New Retina MacBook Air, Mac Mini, iPad Pro Released

Oct 30, 2018 - 10 Comments

Apple event October 2018 product announcements

Apple has announced notable updates to the MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and iPad Pro. The new MacBook Air features a Retina display and Touch ID, the Mac Mini features powerfully revamped internals, and the iPad Pro now features slimmer bezels and support for Face ID and a new Apple Pencil.

Aside from new hardware updates discussed below, Apple also released various operating system updates to their product lines as well, including iOS 12.1, tvOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1, and macOS Mojave 10.14.1.

New MacBook Air with Retina Display (late 2018 model)

The revamped MacBook Air with Retina display weighs in at 2.75 lbs and now features a 2560×1600 13.3″ display with greater color support and smaller screen bezels.

New MacBook Air with Retina display

The late 2018 MacBook Air has a 1.6Ghz dual-core Core i5 CPU and includes two USB-C ports and a headphone jack, removes MagSafe as a charging mechanism in lieu of one of the USB-C ports, adds a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and is available in space gray, gold, and silver color options. Users can customize the MacBook Air to have up to 16 GB of RAM and a 1.5 TB SSD.

The keyboard is apparently the same third-generation Apple butterfly keyboard as what is available in the latest MacBook Pro models, though there is no Touch Bar included meaning you will get a hardware escape key and function row instead.

The new Retina MacBook Air starts at $1199 and can be ordered today, becoming available on November 7.

Apple has posted an introductory video of the New MacBook Air with Retina display (late 2018) which you can view below:

New Mac Mini (2018 model)

The revamped Mac Mini has a space gray finish and comes with a quad core Intel i3 CPU, upgradable to up to 6 cores. Users can also customize the new Mac Mini to have up to 64 GB RAM and up to 2 TB SSD.

Space gray Mac Mini

The new Mac Mini has rich port options compared to other Macs, including gigabit ethernet, 4 Thunderbolt / USB C ports, HDMI output, 2 USB-A ports, a headphone jack.

Mac Mini now starts at $799, with orders available today for availability on November 7.

Apple has provided an introductory video about the new Mac Mini (late 2018), posted below:

New iPad Pro (3rd generation, 2018)

The new iPad Pro slims down the devices bezels, remove the Home button, removes the headphone jack, replaces the Lightning port with a new USB-C connector, includes Face ID as an authentication method, and can now magnetically attach and charge the new Apple Pencil.

New ipad Pro

iPad Pro is available in 11″ and 12.9″ screen options, features an A12X CPU with 8 cores, and is available with storage sizes available at 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB.

The iPad Pro 11″ model starts at $799 and the 12.9″ model starts at $999. You can order the new iPad Pro today with delivery on November 7.

Apple has posted a video introducing the new iPad Pro, available to watch below:

Tucked away in a press release for the new MacBook Air, Apple also states that the existing MacBook Pro will have an optional Radeon Pro Vega graphics card option starting next month for users requiring additional GPU performance on the MacBook Pro line.

As mentioned earlier, Apple also released software updates to macOS Mojave 10.14.1, iOS 12.1, watchOS 5.1, and tvOS 12.1. Mac users running prior versions of MacOS Sierra and MacOS High Sierra will also find security updates available for their Macs.

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Posted by: Paul Horowitz in News

10 Comments

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  1. Owen says:

    Interesting, some good and some bad. Good mostly that the Mac seems to have some pulse again.

    I use iPad as a couch reader and music listener…. How can Apple call the iPad Pro “Pro” when they removed the headphone jack? Everyone I know that uses iPad uses the headphone jack!! Now they will have to buy the cheaper less powerful model so they can have audio port? Come on! I like it otherwise, minus the huge price tag anyway. I also wish Apple would bundle the keyboard and mouse with that price.

    I wish Apple was not so tight with storage and RAM too. Starting off Macs with 8gb/128gb is pitiful today, it should be double that by default. So the ‘starting at’ prices are insufficient, the MacBook Air spec’d semi-appropriately to begin with is about $1599 for example. Personally I think every Mac should start with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD, and minimum quad core CPU, for the prices paid I do not think that is too much to ask.

    The Mac Mini looks good but the keyboard and mouse are not included, and so once you spec that out appropriately it’s suddenly the price of a pretty nice iMac… but if you want ports I guess you have to pay hefty for it, if only there were a similar option for Mac laptops.

