Apple WWDC 2017 – New iMac, MacBooks, sneak peak at iMac Pro and Apple HomePod

Whilst Apple’s WWDC Conferences don’t typically result in a collection of hardware, but this year was most certainly a difference in that, with 4 Categories of Apple products updated, and a sneak peak at 2 more! This just shows just how big WWDC 2017 really was.

If hardware isn’t your thing, and you want to know what Apple announced in terms of Software, such as iOS 11, macOS High Sierra, watchOS 4 and more, you can click here!

UPDATES

iMac

Up first is the iMac, one of our all-time favourite of Apple’s Macintosh Computers since it’s first introduction and it’s only getting that much more better! The new iMacs include much faster Graphics, double capability in RAM as well as the latest Intel Kaby Lake Processors to boot, these things really are getting the updates they deserve!

The iMacs now feature USB-C in the form of two Thunderbolt 3 Ports, but Apple have maintained all the other Ports previously featured on the iMac including USB-A!

The displays on the iMacs may not be changing in terms of resolution, 4K for 21.5 inch and 5K for the 27 inch, but they’re getting a damn sight brighter now supporting up to 500 nits and 10-bit dithering. The new iMacs also feature dedicated Graphics as standard on all 27 inch configurations and 21.5 inch second up configurations, which allow the iMac to be VR capable!

Fusion Drive is now standard on all 4K and 5K iMacs, meaning you’ll get the best out of your Storage, which should get even better following the release of macOS High Sierra with the Apple File System. Apple do still sell a standard definition iMac for £200 less but trust us that’s really not worth it!

The 21.5 inch iMac now features dedicated AMD Radeon Pro Graphics with 2GB or 4GB of dedicated Graphics memory, as well as support for up to 32GB of RAM, now DDR4 on the second to top model, which can still be upgraded after the purchase.

You can configure the top 21.5 inch 4K iMac to up to 3.6GHz Intel Kaby Lake Core i7, as well as SSD Storage up to 1TB.

The new 27 inch iMac now features dedicated AMD Radeon Pro Graphics with 4GB of now 8GB of dedicated Graphics memory, as well as support for up to 64GB of DDR4 RAM, which can still be upgraded after the purchase.

You can configure the top 27 inch 5K iMac up to 4.2GHz Intel Kaby Lake Core i7, as well as SSD Storage up to 2TB.

MacBook

The MacBook had quite a rough start when it got updated in 2015, but Apple have given it it’s third update since it’s launch, which brings 50% faster SSD Storage to the device, as well as the new Kaby Lake series of Processors to Apple’s fanless MacBook, which now includes a fanless Intel Core i5 option!

Whilst the update isn’t anywhere near as drastic as the iMac one, it now includes a 1.2GHz Intel Core m3 on the base model, and that i5 option on the higher end model.

What’s really incredible though about the new MacBook, is that you can configure it up to an 1.4GHz Dual-Core Intel Kaby Lake Core i7, whilst maintaining a fanless design, which is an industry first! Up to 16GB of RAM is also available through configuration options, RAM of which is soldered to the motherboard.

MacBook Pro

It wasn’t just the MacBook that got a lot of slack after it’s recent update, but this MacBook Pro has now seen an update to the Intel Kaby Lake Processors, many of which think should have come to it from day one.

The 13 inch models of the MacBook Pro interestingly maintain a non Touch Bar version, in fact now there’s interestingly two configurations not featuring the Touch Bar which we think is very telling, though the previous generation MacBook Pro option is gone, at least for the 13 inch. As always the 13 inch MacBook Pro features Dual-Core variants of Intel’s Kaby Lake Core i5 Processors, though you can configure to an Intel Core i7.

A non Touch Bar MacBook Pro can be configured to a 2.5GHz Intel Core i7, 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD Storage.

However, you can go much further with a Touch Bar MacBook Pro, configuring up to either a 3.3Ghz i5 or a 3.5GHz Intel Core i7, with the same 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB SSD options following.

The 15 inch version of the MacBook Pros is now all-in on Touch Bar, however the previous generation MacBook Pro does remain in a single configuration for those who’d want it.

The 15 inch MacBook Pro interestingly features the same new AMD Graphics featured in the new 21.5 inch iMac, meaning the MacBook Pro is capable of VR using the AMD Radeon Pro with either 2GB of 4GB of dedicated Graphics memory.

The 15 inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar can be configured up to a 3.1GHz Intel Kaby Lake Core i7 Processor and up to 2TB of SSD. Despite the requests by many, the MacBook Pro remains maxed out at 16GB of RAM.

Previous generation MacBook Pro, before the redesign, remains on sale with a 2.2Ghz Quad-Core i7, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Iris Pro Graphics for £1,899, and maintains it’s previously available configs.

MacBook Air confusion

During the keynote, Apple claimed they’d increased the Mhz on the MacBook Air, which is a pathetic update as this is still the old Processor architecture and everything else. Looks like the MacBook Air is the laptop equivalent of the Mac Pro, or Mac mini at the moment.

iPad Pro

Apple today updated the 12.9 inch version of the iPad Pro with an all new A10X Fusion Processor which literally takes the iPad Pro to the next level in terms of performance, which we’ll go over soon, as well as introducing this, an all new iPad Pro 10.5 inch.

