Apple hosted one of its trademark product keynote events this morning in Brooklyn, N.Y., introducing a new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac mini. Here is the most important news from the show, in roughly chronological order:
The theme for today’s event is essentially Apple’s “most creative products” — and its products for creative professionals. Apple is holding the event in an opera house, its logo is being drawn in a bunch of different art styles, and today’s introductory videos feel more art-house than Hollywood blockbuster. CEO Tim Cook didn’t do much of a windup — we’re jumping right into the Mac update.
The MacBook Air:
Apple’s Mac business now has 100 million active devices. First up for an update: The MacBook Air, which “truly embraced the notion that less could indeed be more,” per Cook, who says it’s the “most beloved notebook [computer] ever.”
This is a big update, arguably overdue, for one of Apple’s most popular products.
The new MacBook Air has a high-resolution Retina display — addressing its biggest shortcoming — plus two USB-C ports and a headphone jack. The new display has 50 percent narrower borders and 48 percent “more color.” The new Air now supports Touch ID to unlock your Mac or use Apple Pay, a feature Apple previously introduced in the MacBook Pro. It can drive a 5K external display. Apple is pledging 12 hours of battery life in “wireless web browsing.”
The MacBook Air is smaller — 17 percent less volume — and 10 percent thinner, and a bit less than 10 percent lighter, weighing in at 2.75 pounds. It’s made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.
The new MacBook Air starts at $1199, the lowest price for a Retina Mac, but 20 percent more expensive than the old MacBook Air, which recently started at $999. Preorders start today, with availability next week.
The Mac mini:
Apple is also making another long-awaited Mac update, a new Mac mini. “This new Mac mini is an absolute BEAST on the inside,” Apple promises.
This smallish device has had a weird history — Apple goes years between updates — but has a strong niche following, using it as a media center, to power conference room TVs and even in server farms. It will now support quad- and six-core processors, offering 5X faster performance, and up to 64GB of memory — a lot for a small device.
The good news for Mac mini fans: Unlike Apple’s laptops, which have been losing their ports, this Mac still has a bunch of them, including four USB-C ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI, Ethernet, etc. Its aluminum enclosure is now also 100 percent recycled. It starts at $799, with preorders starting today and shipments on Nov. 7.
The iPad Pro:
“Imagine a piece of glass that transforms instantly into anything you want it to be.” That’s how Tim Cook kicks off the iPad section of today’s event, following a retail update from exec Angela Ahrendts.
The new iPad Pro is a big cosmetic and functional update: Its screen now goes far to the edge, including rounded corners and Face ID, using similar technology as the new iPhone XR. It comes in 11-inch and 12.9-inch sizes, with the larger device having 25 percent less volume than its predecessor.
The new iPad Pros use new Apple chips, the A12X. “Single-core performance” — many simple tasks — are up to 35 percent faster than the last iPad Pro, and more sophisticated multi-core tasks are up to 90 percent faster. Graphics performance is up to 2X faster.
As rumored, the new iPad Pro is moving over to USB-C — away from Apple’s Lightning port — as its main connection point. This can power a 5K display or let you charge your iPhone from your iPad. The second-generation Apple Pencil stylus attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly. The new keyboard case does not include a trackpad.
The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799; the 12.9-inch starts at $999. Both models start preorders today and ship on Nov. 7.
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.