Tag Archives: Mac Mini

Apple Announces New iPad Air, iPad mini, iMac, Updated Mac mini, Announces iOS 8.1, Releases Mac OS X Yosemite

In an event in Cupertino on October 16, Apple announced a slew of updates to their iPad and Mac lineup.

As usual, Apple CEO Tim Cook started off with some tidbits, including the how well-received the iPhone 6 has been, the big deal with Apple Pay (which launches on Monday October 20) with offline and online payments, the reception for Apple Watch, the WatchKit SDK availability in November, and as we know, the launch of Apple Watch in “early 2015″.

Biggest iPhone Launch Ever

Cook claimed that these are the fastest-selling iPhones in history. In the first 30 days that the iPhones have been available, Apple took the most orders for the devices. Curiously though, no hard numbers were provided. The phones will be available in China on all three carriers simultaneously for the first time, and the pre-orders there have set a high watermark, per Cook.

iOS 8 and OS X

Craig Federighi, the senior Vice President of software engineering at Apple, then came on stage to talk about iOS and OS X. Federighi showed an adoption chart that had iOS 8 on 48% of iOS devices and iOS 7 is on 46%. He made it seem like that it’s a good thing that the latest two OSes are on such a large percentage of devices, whereas in the past Apple used to be able to claim that the latest operating system was the one on most devices already. He clearly dodged the issue of slower iOS 8 adoption. However, any such chart will compare very well compared to Android. On the Android chart, Federighi showed that the latest version, Android KitKat was on 25% of the devices only after 313 days of release.

After the competition trash-talking, Federighi moved on to recap all the iOS 8 features which have already been discussed in previous events, and are well-known to most of the audience. There was a focus on Swift, the programming language introduced with iOS 8, and its huge adoption. He also talked about how IBM has devoted many resources on building enterprise line of business apps using Swift.

Federighi also announced an update to iOS 8, iOS 8.1. This update will provide Apple Pay support, iCloud Photo Library (5GB free, 20GB for 0.99 and tiers up to 1TB), and in a cheeky acknowledgement, he said it will bring back the Camera Roll which was inexplicably omitted in iOS 8.

On to Mac OS X, one of the curios facts that Federighi mention was that Yosemite beta had a user base of 1 million just two days after Microsoft announced that Windows 10 Technical Preview (not really a beta) has a user base of 1 million too, but that is only over a period of 10 days.

Similar to the iOS 8 recap, Federighi rehashed various new features already announced in Yosemite, and then announced that it will be available today. In addition, he announced that an updated iWork, Apple’s free productivity suite, will also be available for free today.

iPad Air 2

Cook came back to talk about the success of the iPad. He said that there are more iPads sold in the first 4 years (225 million) than any other product Apple has sold, ever. It is the #1 tablet in customer satisfaction, usage, education, enterprise, as well as consumer.

Phil Schiller, senior Vice President of worldwide marketing then came on stage to talk about the new iPads. The focus of the iPad Air 2 is on thinness, with it being only 6.1mm thin. It is 18% thinner than the iPad Air which was already one of the thinnest, if not the thinnest, tablet in the market.

There is no air gap in the next-generation Retina display, so the images and text are even sharper now. Apple has also added an anti-reflective coating on the surface, to reduce reflections by 56%.

iPad TouchID
iPad TouchID

iPad Air 2 Key Specifications

  • New A8X processor with 2nd generation 64-bit architecture
    • 40% faster CPU, 2.5x faster GPU.
  • New motion co-processor M8
    • Tracks motion
    • Calibrates sensors
    • Barometer included, like the iPhone 6
  • New 8MP iSight camera
    • f/2.4
    • 1080P HD video
  • First time in an iPad:
    • Panoramas up to 43MPixels
    • Burst mode
    • Timelapse
    • Slo mo video
  • Dual microphones to capture better sound when recording video
  • New FaceTime camera:
    • Burst selfies
    • HDR with single image, so there is no image composition involved
    • HDR videos
    • Updated image detection
  • Faster WiFi: 802.11ac with MIMO delivers up to 886Mbps
  • Faster and expanded coverage of LTE with 20 LTE bands
  • The most requested feature was adding TouchID to iPad and it is now available
    • With TouchID, Apple Pay is now enabled for the iPad, but only for online purchases, not retail stores

iPad Air 2 pricing

Like Apple did with the iPhone 6, the second tier of storage was skipped and bumped up to the next higher tier. So there is no 32GB iPad anymore, and it goes 16GB, 64GB and 128GB.

