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iPad mini, new iMacs and more revealed at Apple event

Apple reveal the iPad mini, all-new iMacs, Mac mini and more at the 23rd October special event - here's everything you need to know about today's announcement.

At The California Theatre, San Jose, Apple CEO Tim Cook took to the stage to unveil the iPad Mini. The October 23 event also saw the introduction of a new 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display, new iMacs as well as new Mac mini. There were also updates to iBooks and iBooks Author. Read on to find out everything you need to know about today’s announcement.

iPad mini

iPad mini - Main

The iPad mini was revealed from behind the fourth-generation iPad. Described by Schiller as, “Not just a shrunken down iPad,” the iPad mini features a 7.9-inch display with the same resolution as the iPad 2 (1024 x 768 pixels) and a dual-core A5 processor. It’s 23% thinner at just 7.2mm thick and features a 5-megapixel iSight camera, a FaceTime Hd camera, LTE and Wi-Fi capabilities and a 10-hour battery life. Connections, as you’d expect, come via a Lightning connector.

The 16GB Wi-Fi model of the iPad mini is priced at $329 and will be available on November 2nd with pre-orders available from this Friday. Two weeks later will see the introduction of the iPad mini with Wi-Fi and cellular in sale in the US and other selected countries worldwide. There will also be a new selection of Smart Covers to go alongside the launch.

Fourth-Generation iPad

An updated 9.7-inch iPad, complete with a new A6X chip (which doubles the CPU performance), 10-hour battery life an updated camera and a new Lightning connector was also announced. Available in both black and white flavours, it’ll start at $499 for the 16GB model.

New MacBook Pro - Main

New 13″ MacBook Pro

The new 13″ MacBook Pro with Retina display sizes up at just 0.75″ thin and weighs just 3.5lbs – the lightest MacBook Pro ever. It features a Retina display, two USB 3.0 ports, dual Thunderbolt ports and an SD card reader. The new Retina display sports a 29% higher contrast ratio and a 75% reduction in glare thanks to its IPS technology. It comes in two flavours; either the i5 or i7 Ivy Bridge processor and ships with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion.

The new 13″ MacBook Pro doesn’t come cheap though, it starts $1699 for the i5 model with 8GB RAM and 128GB of flash memory and $1999 for the same model with 256GB of flash storage. Upgrades include a larger processor (i7 Ivy Bridge), more RAM and up to 768GB of flash storage and it’s available to order today.

New Mac mini

The new Mac mini features dual or quad Intel i5 or i7 processors which sees up to two times the processing performance compared to previous models and up to 65% faster graphics thanks to the Intel HD graphics 4000 chipset. It can be configured with either a 500GB – 1TB Hard Drive or a Fusion drive that combines 1TB of disk-based storage and 128GB of solid-state storage. RAM starts with 4GB by default but can be configured up to 16GB. New connectivity on the Mac mini includes four USB 3.0 ports, a single Thunderbolt port and HDMI out for displays.

The new Mac mini is available to purchase today and starts at $599 for the 2.4GHz i5 model.

New iMac - Main

All-new iMacs

The all-new iMac features an incredibly thin design – just 5mm in thickness, 80% thinner than its predecessor. The svelte form factor was created thanks to a laminated display. It comes in 21.5″ and 27″ sizes with a viewing angle of 178 degrees thanks to the IPS technology. It features a FaceTime HD camera, dual-microphones, stereo sound, four USB 3.0 ports and dual Thunderbolt drives. It can be configured with up to 3TB of storage, Core i5 or i7 processors and a new storage setup – the Apple Fusion Drive.

The Fusion Drive features 128GB of flash storage as well as 1TB or 3TB of hard disk storage that’s ‘fused’ together by software. Applications and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion will stay on the SSD while documents and files will stay on the HDD. The result is a drive that delivers near-flash performance. Impressive to say the least.

If you’re itching to get your hands on one of these, you’ll have to wait until next month, but the good news is that pricing starts at $1299 for the 21.5″ model with 8GB of RAM and a 1TB HDD.

iBooks 3.0 and iBooks Author

iBooks 3.0 now features continuous scrolling, better iCloud integration and better sharing options – allowing users to share their favourite quotes from any book on Facebook and Twitter. iBooks 3.0 also features 40 new language options including Korean, Chinese and more – showing Apple’s commitment to its Asian market. iBooks 3.0 is available today for free from the iOS App Store. iBooks Author also saw a fairly significant update including custom fonts, mathematical expression support and improved audio support.