What we loved and what we didn’t — catch our ‘More in the Making’ hardware reax on The CultCast

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360 CultCast MacBook Pro
New Macs, new iPads, new specs, new prices. We break it all down.
Photo: Apple

This week on The CultCast: Apple’s “There’s More in the Making” keynote was an action-packed ride stuffed with one hardware update after another! We’ll tell you what we like (and what we don’t) about Apple’s newest product updates. Plus: Apple quietly offers a big “screw you” to 2018 MacBook Pro owners. Prepare for a rant!

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CultCast #360 – Our More in the Making hardware reactions!

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All the ways the 2018 iPad Pro blows away its predecessors

iPad Pro

  • Super-sexy new design.
  • Already sold out for 1-2 weeks!
  • Thinner, and even smaller. 12.9-inch model is now the size of a sheet of paper.
  • No headphone jack.
  • Big performance increases, big price increases. Base price is now about 20% higher.
    • 11-inch models start at $799 (Wi-Fi) and $949 (Wi-Fi + Cellular), while 12.9-inch models start at $999
  • iPad Pro comes with Apple’s next-generation Neural Engine for advanced machine learning.
  • This is the first gadget besides iPhone that will include Face ID.
  • Powered by the new A12X Bionic chip
    • A12X Bionic has eight cores (four performance cores and four efficiency cores) and per Apple provide up to 35 percent faster single-core performance.
  • Seven-core GPU to deliver up to twice the graphics performance. They say it’s now as powerful as an Xbox One S console.
  • USB-C connector is replacing the Lightning connector,
    • Allows iPad to charge your iPhone
    • What can connect to the iPad? USB Hubs? Hard Drives? Printers? Even Apple said they weren’t sure when The Verge asked them.
    • Connect to external displays up to 5K … but why?
    • Still no file system.
    • No mouse support.
  • Apple is trying to position this as a laptop, but it’s not a laptop.
  • Apple Pencil 2 gets magnetic connection and charging, better iOS integration, and a 30% higher price tag (now $130)
  • BTW: Previous 10.5” iPad is still available, and still for the same 64GB base price of $649. 256 and 512 models are also still available.

Macbook Air – a confusing product

  • Newest-gen Amber Lake eighth-gen dual-core CPU
  • Complete overhaul
  • Retina display
  • New third-gen Butterfly keyboard
  • Touch ID
  • Larger Force Touch trackpad
  • Made from 100 percent garbage
  • Also gets a 20 percent increase in price for the base model with 128GB (now $1,200)
  • Previous model is still available for the same $1,000 price tag
  • Maxed-out model with 16GB of RAM and 1.5TB – $2,600
  • MacBook is more expensive than the Air, starting at $1,299, but it has a slower processor, a smaller screen and fewer upgrade options
  • MacBook Air is now just $100 less than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with faster processor and Intel Iris graphics

Mac mini

  • Space Gray finish
  • HDMI 2.0
  • Two USB 3 ports
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • A headphone jack
  • And — for an extra $100 — a 10-gigabit Ethernet port. With the Thunderbolt 3 ports.
  • A new cooling system doubles the airflow, allowing the machine to run at a maximum sustained power that is 70 percent higher than before.
  • According to Geekbench 4 scores, the base 4-core CPU has close to the same performance of the base 2017 5K iMac.
  • $799 base model comes with 128GB of SSD, a quad core 8th gen coffeecake i3 CPU with no turbo boost or hyper threading, and 8GB of ram.
  • The maxed out with 64GB of RAM, 2TB SSD, and 6-core i7 CPU is a mere $4200.
  • But the huge omission here is the Intel UHD Graphics 630. There is no option to upgrade.

MacBook Pro

New MacBook Pros with updated graphics are coming next month

  • Apple has screwed us, its loyal pro users.
  • Just about 3 months ago, on July 12, 2018, Apple introduced refreshed MacBook Pro models aimed at professional users, with the long awaited 6-core Coffee lake processors, up to 32GB of RAM, and slightly better GPUs. Apple positioned these as video editing dream machines.
  • Fast forward to this week, Apple has announced they will be offering a massive upgrade option to the Radeon Pro Vega GPUs. These new graphics options offer up to 60 perfect faster graphics performance in video editing, 3D design, and rendering workloads…
  • Clearly, Apple knew they were going to offer this upgrade, but they didn’t tell us.
  • Why? Because they knew many of us might wait to buy, and they wanted our money.

5 things we didn’t get at Apple’s ‘More in the Making’ event