WiFi only: $499 for 16GB, $599 for 64GB, $699 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $629 for 16GB, $729 for 64GB, $829 for 128GB

iPad mini 3

The iPad mini did not get much stage time, but it’s probably because the only thing “new” in the mini is the TouchID. Other than the TouchID, the mini 3 is much like the mini 2. The pricing:

WiFi only: $399 for 16GB, $499 for 64GB, $599 for 128GB
WiFi + Cellular: $529 for 16GB, $629 for 64GB, $729 for 128GB

Apple is keeping both, the original iPad mini as well as the iPad mini with retina (newly renamed to iPad mini 2) in the lineup.

Pre-orders for the new iPads start on 10/17, and they ship by the end of the next week.

iMac

The iMac finally gets a Retina display but Apple has packed their 27″ iMac display with a 5K resolution. That translates to 5120 pixels by 2880 pixels. It is the world’s highest resolution display. This 5K display packs 7x more pixels than HD TV display of 1080P and 67% more pixels than  a 4K display. It is also incredibly thin, at only 5mm. Among other things, Apple has made custom components like the timing controller, oxide TFT material, organic passivation technology and power-efficient LEDs for backlight, which results in a computer that uses 30% less energy than the previous iMac.

Retina iMac
Retina iMac

iMac Key Specifications

  • 3.5GHz quad-core Intel Core i5, configurable up to quad-core 4.0GHz Intel Core i7
  • 8GB memory, configurable up to 16GB or 32GB
  • 1TB Fusion Drive, configurable up to 3TB Fusion Drive, or 256GB/512GB/1TB of Flash storage
  • AMD Radeon R9 M290X with 2GB of DDR5 memory, configurable to AMD Radeon R9 M295X with 4GB of DDR5 memory

The iMac with Retina 5K Display ships today for $2499.

Mac mini

Finally, Schiller spent a few minutes talking about what he called “the first Mac for many”, the Mac mini. It is updated with a spec bump across the board, with 4th-generation Intel processor, Intel Iris HD 5000 graphics, PCI-e Flash storage, 802.11ac WiFi and two Thunderbolt 2 ports. It will be sold for $499 now, instead of the earlier model’s price of $599, and it will ship today.

So, that was a lot of stuff Apple announced and is going to take pre-orders for and/or ship. One thing missing conspicuously from the event was Apple TV. Many anticipated some sort of an App Store for the Apple TV but that did not happen.

What did you think of the event and the announcements? Are you going to buy any of the new products?

Review: OWC Data Doubler Kit For Mac Mini

The Mac mini is a great little machine if you’re just getting into OS X or if you’re a long time user. Because of the Mini’s small form factor, it can be used in a variety of situations, from the office to the home theater. Another nice thing about the Mac mini is how upgradable it is. While it may not look like it from afar, once you’re up-close and personal with the machine, you’ll realize how easy it is to swap drives and throw more RAM into the machine.

So, you’re thinking of upgrading your Mini’s hard drive. Sure, you could purchase a new drive and throw your old one into another computer or an external enclosure, but why not keep it in your Mini for extra storage? Even though this may seem like an impossible feat at first due to the Mini’s very small enclosure, it is actually quite possible.

When Apple designed the 2011 Mac mini, they removed the optical drive, making it identical to the server edition Mac mini. The Mac mini server sports two 500GB drive standard, enabling RAID and other dual-drive solutions. Because of this, the standard version of the 2011 and 2012 Mac mini have an extra empty 2.5″ hard drive bay which needs a few simple parts to be fully active and capable of connecting another drive to your Mac. While you can buy all of these parts individually and follow a seedy tutorial on YouTube, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to purchase all of the tools, parts as well as an installation guide at once? That’s where Other World Computing comes in with the Data Doubler.

