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MacBook Air and Mac Mini: Double Blast from the Past!!

It looks like the theme of Apple’s fall keynote event was Throwbacks!  At Apple’s “There’s More in the Making” event in Brooklyn, New York, we witnessed the rebirth of the MacBook Air, the revival of a dusted-off Mac Mini, new iPad Pros sans home button, and, for some reason, Lana del Rey. Got no idea what we’re talking about? Well, that’s what you get for missing the event. Here’s a recap!

Return of The MacBook Air

Ten years ago, at an event similar to the one yesterday, Steve Jobs pulled the newly minted MacBook Air out of a manila envelope and wowed the world. The device was unlike anything that the world had seen – a laptop so thin, so lightweight, you could travel anywhere without breaking your back. But this craze soon began to fade away all thanks to the woefully out-of-date software, a terrible low-res display and an ugly, chunky bezel-full design. Apple devotees had been pleading for an update (not counting the 2017 chipset refresh!) and were about to give up hope. But, Apple changed all that with a refreshed MacBook Air.

The Thin Story

The minimalist laptop is now lighter than ever as it is 17% smaller than the previous model and weighs 2.75 pounds. The lighter than feather MacBook comes with a 13.3-inch Retina display with four times the resolution than the previous variant. It also gets the latest-gen butterfly keyboard, and a couple of USB-C ports, and the huge-ass bezels have been reduced significantly. Hallelujah!  And as a part of Apple’s pledge to use more recycled materials in its devices, the new, lean, mean machine is manufactured with 100 percent recycled aluminium. What about the colours? The MacBook Air will be available in Gold, Silver, and Space Gray variants.

The Power Bump!

The new MacBook Air boasts of an Intel i5 8th generation (Coffee Lake) processor which is a beast as compared to the Intel Core M3 in the 12-inch MacBook. It boasts of up to 16GB of RAM (doubles the amount in its predecessor), and ships with up to a 1.5 terabyte solid-state drive. It also ships with TouchID – built right into a key on the keyboard – so now the non-Pro mortals can authenticate our identity using our fingerprints. The laptop also features a larger ‘Force Touch trackpad’ and last year’s Apple’s T2 security chip, which ensures a secure boot and encrypted storage. For the music lovers, Apple has upgraded MacBook Air’s speakers and a new three-microphone array. Even with all these additions, Apple continued the promise of all-day battery life.

Pricing – The Not So Fun Part

Apple’s MacBook Air update was long overdue and as sleek as the new MacBook appears to be, it’s pricing isn’t as friendly as the original MacBook Air. MacBook Air’s base model is priced at Rs. 88,200 in the US and at Rs. 1,14,900 in India. But the good news is, the laptops are already up for pre-orders and will be available from 7 November for Indians too!

 

Remember The Mac Mini? So Does Apple!

Remember the 2014’s modest upgrade to the Mac Mini? The puckish computer that plays caboose in Cupertino’s desktop train? And then… wait for it…nothing! For four sad years, the poor Mac Mini languished without any updates at all. But now, it’s back with a vengeance! Enter a beefed-up Mac Mini! For starters, Apple has also introduced space grey colour for the can’t miss distinction with the previous model.

The Long-Awaited Update

The new Mac Mini has retained the essential form factor (the one that the Apple TV has embraced as well). The latest iteration now features a processor that’s more recent than the first John Wick movie. Burn!

The base model of Mac Mini has a relatively scant 8GB of RAM and 128GB of flash storage, but throw in some money, and you can upgrade it all the way up to 64GB RAM, and a 2TB solid state drive. As for connectivity, it comes with a whole heap of ports: one Ethernet (upgradeable to 10GB), four Thunderbolt 3, one HDMI, and two USB-A. MacBook Mini also has a new thermal system for more efficient cooling, a good idea given how much more horsepower it’s got.

And just like the MacBook Air, the new Mac Mini enclosure is made from 100 percent recycled aluminium, because sustainability comes first!

Pricing

Apple touted the Mac Mini as “by far the best value we’ve ever offered”. And while it’s less than an iMac, you’re still going to have to cough up quite a sum, especially if you go for a display, keyboard, and a mouse.

The base model, which is priced at approx. Rs. 58,800 in the US, will be available for Rs. 75,900 in India. (Feeling so blessed!). The new Mac Mini is already up for pre-orders and will go on sale on 7 November.

And if that wasn’t enough, keeping in line with the theme, everything old is new again, Lana del Rey capped off yesterday’s Apple event with a surprise performance.

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