In Depth

Apple October keynote round-up: new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini revealed

Company’s oldest models get much-needed revamps

Apple has taken the wraps off a trio of new products at its October keynote, just weeks after debuting the iPhone XR, XS and XS Max. 

A new version of the company’s range-topping tablet, the iPad Pro, took centre stage at the showcase in New York on Tuesday. The revamped device gets a bezel-free display similar to that on the new iPhones, along with Apple’s most powerful processor to date.

Two Apple classics, the MacBook Air and Mac Mini desktop computer, have also been given makeovers, with major hardware and design improvements made to both.  

Here are all the details on Apple’s latest products: 

iPad Pro
iPad Pro

Apple

What’s new:

  • Bezel-free design
  • Available in 11in and 12.9in form
  • USB-C replaces Lightning port
  • Touch ID out, Face ID in
  • A12X processor 
  • Priced from £769 for 11in, and £969 for 12.9in

Rumours of a new iPad Pro had circulated in the run-up to Tuesday’s event, so the unveiling of a bezel-free tablet comes as little surprise.  

The new tablet is available in two options: a 11in model that replaces the outgoing 10.5in version and a flagship 12.9in variant. Both feature Apple’s A12X processor, a more powerful version of the chip featured in the latest iPhones that helps deliver a similar graphics performance to an Xbox One S, The Guardian reports. 

Both models also get edge-to-edge LCD displays, leaving no room for physical buttons on the front panel, the newspaper says. As such, the Touch ID fingerprint scanner replaced with Apple’s newer Face ID technology. 

The company is also launching a new Pencil stylus to join the iPad Pro. The new design is similar to previous versions but the device can now magnetically clip onto the side of the new iPad Pro and charge wirelessly, reports CNet

MacBook Air

What’s new:

  • Retina display
  • 20% larger trackpad
  • Two USB-C ports
  • Touch ID security
  • Butterfly keyboard
  • Prices start at £1,199

Joining the iPad Pro at the October keynote was an all-new version of the MacBook Air, a laptop that hasn’t received a significant update in years. 

The entry-level model in Apple’s laptop range gets the most drastic makeover, with changes including the introduction of a higher resolution Retina display. The technology first appeared on the MacBook Pro line-up in 2015 and had been “overdue” on the Air range, says The Daily Telegraph

The design has changed dramatically, too. The MacBook Air, available in 13.3in form, now resembles a slightly larger version of Apple’s ultra-thin 12in MacBook. The new model also gets the thin “butterfly” keyboard from the standard MacBook, as well as a pair of USB-C inputs. 

Meanwhile, the trackpad has been enlarged by 20% and the battery should offer users around 13 hours of power.

Mac Mini

What’s new:

  • Optional six-core processor
  • Space Grey finish
  • Four USB-C ports
  • Every model has flash storage
  • Quad-core Intel processor
  • Prices start at £799

The four-year wait for a new Mac Mini is finally over, with Apple taking the wraps off a completely overhauled version of its entry-level desktop computer. 

The tech giant has swapped out the old model’s fourth generation Intel processor for an eighth generation quad-core chip, with a six-core version available for a fee, The Verge reports. 

All model come with flash storage - a faster and more reliable alternative to conventional hard drives - and can be specced with up to 2TB of space, the site adds.

TechRadar notes that there are also four USB-C ports at the rear for high-speed connectivity, as well as two USB-A ports and ethernet connectivity. Apple has carried over the HDMI and handphone ports from the old model as well.

As a finishing touch, the entry-level computer can now be specced in the tech firm’s Space Grey finish.

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