OWC’s Data Doubler for the 2011-2012 Mac mini is an awesome little kit. For a penny under $40, the product includes all screw drivers, parts and tutorials you need to install a second drive in your Mac mini. Most importantly, the Data Doubler includes a custom made  SATA cable which attaches to your Mini’s motherboard. This adds a second SATA connection to be used with the mounted drive. The only thing not included is the actual drive which you’ll be installing, but you can purchase one from OWC if needed.

Now that you’ve purchased a Data Doubler kit and a secondary drive for your Mini, how difficult is the installation process? Upon first glance, it may be pretty intimidating as you have to take your Mini completely apart for installing the secondary drive. However, as long as you follow Other World Computing’s professional video guide, you shouldn’t have an issue with the installation. I installed the Data Doubler kit in my Mac mini in about 45 minutes by following OWC’s guide.

All in all, I highly recommend OWC’s Data Doubler kit for the Mac mini to the type of person who doesn’t mind taking their Mac apart. You can purchase the Data Doubler for 2011-2012 Mac mini via Other World Computing’s website for $39.99.

Apple to Move Mac mini Production to U.S.

Earlier this month, we reported that Apple will bring back some Mac production back to the U.S. next year. Speculation suggested that the Mac Pro would be the one that would be manufactured in the U.S due to its relatively low volume of sales.. However, now DigiTimes reports that it will be the Mac Mini that will be manufactured in the U.S and not the Mac Pro.

Apple is reportedly set to move its Mac mini production lines back to the US with Foxconn Electronics (Hon Hai Precision Industry) to be responsible of handling establishment, according to sources from the upstream supply chain.

According to the report, Foxconn already has “about 15 operating bases” in the U.S. and the company plans on hiring workers for 2013 for new automated production lines. Should be an interesting 2013 for Apple.

13″ Retina MacBook Pro Specs Leak (Update: Mac Minis As Well!)

With just a few hours left for Apple’s event to start in California Theatre, the leaks regarding what Apple is going to announce is coming left, right and center. Thanks to Google Search, it is all but confirmed that Apple will unveil a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina screen.

The folks over at 9to5Mac have even got their hands on the specs of the new 13-inch MacBook Pros, which are as follows -:

  • 2.5 GHz, 128GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
  • 2.5 GHz, 256 GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM
  • 2.9 GHz, 512GB of Flash storage, 8GB of RAM

9to5Mac suggests that the new 13″ MBPs will be available for pre-order right after the event gets over. While there is no word on the pricing, rumors suggest that the base 13″ rMBP will only cost $1199, which definitely makes them tempting.

The shift to a SSD alone should bring about a noticeable speed boost compared to the previous generation of MBPs, and along with the new Retina Display should make the new 13″ rMBPs a tempting deal.

Apple is expected to unveil a new 13-inch MacBook Pros with Retina screen, a 7-inch mini iPad, iOS 6.0.1, refreshed Mac Minis and iMacs and possibly a new new iPad with a lighting connector at its event today.

Update: Well, that was fast. 9to5Mac has managed to get the complete specs of the refreshed Mac Minis as well. There will be three variants of Mac Minis like previous year, with the third one running OS X server edition.

Below is the complete specs of the new Mac Minis -:

  • 2.5 GHz dual-core, 4GB RAM, 500GB Hard drive
  • 2.3 GHz quad-core, 4GB RAM, 1TB Hard drive
  • Server: 2.3 GHz quad-core 4GB of RAM, 2TB Hard drive

Apple has made 4GB of RAM standard across the Mini, with the base model getting a 3rd gen dual-core Core i5 processor, with the top-end consumer and server models getting a 2.3GHz quad-core processor.

Apple to Launch New Mac Mini at Next Week’s Media Event?

Rumor has it that alongside the iPad mini, Apple will reveal a new 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro at next week’s media event. Now, 9to5Mac is reporting that Apple will also announce a new version of the Mac Mini.

These new Mac minis are said to begin shipping immediately after announcement. Apple last redesigned the Mac mini with a unibody aluminum enclosure in 2010, and last updated the computer with faster processors last summer. These current Mac minis are on last-generation chipsets and lack USB 3.0, so we should be seeing those components updated in these new models.

According to the report, the Minis will come in similar configurations to current Mini models, two standard versions and a third setup that runs Mountain Lion Server. The last refresh for the Mac Mini occurred in July 2011, about 450 days ago. Sounds like next week is going to be expensive.

