At today’s big Apple event Apple took the wraps off a few big products. On the Mac front this meant new, thinner MacBook Pro with Retina Display’s running the latest Intel Haswell processors that have better battery life (up to 9 hours as opposed to 7 on the old models) and are faster, thinner and cheaper ($100 cheaper in the case of the 13 inch Pro, $200 in the case of the 15 inch version). But if you’ve already got a Mac what you’re gonna care about is this– Apple also today released their latest version of OS X called Mavericks as a free update. If you’ve got a Mac that can run Snow Leopard and has 2 GB of RAM (so a MacBook or MacBook Pro from 2007) you can get it for free today from the Mac App Store.
OS X Mavericks has many nice improvements like the ability to respond to iMessages right from the Notification Center as well as new apps like Maps and iBooks. Most importantly is how efficient Mavericks is. Not only will your Mac run faster, but Apple claims that just by installing Mavericks your Mac will get an extra hour of battery life. Yes, just by upgrading to this your Mac you’ll get faster and run longer. And since it’s free it’s even more of a must have.
The MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with Retina Display are two of the best computers available today. They are super thin, very fast, have solid battery life, and in the case of the Pro, has an amazing Retina Display that makes everything look great. The problem with both however has been their prices, with the 13 inch Pro with Retina Display starting at a particularly steep $1,700 and the higher spec’d 13 inch Air with 256 GB of storage (the one you’re most likely gonna want because you’re going to want since this has enough storage to last you the next few years) starting at $1,500. This week however Apple gave both the 13 inch Retina Pro and the higher spec’d 13 inch Air some nice price cuts, bringing the basic, 128 GB Retina Pro down $200 to $1,500 and the top Air down $100 to $1,400. If you use Apple’s student discount the prices are even better, with the Retina Pro dropping an extra $100 to $1,400 and the higher end Air going down to $1,349.
We really love the MacBook Pro and Air, and both are great options if you’re looking for a new computer for school. Personally, the 13 inch Retina Pro is the laptop I just upgraded to because it has that excellent portability that you find on the Air but it’s combined with the power the Pro line is known for (oh, and that Retina screen is pretty great too). Both laptops though should be more than fine if you mainly plan on using them for taking notes, writing papers and going online.
One upgrade we recommend however is getting the 256 GB hard drive for either the Pro or Air, particularly if you plan to store a lot of videos, music or photos. It is very hard to upgrade the storage on MacBooks after you buy them, and you’re going to want to make sure this thing is best suited to last for the next few years (if you plan on using your next computer mainly for notes and the internet, or have a backup hard drive for your music, photos and movies the cheaper 128 GB hard drive may work fine for you). The 256 GB 13 inch Retina Pro is now $1,700 without a student discount, $1,600 with (down from nearly $2,000 before).
The new price changes are live now on Apple’s site and you can check them out here.
If you’re looking for a new iPad, iPod or MacBook this holiday season you’re gonna want to listen up, as Apple just revealed their Black Friday deals. As expected there aren’t any major “doorbuster” deals to be found here, but there still are some solid discounts.
The iPad 4 has been given a $41 discount and now starts at $458 for the 16 GB WiFi model (with $51 and $61 discounts for the 32 GB and 64 GB WiFi only versions). The iPad 2 16 GB WiFi model got a $31 discount to $368, though if you want one of these we’d still recommend going with Walmart or Target’s deals instead. The new 5th generation iPod Touch (the one with the color back and 4 inch screen) has also been given a $31 discount and now starts at $268 for the 32 GB version. The older iPod Touch and new iPod Nano were each given their own small discounts, bringing their prices to $178 and $111 respectively.
The MacBook line is where the big discounts happen. Apple has taken $101 off of each of their MacBook lines– the MacBook Air, Pro and Pro with Retina Display. Of course this brings them to the same prices you could get the rest of the year if you use a student discount, with the exception being the base 11 inch MacBook Air which is now $898 (it’s usually $950 with a student discount).
Apple also dropped the prices on their iPad Smart Covers and Smart Cases, as well as for their headphones , routers and wireless mice and keyboards. And no, unfortunately there doesn’t look to be any deals for the iPad Mini or iPhone 5.
You can check out the full list over at Apple’s site here.
Over the last few weeks there has been a lot of talk that Apple had one more big event up its sleeves for 2012. Well, yesterday Apple confirmed all those rumors, sending out invites to an event next week, Tuesday, October 23rd.
One of the many “mock ups” of what the iPad Mini will look like (pic via Apple Insider)
So what can we expect? Well, according to the latest rumors Apple will be taking the wraps off a new, smaller and hopefully cheaper “iPad Mini.” As we wrote before, the iPad Mini is said to have a 7.85 inch screen (down from 9.7 inches on the regular iPad), a thin design with an aluminum back similar to the iPhone 5, the new Lightning port in place of the older iPod dock connector, as well as other standard iPad features like cameras on the front and back for FaceTime, iOS 6, and the availability to buy it in either WiFi only or WiFi+4G LTE versions. Specs wise its said to be similar to the iPad 2, with an A5 dual-core processor with 512 MB of RAM.
Now while this isn’t as powerful as the new iPad, it should still be fine for most things like browsing the web, using apps, reading books etc. And these “older” specs have their benefits as the rumors also say we can expect a cheaper price for the Mini iPad– the base 8 GB WiFi-only version possibly now starting at $249 or $299 and going up to $650 for the 64 GB WiFi+4G version (with options for 16 and 32 GB versions as well). If you want a cheap iPad for internet, apps and books– and don’t plan on storing lots of movies, pictures or music– this may be perfect for you.
There are also strong rumors that Apple is planning to finally introduce that long-awaited 13 inch version of the MacBook Pro with Retina Display, as well as reveal some new designs to the iMac and Mac Mini lines.
As always we’ll have it all covered for you back here. So make sure to check back on Tuesday for everything you’re gonna need to know about whatever Apple announces.