Low-Key Announcments From Apple For 2012

Here’s six things you most likely missed if you were only following Apple’s major keynote announcements.

1. Smart Case

When Apple unveiled the Smart Cover last year it didn’t protect the back of the iPad. It now covers the sides and rear of the new iPad without losing any of its magnetic functionality, plus colors.

2. Mac Pro Spec-Bump

Mac Pro now starts with a (warning: techo-nerd talk) 3.2GHz quad-core Intel Xeon processor, ATI Radeon 5770 GPU with 1GB GDDR5, 6GB of RAM and 1TB hard drive. Clearly, these aren’t for your average consumer; the Mac Pro are aimed at professionals. Pricing starts at $2,500 and $3,800, respectively.

3. AirPort Express

It’s a brand-new. For $100, you can easily set up a dual-band router wireless router that does Wi-Fi on the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency. It’s got one USB 2.0 port, an audio jack, an wide area network port and an local area network port.

4. College Kids: Free Gift Cards With New Mac or iPad

Are you a college student? Apple’s sweetening the deal for you to buy either a new Mac or iPad by tossing in a free gift card. From now until September 21, eligible college students will be able to buy a Mac and get a free $100 Mac App Store gift card or $50 gift card with the purchase of a new iPad.

5. MagSafe to MagSafe 2 Converter

The MacBook Pro with Retina display and new MacBook Airs sport a redesigned MagSafe 2 magnetic charging port, meaning they won’t be compatible with older MagSafe charging cables. To make them compatible, here’s a $10 dongle that’ll make it work with any Thunderbolt Display, LED Cinema Display and older MagSafe chargers.

6. Goodbye 17-inch MacBook Pro

The gargantuan 17-inch is dead. How dead? Dead, dead. What was once the largest and heaviest MacBook notebook around will soon be a collector’s item.

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