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The Only Apple Event Post You Need To Read Today

Apple just announced a pile of new gadgets on stage in San Jose. Here's everything you need to know.

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This is, quite simply, a shrunken iPad.

- It has a 7.9-inch screen compared to the normal iPad's 9.7 inches.

- It's very, very thin — like, look at this:


- It has the same screen resolution as the original iPad, at 1024 x 768. It's smaller so the screen will be sharper, but not quite as sharp as the 9.7-inch iPad's 2048 × 1536 screen. They're not calling it retina. The thinking here is that apps designed for the iPad 1 and 2 will work out of the box with the new iPad Mini, no changes necessary.

- It's got all the other regular iPad features: Like optional LTE and the iSight camera and FaceTime HD for videochatting.

- It costs less than all the other iPads, at $329. Not as cheap as many were hoping, since it's still markedly more expensive than Google's Nexus 7 and Amazon's Kindle Fire HD.

- This is a small upgrade to the current iPad, the "New iPad," which gives it a faster processor and Apple's new Lightning connector.

- It's the same price, $500, which was to be expected.

- But it's early! Apple usually upgrades products on a yearly cycle. Sometimes it takes longer, but it rarely happens faster. This is unprecendented: if you bought a brand new iPad the day it came about a half a year ago, your device is already obsolete. Six month upgrade cycles! Jesus.

Also, does that mean this will be outdated in six months but a new slimmer, model? UNCERTAINTY.


- The guts are upgraded, of course. So you get quad-core i5 and i7 processors, up to 32GB of RAM, a bunch of ports (incuding two Thunderbolt ports) and something called a Fusion Drive: a 128GB solid state drive mated with a much larger normal hard drive, to make performance better without sacrifing storage space.

- The real story, though, is the new design. Both the 21.5 and 27-inch models are very, very thin — 5mm thin — and start at $1300 and $1800, respectively.

- It's got a Retina screen, like the 15-inch model that came out earlier this year. That's 2560 x 1600, for the pixel counters out there. (The 13-in MacBook I'm typing on right now has a 1440 x 900 screen.)

- It's like half the thickness, at 0.75 inches.

- It only weighs a half pound more than the MacBook Air, at just around 3.5 pounds.

- It doesn't have an optical drive, just like the Macbook Air. It also doesn't have a dedicated graphics unit, so most gaming is out.

- But it's got more storage, more processor options, and more ports. You know, "Pro" stuff.

- It's really expensive. It starts at $1700. The old MacBook Pro 13 is sticking around, too, for people who don't want to drop two grand on a homework machine.

This little guy doesn't have a whole lot going for it, I don't think. It's got nice new Ivy Bridge Processors, 256GB of SSD storage or up to 2TB of HDD storage, and a $600 starting price tag.

It's a solid machine for the price, but a workhorse in a product lineup full of glamorous SHINY new things. A good media PC, or server.

Contact John Herrman at

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