    I am happy to see the MacBook Air has Retina and FN keys and ESCAPE key and doesn’t bother with the goofy Touch Bar, I avoided the Pro for that reason, if it was higher up and didn’t replace hardware keys I could tolerate it but still wouldn’t use it. If they update the MacBook Pro to get rid of the Touch Bar the same way I might just buy one… sounds like that is a year away at least so for now I might get the Air to let the Pro evolve more…

    Anyway I am glad to see Apple paying some attention to some long neglected products and especially the Mac. I still find their product lineup overly confusing with too many offerings with little differential and lots of nickel-diming type mandatory upgrades to gain a workable machine.

    It’s a start…. hope Apple recommits 110% to Mac.

  2. katbel says:

    If you buy an iPad with no headphone jack, how can you watch a movie on an airplane with a friend/husband/wife ? Now I’m using an adapter with the headphone jack where we connect our headphones . Does it exist something wireless?!?

    • DP says:

      in the world which Apple creates, you no longer need a friend, husband or wife

      • katbel says:

        Is Apple driven by Microsoft or Samsung people?! I cannot use the latest Apple headphones that come with iPhone because their shape hurts my ears. I still have an old Apple pair with silicon all around in a beautiful box and they work great.. it looks like I will stay with older stuff for a long time till a SteveJobs person will come to Apple and fix all the broken things. So depressing!

    • oyvey says:

      @katbel,

      Apple sells $10 accessory dongles for converting the USB-C port to 3.5mm headphone jack

      https://www.apple.com/shop/product/MU7E2AM/A/usb-c-to-35-mm-headphone-jack-adapter

      LOL!

      Sorry I realize this is not funny for many of us who use these tools. On the positive side the normal base model iPad still has the headphone jack, and for most people use it is sufficient for iPad web browsing, email, Netflix, movies, etc. And it is a lot cheaper too.

  3. PaulL says:

    This may seem petty but…

    WHY put out a Gold MacBookAir, but no Gold iPad Pro?

  4. KeyboardProbz says:

    Bad news about MacBook Air is it has the same keyboard that MacBook Pro does, meaning it feels bad plus it jams up all the time requiring very expensive repairs.

    The perception is that do not buy the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro without AppleCare to extend the warranty, as the keyboard is prone to failure.

    This is not a unique viewpoint this is the broad opinion of the Mac community itself:

    https://twitter.com/caseyjohnston/status/1057345661312659461

    https://twitter.com/caseyjohnston/status/1051940684566016000

    https://twitter.com/OhMDee/status/1057346952243818496

    https://mjtsai.com/blog/2018/10/16/the-2018-macbook-keyboards-have-the-same-old-problems/

    https://twitter.com/marcoarment/status/1057370869809508352

    https://twitter.com/aramari1/status/1057350390889381888

    https://twitter.com/Techmeme/status/1057341734290706433

    https://www.wired.com/story/ifixit-teardown-new-macbook-pro-keyboard/

    https://www.theverge.com/2018/7/13/17570538/apple-macbook-pro-keyboard-design-patent-dust-dirt-liquid-resistant-ifixit

    On the new MacBook Air keyboard, The Verge tip-toes around the elephant and calls it ‘polarizing’ as if proper input is polarizing and should be addressed as a “both sides” issue. Are there people who like to have a keyboard maybe not work, maybe work? Really? Who?

    “The keyboard is Apple’s “3rd generation,” which is another way of saying that it has super minimal key travel but is a little bit quieter and (hopefully) a little more dust-resistant than older MacBook Pros. It’s also been fine-tuned to try and fix some of the big issues that plagued the initial and follow-up runs of MacBook Pros over the last two years. It’s still pretty clacky sounding, though, but I’ll need to take it into a quiet room (no easy feat right now) to really see how it sounds. It’s still a polarizing design, even this many years in, but I don’t think that’s a reason not to upgrade.”

    Oh ok, polarizing, but the rest of it is OK I guess? Dongle purchases will add up quick. Sigh.

    This is just so frustrating. The keyboard is the primary input into a computer, and Apple for 3 years running now has not been able to make a keyboard that is reliable and that feels good. The older keyboard was just so much better. I’m glad they got rid of Touch Bar on the MBA but now they must reverse the keyboards and go back to the old style that worked and felt good to type on.

  5. KeyboardProbz says:

    And more complaints about the 2018 Mac laptop keyboard… that was supposedly ‘fixed’ but obviously is not

    https://twitter.com/steipete/status/1057275112108494851

    https://twitter.com/BenchR/status/1057314933778628608

    https://twitter.com/AndyQ/status/1057275730596376576

    The current Mac laptop keyboard design is fundamentally flawed and unreliable.

    Twitter and every Apple forum is full of these complaints. The problem is widespread. It is a flawed design. Why it has not been taken back to the drawing board to scrap and start over I do not know. Better yet, use the keyboard from the 2015 MBP or 2016 MBA… it actually worked all the time!

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