Apple Event October 2018 Roundup — Apple Announces Upgraded MacBook Air, Mac Mini, and iPad Pro

Last updated September 23, 2021

Last month, we saw Apple announce new iPhones and the Apple Watch Series 4 at the September 2018 event. This month, at the October 2018 event at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York, Apple has announced upgrades to popular products such as the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini, and the iPad Pro. Let's check them out.

MacBook Air

MacBook Air 2018

The all-new MacBook Air features a 13-inch Retina display, 8th gen Intel CPUs, and Touch ID

It has been quite some time since the MacBook Air received any kind of substantial upgrade. This was surprising considering that the MacBook Air was one of the most popular MacBooks among college goers and mobility enthusiasts. All that changes today. Apple's Senior Product Manager Laura Metz took to the stage to announce the upgraded version of the MacBook Air.

With the new MacBook Air, Apple increased the screen size to 13.3 inches Retina display with 4 million pixels and a 48% wider color gamut than the previous generation. The display now sports highly reduced bezels while still being able to accommodate a FaceTime HD camera for Group FaceTime calls. Internally, the MacBook Air has received quite an upgrade over the previous generation. It features an 8th generation Intel Core i5 CPU with integrated Intel UHD graphics and supports fast 2,333 MHz RAM up to 16 GB. The all-flash storage is now up to 60% faster and offers up to 1.5 TB capacity for handling large files.

The MacBook Air now supports Touch ID via the Apple T2 chip. The T2 chip also provides other functionality such as on-the-fly SSD encryption, a secure enclave for storing Touch ID data, a secure boot process, and an always-on processor for 'Hey Siri' commands.

MacBook Air Keyboard

The new MacBook Air keyboard now features 3rd generation butterfly switches.

The keyboard is another area which Apple has redesigned for the new MacBook iteration. The new keyboard sports the 3rd generation Apply butterfly switch mechanism with individually backlit keys. The touchpad surface is now larger and incorporates Force Touch haptic feedback functionality.

Apple has equipped the new MacBook Air with two Thunderbolt 3 ports that can charge as well as connect to a host of peripherals including eGPUs, 5K displays, docks, and more. The speakers are now louder and offer a fuller experience with improved bass and a wider soundstage. You also get a 3-microphone array for clean audio recordings and a headphone jack. Despite featuring upgraded hardware and 17% lesser volume, the MacBook Air offers the same 12-hour battery life as its predecessor along with 13-hours of iTunes movie playback.

Macbook Air Ports

The new MacBook Air is made of recycled aluminum

With the new MacBook Air, Apple has emphasized that it is using a custom-made aluminum alloy that is made from 100% recycled aluminum. This results in a reduced carbon footprint while still offering the same durability as any other Mac.

The MacBook Air can be ordered today with prices starting at $1,199 and wide availability starting from November 7.

Mac Mini

Mac Mini

Apple has announced a new, powerful Mac Mini

Another important announcement related to the Mac was the upgraded Mac Mini. Apple realized that the Mac Mini finds as much relevance with Pro users as with casual users so it has gone all out and upgraded the Mini in almost every aspect. On the outside, the Mac Mini looks identical to its previous generation counterpart. However, the innards have received a much-needed facelift. The Mini now sports the same Apple T2 chip found in the new MacBook Air. In the Mini, the T2 chip can additionally perform HEVC transcoding to enable Pro users to work faster with their video editing workflows. Just like the MacBook Air, the Mac Mini is also made from 100% recycled aluminum to reduce the carbon footprint.

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini finally gets a much-needed upgrade

You can now get the Mac Mini with either 4 core or 6 core 8th generation Intel CPUs with turbo speeds up to 4.6 GHz and Intel UHD graphics. The enhanced processing power should enable better workflows when used for multimedia editing, creation, and software development tasks. Up to 64 GB of 2,666 MHz RAM is offered along with up to 2 TB SSD storage.

Mac Mini Ports

The Mac Mini is fully loaded when it comes to port selection

Apple has been generous to equip the Mac Mini with a wide port selection. You get 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI 2.0 port, 2 USB Type-A ports, a 3.5 mm headphone jack, and Gigabit Ethernet. There is also an option for a 10 Gb Ethernet port as well.

The new Mac Mini can be ordered today with prices starting at $799 and will be shipping from November 7.

iPad Pro

iPad Pro 11-inch and 12-inch

Apple announced new iPad Pro models today

Finally, we have the much awaited iPad Pro. The iPad Pro now comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch variants, both of which are just 5.9 mm thin. Both models sport a bezel-less design and ditch the Home button for gesture-based navigation. Touch ID makes way for Face ID bringing the same TrueDepth camera system of the iPhone and it works in any orientation. Apple is serious about courting the creative crowd this time by equipping the new iPad Pros with the latest 7nm Apple A12X Bionic chip with a Neural Engine for accelerating AI tasks, Gigabit-class LTE, a USB Type-C connector, and up to a whopping 1 TB of storage.

The new iPad Pros feature an edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with rounded corners, advanced pixel masking, sub-pixel antialiasing, and wide color gamut support along with a 120 Hz refresh rate.

iPad Pro Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil

The new iPad Pros come with a 2nd gen Apple Pencil and a new Smart Keyboard Folio

Apple is offering a second generation Apple Pencil with the new iPad Pro models. The new Apple Pencil can magnetically attach to any side of the iPad Pro and charge at the same time. You can now double tap the Pencil in supported apps to change brushes or tips. There is also an optional Smart Keyboard Folio that not only protects the iPad but also offers an improved typing experience.

The improved A12X SoC offers enough power to run demanding creative apps and offers advanced machine learning capabilities for photography and AR. Developers can take advantage of the improved Neural Engine and offer compelling experiences to their users.

iPad Pro Versatility

The iPad Pro can connect to a number of USB Type-C devices

Apple has offered USB Type-C connectivity on the new iPad Pros. This means you can hook up the device to USB Type-C docks for charging, connect to external 5K displays, musical instruments, or even charge an iPhone.

The new iPad Pro models will be available in silver and space gray color options in 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and a new 1 TB variant. The 11.-inch iPad Pro starts from $799 for the Wi-Fi model and from $949 for the Wi-Fi + cellular model while the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts from $999 for the Wi-Fi model and $1,149 for the Wi-Fi + cellular model. The new second-generation Apple Pencil will be available for $129 while the Smart Keyboard Folio will be available for $179 and $199 for the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models respectively. Apple also offers a Smart Folio cover for $79 (11-inch) and $99 (12.9-inch). All products and accessories are available for ordering today and will start shipping on November 7.

What do you think about the new product launches from the Apple October 2018 Event? Are they the refreshes you've been waiting for? Let us know in the comments below. Also, don't forget to follow TechNadu on Facebook and Twitter to stay updated on the latest happenings in tech.

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