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Summary: Slimmer iPads and iMacs highlight avalanche of Apple updates

Philip Michaels | Oct. 24, 2012
Prior to Tuesday's press event, Apple promised that it had "a little more" to show us. That "little more" turned out to be quite a bit, as the company released a smaller version of its iPad tablet, introduced a new generation of regular-sized iPads, and rolled out new iMac, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini models.

In Apple's MacBook Pro lineup, the company is adding the Retina display feature--first introduced in a 15-inch laptop last summer--to a new 13-inch model.

The 13-inch MacBook with Retina display features a resolution of 2560 by 1600 pixels. It comes in two configurations: a $1699 model with a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 processor and a $1999 model with the same processor but 256GB of flash storage. Apple will still offer two versions of its 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pro with standard LED-backlit displays.

Of the hardware changes unveiled Tuesday, the Mac mini's were probably the most modest--at least on the outside. Externally, the Mac mini is more or less unchanged from its last version, save for upgrades to USB 3.0 ports. Inside, however, the mini has faster processors: a 2.5GHz dual-core Core i5 chip in the $599 model and a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 chip in the $799 model. Both Mac minis have improved graphics as well and that new Fusion Drive (as a $250 option).

A $999 Mac mini server now features a 2.3GHz quad-core Core i7 processor, improved graphics, and larger hard drives.

Apple also offered a handful of software updates during Tuesday's event. Its iBooks ereader software for iOS devices is now at version 3.0. The iBooks update supports more than 40 languages and features a continuous scrolling alternative to turning pages. iBooks Author got an update as well, adding new templates and a portrait-only orientation feature for iPad ebooks.


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