AN ELECTRIC RECEPTION
The new Neural Engine on the iPad Pro allows for 5 trillion operations per second, which makes it “not just faster than your last computer, but smarter and more capable.” Designed to target the professional market, the iPad Pro, for the first time, will be available with a one terabyte storage capacity and is powered by USB-C, allowing users to connect accessories, collect data, add high-resolution 5k displays, and even to charge an iPhone. The 11-inch model starts at $799, while the larger 12.9-inch model starts at $999.
The iPad Pro takes personal computing to the next level, and the second-generation Apple Pencil only adds to its performance and capabilities. The new stylus, which is now magnetic, automatically pairs and charges from the iPad’s sides, meaning you’ll no longer have to plug it in to charge. When combined with the brand new Smart keyboard folio, which protects the front and back of the iPad and offers comfortable typing whether you’re on the couch or in the office, the iPad Pro has never been a more viable alternative to a computer - and we’ll no doubt see more consumers make the switch and jump aboard the Apple ecosystem whilst they’re in the office.
When Tim Cook walked onto the stage at the keynote speech, attendees were quick to show their admiration with electric applause, despite the event’s early start. All of the new products were met with praise, particularly the magnetic charging pencil and Mac mini, two products that professional users were hoping for. Initial hands-on reviews were positive for the Mac mini, with CNET saying that, though the Mac mini looks the same as its predecessor, they “ought to call it the Mac mini Pro, because it’s clearly been redesigned from the ground up and performs great” and complimented the design’s new space gray finish, while Apple Insider was impressed with the number of ports, and said that “one of the coolest features” was that multiple Mac minis can work together as part of a cluster.
The new MacBook Air was also given some love; Dieter Bohn from The Verge loved the new butterfly keyboard and Touch ID sensor that was “way more convenient than typing in your passcode” and pointed out that the Air looked “quite a bit like the new generation of MacBook Pros we’ve seen recently,” while popular YouTuber Austin Evans said the old MacBook Air was an “endurance champ” but that the new model lived up to the hype, and added that “the new Air is noticeably lighter, which is impressive considering that the old MacBook Air was definitely light already”.
However, it was the iPad Pro that stole the show at this year’s event, with Nilay Patel from The Verge saying “Face ID works like a charm, just like the XS and XR iPhones” and that the iPad “looks pretty cool” but that he’d “have to get over the lack of headphone jack,” whilst Marques Brownlee added that the new iPad was “very striking to look at and to hold, and just feels like you’re holding a display” but was critical of the camera bump, which “kinda ruins the possibility of it being a completely flat tablet on a flat surface,” and questioned why Apple decided to keep the rear-facing camera at all. Engadget praised the iPad Pro’s “cleaner, sleeker look,” and added that “this is a machine that’s kinda premium… it’s meant to get things
done… and for the first time, its design really reflects professional users.” GadgetMatch, on the other hand, said “the change I’m happiest to see is the USB port, allowing you to connect it to even more devices, like DLSR cameras,” and added that the Apple Pencil was “always ready” and offered “extreme functionality and performance.”
Of course, until the products are officially released later this month and consumers, critics, and professional users get their hands on them, it’s hard to know for sure just how revolutionary the new iPads and Macs will be. But one thing is clear: Apple continues to push the boundaries with its hardware, and this latest batch shows why the company is at the cutting-edge of both design and innovation. We’re still holding out hope for a new iMac, Mac Pro and long-awaited AirPower, which was announced more than a year ago, but until those products come to fruition, we’ve got plenty of new gadgets to keep us busy and increase our productivity. Time for a shopping spree!
Mac Mini: Up close with the all-new tiny desktop