The new 10.5 inch iPad Pro is the new perfect sized iPad. The size of the 10.5 inch display perfectly displays an onscreen keyboard, and will naturally present the most pleasant typing experience on the corresponding Smart Keyboard Apple will be making available for it.

Performance on these iPad Pros is just insane, thanks to the A10X Fusion Processor, the iPad Pro performance goes up by 30% on the Six-Core CPU, and 40% on the now 12-Core Graphics, which if you remember how powerful the iPad Pro already was, is incredible.

The 10.5 inch and the updated 12 inch iPad Pro both feature new Displays which are brighter at 600 nits, incredibly accurate now HDR Ready with Ultralow reflectivity, and with ProMotion technology, these new iPad Pros will go away with the typical 60Hz refresh rate and double that to 120Hz which means incredibly smooth performance throughout. Thanks to the ProMotion Display, the Apple Pencil now can work with an industry leading 20ms draw-rate, which is insane!

The iPad Pros both maintain the 10 hour battery life, but now feature USB 3 transfer speeds allowing Quick Charging through either USB C to Lightning cables, or the included charger. Apple has also doubled the storage across the board, with 64GB of Storage now being the base, going all the way up to an insane 512GB of Storage … on an iPad! Camera wise, the iPad Pros now feature the same Front and Rear Sensors found in the iPhone 7, including it’s Quad-LED Flash, meaning great Photography and super high quality Video Calls.

Lowered Price and Availability

The iPad Pros are available today and in theses configurations;

10.5 inch: Starts at 64GB for £619, 256GB for £709 and you max out at 512GB for £889

12.9 inch: Starts at 64GB for £769, 256GB for £859 and you max out at 512GB for £1,039

LTE Models are also available for an extra £130.


SNEAK PREVIEWS

Apple does this often, previewing something coming soon, before it’s available, and today they did it twice, and we’re kicking things off with this;

iMac Pro (Sneak Peak)

This is the first of Apple’s Sneak Peaks shown off today, this is the iMac Pro! This is from the outer shell, just a Space Grey version of the existing 27 inch 5K iMac we spoke about above, but oh no it’s not, this is a fully powered workstation beast with all the power you could possibly want right now! This is the Mac Pro before it comes next year.

This iMac Pro will be available in December starting at a hefty $4999, but here’s what it’s going to offer you at that time.

  1. The same P3, HDR Ready, 500-nits, 5120×2880 5K Display which was improved on todays iMac update!
  2. The latest Intel Xeon Processors at 8-Core, 10-Core or an insane 18-Core Intel Xeon Processor!
  3. 32GB of RAM standard, configurable up to 64GB, or 128GB of 2,666Mhz DDR4 ECC RAM!
  4. 1TB SSD standard, configurable up to 2TB or 4TB SSD
  5. AMD Radeon Pro Vega 56 GPU with 8GB of HBM2 Memory Standard, Configurable up to Radeon Pro Vega 64 with 16GB of Dedicated HBM2 Graphics
  6. 1080p Front Facing Camera
  7. Support for Two external 5K Monitors or Four external 4K Monitors, with native display output via one of the four USB-C ports
  8. 10Gb Ethernet
  9. I/O Comprises of: 3.5mm port, SDXC Card Slot, 4 USB-A standard USB 3 Ports, 4 USB-C Thunderbolt 3 Ports, 10Gb Ethernet port
  10. Matching Space Grey Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad, Space Grey Magic Mouse 2. Optional Space Grey Magic Trackpad.

As you can imagine, this is quite the beast of a machine, and we can’t wait to check it out in person come December! Apple have just given the Pros a real option here in the iMac Pro, which is certainly going to tidy them over until the awaited Mac Pro next year!

Apple HomePod

In the wake of devices such as Amazon’s Alexa and the Google Home, Apple have arrived with their solution, this, the Apple HomePod. It’s a weird name, it’s a weird device, and if we’re honest with you, it’s a bit weird looking!

As you’d expect, you will be able to use the device with Voice commands using the “Hey Siri” command on it’s 6 microphones, the HomePod will also work as a HomeKit base, so it will be able to monitor and allow interaction with Home Automation from across the house by voice, or using your iOS devices on the move.

The big feature Apple are touting out of the HomePod however is the Sound. Apple want this to not only be a Smart speaker device like the Echo and Google Home, but also be a very good Speaker, which Apple say they’ve achieved with a 7 beam-formed tweeter array and a custom designed upwards facing woofer. The HomePod is spatially aware, and able to adapt the sound to it’s given environment.

For now though, that’s about as much as we know about the Apple HomePod, and we must say we’re a bit disappointed by it, and doubt either Amazon or Google will see this as much of a threat, a part made extra clear when Apple claimed the $349 starting price, which could buy you both an Alexa and a Google Home. But, time will tell whether this is worth that extra price.

The HomePod is coming by the end of this year in United States, United Kingdom and Australia.


 

And there you have it, quite a lot of hardware announced at a Software Conference right? Well, Apple also spoke a lot of Software, and you find out everything they had to say right here!

Published by R-Tech

R-Tech is the source of all the latest Technology posts on RKUK Media.

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