Lately the tablet market has consisted of the iPad that Apple introduced in 2010 and a number of competitors trying to find a niche they can survive in. For the last year or so that niche was a smaller tablet form. While the iPad measured at 9.7″ diagonally, other tablets such as Google’s Nexus 7 measured at 7″ and seemed to fill a need for a smaller tablet. Now Apple has changed the market again by adding their own smaller tablet to the mix.
The new iPad mini measures 7.9″ diagonally, with the same resolution of the iPad 2, meaning that apps created for the iPad will work seamlessly on the iPad mini. This is another advantage that Apple has in the tablet market: Android tablets each have their own resolutions, sizes, and specs resulting in modified versions of the operating system being needed by each developer. Android app developers need to develop multiple versions of their app to work on the fractured array of devices; for Apple they make one version for the iPad and one for the iPhone. With the introduction of the iPad mini, that hasn’t changed – and neither will Apple’s dominance of the tablet market.
For many, the MacBook Pro with Retina now being offered in a 13″ size is the biggest news. Offering a display with over 4 million more pixels than an HDTV, Apple knowingly called it “the second highest resolution” for a laptop – with the 15″ version of the MacBook Pro with Retina being the first. Weighing just over 3.5 pounds and measuring just 0.75″ tall, it’s incredibly light and thin.
Apple has also updated the iMac and the Mac mini. The iMac, Apple’s flagship computer and its main desktop model, has undergone a big visual change – by getting much thinner. About 80% thinner than the previous iMac. The new iMac has an edge that is only 5mm thick, giving a razor-thin appearance to the desktop computer. This was primarily accomplished by removing the CD/DVD drive, meaning that to use CDs or DVDs you’ll need to use Apple’s USB SuperDrive – an external CD/DVD drive that connects to a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro with Retina, and now the iMac through USB. There are some big technical improvements inside as well, including power boosts in the form of the latest Intel processors, optional solid-state hard drives, powerful graphics cards and more.
The Mac mini, Apple’s affordable desktop model, takes a big leap forward as well with speed boosts up to double the previous model, double the hard drive space (from 500GB to 1TB) and the optional new Fusion Drive – a combination 1TB hard drive and 256GB flash storage that automatically manages your data to make your Mac run faster.
In a nutshell, if you were thinking about getting a Mac there is no better time than right now. The 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina is available now and the iMac is shipping in limited quantities with delays of a few weeks. The iPad mini was easily the hottest tech item for the holiday shopping season, and a difficult one to find in stock, but is usually available now.