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Apple's iPad event: Here's what you need to know

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It was a jam-packed event for Apple in San Francisco on Tuesday, with the company introducing two new iPads, two new Macs and announcing even more. Here's a recap of all the announcements.

iPad Air

The star of the day without question was the iPad Air, the fifth-generation of the company's 9.7-inch screen tablet. The iPad Air is lighter, thinner and faster than its predecessor at just 1 pound, 0.3 inches thick and now featuring the company's faster 64-bit A7 chip.

PHOTOS: Apple's new iPad, more

It also has a redesigned look that's very similar to that of the iPad mini. Most noticeably, the iPad Air's side frame is now 43% narrower than that of its predecessor's.

The iPad Air is the first redesign for the Apple tablet since the iPad 2 was released in 2011. That might be why this is the first iPad to get a unique name. The tablet starts at $499 for a 16-gigabyte Wi-Fi-only model and $629 for an LTE-enabled 16GB version. It goes on sale Nov. 1.

iPad mini with Retina display

Many hoped Apple would include its high-resolution Retina display on the second generation of the iPad mini, and the tech giant did not disappoint.

Apple said the new iPad mini's 7.9-inch screen will feature 2,048-by-1,568-pixel resolution, just like that of the 9.7-inch iPad Air. 

The company said the iPad mini with Retina display will roll out in November -- no exact date was given -- and will sell for $399, up from the original iPad mini's price tag of $329.

Original iPad mini now available for $299

Even with the new model, Apple will continue to sell the first iPad mini and at a lower price. The Cupertino, Calif., company said the non-Retina iPad mini will be available for $299 with 16 GB of storage.

Mavericks OS X released, available for free

Many expected Apple to release the latest version of its Mac operating system at some point this week and charge about $20 for it. Instead, Apple said it would release on Tuesday and won't cost a thing.

Mavericks OS X adds a number of new features, including new Maps and iBooks apps, and will also improve the battery life and speed of Macs it is installed on, according to the company.

Mac Pro to sell for $2,999 later this year

Apple unveiled the Mac Pro this summer, and on Tuesday it announced its starting price: $2,999.

That price is for the base model of the redesigned heavy duty Apple desktop, which comes with 256 GB of storage and uses a 3.7GHz quad-core Xeon processor.

However, Apple did not give an exact release date for the Mac Pro, which will be assembled in the U.S. The only thing the company said is the Mac Pro will be available before the end of 2013.

Cheaper, improved Retina MacBook Pro laptops

Apple also announced new versions of its Retina MacBook Pro laptops that feature improved processors, longer battery life and lower prices. The two models became available for purchase Tuesday.

The 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro is now thinner and lighter than before, at 0.71 inches thick and 3.46 pounds. Its battery life has been improved to nine hours, two more than its predecessor, and its price has been cut by $200 to $1,299.

Meanwhile, the new 15-inch Retina MacBook Pro has had its battery life improved by one hour and can last eight hours on one charge. The 15-inch model also received a $200 price cut and will be available for $1,999.

iLife, iWork updated and free

Last but not least, Apple announced new versions of its iLife and iWork programs that been updated and optimized for iOS 7 and Mavericks OS X.

The new apps feature redesigned interfaces and a variety of new features. For example, with Pages, Apple's word-editing software, users can now collaborate with other users on the same document simultaneously.

The apps are available starting Tuesday and come free with purchase of any new Mac, iPad or iPhone. Existing iLife and iWork users can upgrade to the new versions for free. The company's music-mixing software, GarageBand, is free for all users, but to unlock all of its features users must pay $4.99.

ALSO:

What's at stake for Apple with iPad event

Where to sell old iPads before new ones are announced

Apple event: Expect new iPads, Macs and Mavericks, but no Apple TV

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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