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New iPad Air, OS X Mavericks Released and More Announcements from Today’s Apple Media Event

Yes, they announced a new iPad. Yes, it's basically a thinner, faster iPad.

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Today, Apple announced new iPads, new MacBook Pro models, and that OS X Mavericks will be available starting today as a free upgrade. We’ve got all of those highlights and more from their special media event.

The iPad Air is the big iPad news everyone was waiting for. As the name suggests, it is a significantly thinner, lighter replacement for the full-size iPad. It also performs two times faster than the current iPad on many tasks, and it comes in at the same price point as the previous generation. (They’ll also have an iPad 2 available at a lower price.)

The iPad Mini will also get a new revision with a Retina Display and several small hardware upgrades. Similarly, the current generation iPad Mini will remain available at a reduced price.

A faster, lighter MacBook Pro will be available today along with OS X Mavericks and new iLife applications. OS X Mavericks will be a free upgrade, and Apple took the opportunity to take a jab at the price of Microsoft’s Windows 8 upgrade. Mavericks is free for users on machines as far back as 2007 iMacs, even if they’re not running the most recent version of OS X.

Mavericks continues the trend of Mac OS updates that feature more under-the-hood upgrades than new features. Instead of placing more strain on your system with new bells and whistles, its features aim at optimizing and speeding up your hardware. A big focus was placed on optimizing how RAM is allocated between graphics applications applications and the rest of your system, and their compressed RAM feature promises to fit 6GB worth of data into just 4 GB of RAM.

Another big sticking point of Apple’s presentation relates to price. Not only are they making OS X Mavericks a free upgrade, but they’re dropping the price of the new line of MaBook Pros by $200 on each model. Additionally, they’re also offering their new iWork updates for free starting today.

With the iPhone 5c and lower end iPad models remaining on the market at lower prices, it seems like Apple is placing an increasing focus on more appealing pricing for its products.

(via Apple Events, image via Apple)

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