Apple Updates MacBook Airs, Mac Minis, and Cinema Displays, Drops the White MacBook

In conjunction with the launch of OS X 10.7 Lion, Apple has made a few changes to their product line. If you go take a look at the Apple Store, you will notice that a couple of products have the little bluw “new” tags over head, and that the Mac line is one computer shorter now.

Apple is now offering upgraded versions of the MacBook Air and Mac mini, as well has a their first Thunderbolt display in the new Cinema Display. Lets take a look at the Specs for each new product, then we will look at what has gone missing form the Apple Store page.

The MacBook Air comes in two sizes, the 11.6 and 13.3-inch beauties we knew before, but each packs a couple major changes. First, they have been given Intel Sandy Bridge chipsets, like the recently updated MacBook Pros. This brings better overall speed to the SSD-powered ultra portables. They have also been given Thunderbolt ports on the right hand side, which looks to be Apple’s new standard feature.

There were two other predicted upgrades to the Air that have indeed come true. First,  backlit keyboards have returned, bringing joy to all of us who type in dark rooms. Second, the Air will now ship with Lion, making it the first of Apple’s laptops to do so. The cheapest Air is now only $999.

The next product that saw an upgrade on Wednesday is the Mac mini. It received the same basic upgrades as the Air, bringing the Sandy Bridge architecture, Thunderbolt, and Lion to Apple’s cheapest desktop option. Unfortunately, you can no longer get an optical drive with your mini. You can pick up the lowest end option for $599.

There is also a new version of the Mac mini server, which is running the new server version of Lion. It comes packing Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, and 2 500GB HDDs. You can pick it up in the Apple store starting at $999.

The last product that got an upgrade this morning is the Cinema Display. With the inclusion of Thunderbolt support, Apple has renamed the 27-inch LED powered display the Thunderbolt Display. You can buy it now for $999. Be warned that this new display will only work if your Mac has a Thunderbolt Connector.

The last update to the Apple store is easily the saddest. There were rumors going around the tech community that Apple was planning to end the life of the polycarbonate white MacBook. It seems as tho those rumors are turn, as it is no longer listed on Apple’s website. If you want to buy one of the entry-level notebooks, some are still available in the Apple Refurb store, but there is no guarantee on how long they will last.

Those weren’t MacBook Air and Mac Pro part numbers, but instead Mac Mini and white MacBook

White MacBook and Mac Mini

 

Yesterday, a report suggested that the new MacBook Air and Mac Pro part numbers had leaked.  A correction has been made my 9to5Mac, and it seems that these numbers are  for new Mac minis and White MacBooks and not for MacBook Airs and Mac Pros.

The new part numbers are:

MC914LL/A J59, BEST USA – White MacBook
MC936LL/A J40, ULTIMATE USA Mac mini Server
MC815LL/A J40I, BETTER USA Mac mini standard configuration
MC816LL/A J40, BEST USA Faster Mac mini

According to the original report, these were Mac Pro numbers. In addition,  the MacBook Air part numbers in the original report are still considered to be accurate and are believed to be launching soon.  We can assume that the new Mac Mini and white MacBook will adopt the latest Intel processors and Thunderbolt.

Looking to Buy a New Mac Mini or Mac Pro Soon? Wait

Mac Mini and Mac Pro refresh

According to CNET’s Brian Tong, a refresh to the Mac Mini and Mac Pro lineup is right around the corner. His sources say that the refresh will occur in late July or August.  In addition, he’s advising not buying a new Mac Mini or Mac Pro until then.

EXCLUSIVE: My sources tell me ALL NEW Next-Gen Mac Pros and Mac Minis will launch either end of July first week of August.

August more likely, Sandy Bridge and Thunderbolt on both. NO details for specs or configurations given. DO NOT BUY! WAIT for the new Macs!

Tong says that the new  Mac minis and Mac Pros will have  Thunderbolt I/O and a Sandy Bridge Processor. No word on the specifications of the machines or configurations. A major redesign for the Mac mini is unlikely since the design was updated last summer. Brian Tong also reports that these new Macs will run Lion at first. He has previously accurately predicted the arrival of new iMacs before.