Apple Intros a Super Light iPad Air You Have to Hold to Believe

Lots of great new features, updated apps, OS X Mavericks, MacBooks, and of course, the new iPad Air came out of Apple’s Oct. 22 media event.

The new iPad Air is 20 percent thinner and 28 percent lighter than the fourth-generation iPad it now replaces in Apple’s lineup. There’s no Touch ID like on the new iPhone 5s, but it’s packed with the expected Apple A7 chip with the new 64-bit architecture. Surprisingly, The iPad mini also picked up an A7 processor in addition to a new Retina display. The iPad mini was already a sweet little unit — I’m looking forward seeing the Retina display in the iPad mini form factor (the mini will ship in late November). A major key here, by the way, is that now the iPad mini and iPad Air share the same resolution: 2048-by-1536. In fact, feature-for-feature the iPad mini is like a smaller version of the iPad Air.

Wicked cool.

Perhaps more important is the release of OS X Mavericks as a free upgrade to anyone who owns a Mac that will support it. I don’t really believe that this is much of a bitch slap to Microsoft, despite all the veiled talk at the media event. No, I think the big deal is how this will spur an even faster upgrade rate for Apple’s install base. More people on the same new, fully-featured release means that Apple and its developer partners will have a bigger audience to sell to, enabling everyone to innovate faster. Besides, customers will learn more about their machines and generally become stickier Apple consumers.

iWork and iLife picked up updates throughout each suite of products — so updates to Pages, Numbers, Keynote, iPhoto, iMovie, and Garageband. The coolest thing is that each of these apps now share unified file formats with their iOS versions. Plus, Apple added iWork for iCloud beta, which includes real-time collaboration on documents. Finally.

The 13-inch and 15-inch MacBook Pros picked up the fourth-generation Intel processors. And because OS X Mavericks can throw more resources to the integrated graphics chips, the graphics performance is getting pretty amazing. The 15-incher still has an option for a discrete GeForce GT 750M, though.

And Apple dropped the starting prices by $200.

For the my more in-depth write up, check out the article at MacNewsWorld.

About the author

Chris Maxcer

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I've been writing about the tech industry since the birth of the email newsletter, and I still remember the clacking Mac keyboards from high school -- Apple's seed-planting strategy at work. I'm a big fan of elegant gear and great tech, but there's something to be said for turning it all off -- or most of it -- to go outside. Online I like to call out cool stuff on Wicked Cool Bite and blog with my buddies at Man Makes Fire. To catch me, take a "firstnamelastname" guess at the url of this site.