Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Apple Announcement: New Macs and a Smaller iPad

Apple announced new products today, something they've been known to do pretty regularly since they started selling the Apple I in 1976.

Apple upgraded their 13" MacBooks to be thinner, which makes them more portable, and to have more pixels on the screen. Having more pixels makes text and images look better, especially if you like holding your laptop unnaturally close to your face. From a distance, you might not even notice.

Apple upgraded the iMac so the edge of the display is thinner. If you're using an iMac naturally and properly, you'll be looking at it head-on and thus this improvement isn't very relevant. The new iMac is lighter, too, just in case you need an all-in-one desktop that's easier to move. (Ugh, time to buy a laptop?) Apple also upgraded the Mac Mini to make it faster than the old one.

Also announced today was a smaller version of the iPad, measuring about 8 inches across instead of 10. They can make and sell smaller ones cheaper, but they do pretty much the same thing the larger ones do. People who already own 10-inch iPads seemed to be very excited by this announcement, which when you think about it, might not make a whole lot of sense.

Most of the products Apple announced today are relatively expensive, especially when you realize they don't actually do anything much differently than the older versions of the same products did. Maybe they're a little faster, or they're a bit more portable, but that's about it. The new iPad Mini starts at about $330, which, according to the World Food Program, is enough to provide over 1300 starving children with a day's worth of vitamins and nutrients. The new MacBook Pro with its "lotsa-dots" display can be as much as $2000. If you hang on to your current laptop for a while longer instead of buying a new one for $2000, investing that cash at 5% annually over 30 years gives a return of almost $9000.