Thoughts on Apple’s iPad and Mac event

Apple had its special event in New York this morning focusing on Macs and the new iPad Pro. The focus of the event was clearly on the creative market with both product lines, but the most compelling for me was the iPad Pro.

Many people would argue with me about what the most compelling product Apple introduced was, especially fans of the Mac mini.

To be clear, I don’t think the Mac mini has ever been as compelling as it is right now. It comes in quad- and 6-core configurations that will make it a powerful machine for the most common uses of the mini.

Here’s what Phil Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, had to say about the Mac mini:

“Mac mini is loved by customers for its ability to be used in incredibly diverse environments — from casual desktop use, to live professional performances, to multiple Mac mini computers powering through video renderings and compiling software code, to racks of thousands in giant app build farms — anywhere a small-but-mighty Mac is needed to get the job done.”

He’s absolutely right, the mini is perfect in all of those instances. I said a while ago that the Mac mini is one of those products that Apple could update or not update and it wouldn’t matter that much. I still believe that, but I’m happy that users of these machines finally get their update.

The MacBook Air has been a favorite machine since it first came out. The new version brings a Retina display, Touch ID, Force Touch trackpad, Thunderbolt 3, and more.

The Air has always been loved because of its ultra-portability. Carrying around a MacBook Air is like carrying around a magazine—it’s so small and light that you can take it anywhere and still have enough power to get most jobs done.

The MacBook Air was never designed to be a workhouse computer that’s going to get your high-end graphics work done, it is intended to be the go-to computer for everyone on-the-go. It does that very well.

Using Intel’s Core i5, increased storage and memory options and the inclusion of other high-end technologies, I think the MacBook Air is going to be a big seller for Apple going forward.

The star of the show was the new iPad Pros. Some fascinating details came out of the keynote like the iPad sold more units last year than any notebook maker—that’s amazing.

I think the iPad Pro is getting to the point where more mainstream people would feel comfortable replacing their notebook with an iPad. That was always the thought Apple had, but the technology is catching up to the dream.

I really like what Apple did with the form factor of both iPads. The 11-inch iPad Pro is basically the same physical size as the 10.5-inch model but has more screen because they took out the chin and forehead. The 12.9-inch model is actually smaller in physical dimensions because they took that large screen and put into a smaller enclosure.

I haven’t seen either of the devices yet, but as a regular iPad user, both seem very compelling to me.

Both iPad Pro models come with Face ID, A12X Bionic chip, a USB-C connector, and up to 1TB of storage. Apple did not scrimp on anything in these new iPads.

One of the problems I had with the iPad was using the smart cover keyboard on my lap. That’s where I type the most, so the new Smart Keyboard Folio is something I’m really looking forward to—it has two adjustments, one for your lap and one for using the iPad on your desk.

Another cool feature is the newly redesigned Apple Pencil. The fact you can make a double-tap gesture with the pencil and also have it charge by connecting it the iPad via magnets is incredible. I was always afraid I was going to break the pencil when I plugged it into the iPad.

There is a lot to like about Apple’s announcements today. Mac mini, MacBook Air, and new iPads, in addition to the recently released Apple Watch and iPhone models, sets Apple up for a blockbuster holiday shopping season.