Apple announces 64-bit iPads and free OS X Mavericks upgrade

Today in Apple: New iPads, free OS X Mavericks and iLife/iWork apps, cheaper and upgraded Macbook Pros, and a new Mac Pro

Apple had a major product announcement event today that covered the iPad, OS X, the Mac Pro, the Macbook Pro, and its suite of iLife and iWork apps, as well as OS X Mavericks.

If you missed the Apple event, you can watch it here.

New iPad Air and Retina iPad Mini

Apple announced two new iPads today, a renamed larger iPad and an iPad mini with a retina display.

Apple's full-size iPad has been given a new name: The iPad Air. The new model has a 20 percent thinner design, just 7.5 millimeters thick and weighing in at just one pound, making it the lightest full-size tablet in the world.

In addition to being thinner and 28 percent lighter, the iPad Air also has a 43 percent narrower bezel around the screen's borders. The overall volume of the device has been reduced by 24 percent from the previous generation.

Inside it features the new A7 chip that just launched in the iPhone 5s, featuring 64-bit architecture. The iPad Air also sports the new M7 Motion Processor with doubled graphics and CPU performance.

More at Apple Insider

Apple's new iPad mini with Retina display will debut in November for $399, while the first-generation iPad mini will live on with a new, lower entry level price of $299.

The new iPad mini packs in just as many pixels — 3.1 million — as the Retina display on the full-size iPad Air. That means the iPad mini actually has a higher pixel density on its display than its larger brethren, at 326 pixels per inch.

It's also powered by the same A7 chip as the iPhone 5s and iPad Air. It's up to 4 times faster at CPU tasks than the first-generation iPad mini, and up to 8 times faster at graphics tasks, all while still offering 10 hours of battery life.

More at Apple Insider

Both new iPads look great. I've still got an aging iPad 3, so I'll probably spring for an upgrade. I can't make up my mind whether to get an iPad mini or an iPad Air.

Thankfully, I still have time before they become available for sale. So I can mull it over and figure out which one I like better.

OS X Mavericks Free

Apple made the updated iWork and iLife apps free with the purchase of a new Mac or iOS device.

And they made OS X Mavericks a free download as well.

With more than 200 new features, OS X Mavericks brings Maps and iBooks to the Mac, introduces Finder Tabs and Tags, enhances multidisplay support, and includes an all-new version of Safari. The latest release of the world’s most advanced desktop operating system also adds new core technologies that deliver breakthrough power efficiency and responsiveness.

Download OS X Mavericks Free

I have a couple of older Macs that I've been running OS X Mavericks on and so far it's been pretty good. Neither machine is exactly a speed demon at this point, but I haven't seen any problems with them running OS X Mavericks.

If you aren't familiar with OS X Mavericks, be sure to check out the new features.

New Mac Pro

The new Mac pro looks like it's going to be a behemoth in terms of processing power.

The new Mac Pro is one-eighth the volume of the previous Mac Pro. It features Xeon E5 processors of up to 12 cores, as well as AMD FirePro graphics.

It also sports next-generation flash with a PCIe controller with up to 1.2GB/s reads, 1.0GB/s writes, and up to 1-terabyte capacity. Thunderbolt connectivity offers 20Gb/s throughput.

The new Mac Pro can drive up to three 4K displays with HDMI 1.4 support.

More at Apple Insider

I wish I could justify buying one of these suckers. But alas, I can't. Still, true power users are going to have a ball with them.

Upgraded and Cheaper Macbook Pros

Apple's Macbook Pro laptops were also updated, with better specs and lower costs.

Apple's 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display has been updated with a thinner, lighter design featuring Intel's latest-generation Haswell processors and a new lower starting price of $1,299.

Featuring the latest Intel Haswell-series processors, the latest 13-inch model is both thinner and lighter than the last generation, at 0.71 inches thick and 3.46 pounds. Apple has also managed to squeeze more juice from the battery, pegging runtime at up to nine hours — two hours more than before.

More at Apple Insider

Apple's premium 15-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display was refreshed on Tuesday with a lower starting price of $1,999, while adding features such as 802.11ac Wi-Fi and Intel Crystalwell graphics to the package.

Along with the $200 price drop, which extends down to the new 13-inch model, Apple's latest flagship notebook features faster PCIe flash, as well as an optional GeForce GT 750M graphics processor. The refreshed laptop boasts the latest Intel quad-core Haswell processors with battery life extending to eight hours.

More at Apple Insider

Apple announced some enticing new products today. My guess is that there's a lot of anticipation out there for the day when the new iPads and Mac Pros actually go on sale.

What's your take on all this? Tell me in the comments below.

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