ID
  • T2 security chip
  • Front-facing speakers
  • Force Touch trackpad
  • 2x TB3 ports
  • 13 hours iTunes movie playback
Price Starting at $1,499

The MacBook Air received a redesign that more closely resembles the MacBook Pros. They’re 17 per cent smaller, 10 per cent thinner (15.6mm), and starts at 2.75 lbs. In addition, they’re made from a new alloy developed from recycled aluminum shavings.

Apple replaced the aluminum bezel with edge-to-edge glass and reduced bezel thickness by 50 per cent. The screen has been updated to a 13.3″ retina display with four million pixels and 48 per cent more colors.

MacBook Airs now comes with the Apple T2 co-processor for managing boot security, image processing, and real-time AES256 disk encryption.

Its input devices have been upgraded as well. The MacBook Air is equipped with Apple’s 3rd generation butterfly switches and a Force Touch trackpad that’s 20 per cent larger than the previous generation. A fingerprint sensor rests at the top right corner, which enables Touch ID.

Two USB-C ports replace the full-size USB ports of the original MacBook Air. Both ports support Thunderbolt and charging.

The base configuration starts with an Intel 8th-gen Core i5 dual-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage starting at $1,499. The MacBook Airs are available now for pre-order and will ship on Nov. 7.

Mac Mini

Device Mac Mini
Processor Intel 8th-gen Core i3 quad-core / Intel 8th-gen Core i5 / i7 6-core
RAM Up to 64GB DDR4
Storage Up to 2TB SSD
  • T2 security chip
  • 4x USB-C Thunderbolt ports
  • 2x full-size USB ports
  • HDMI port
  • Gigabit Ethernet
Price Starting at $999

The four-year-old Mac Mini has finally been updated. It now includes an Intel 8th-gen Core i3 quad-core CPU or an Intel 8th-gen Core i5 / i7 6-core CPU and supports up to 64GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage. Apple has redesigned the Mac Mini’s thermal management system to better cool these components.

Connectivity options include Gigabit Ethernet, four USB-C Thunderbolt ports, two USB-A ports, and an HDMI port. The T2 chip is also installed on the new Mac Minis for added security.

Just as with the MacBook Air, the Mac Minis also use the recycled aluminum alloy for the chassis.

The base configuration comes with an Intel 8th-gen Core i3 quad-core processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128 GB of storage for $999. The Mac Minis are available now for pre-order and will ship on Nov. 7.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at Channel Daily News. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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