MacRumors Hands-On Photos of Apple's New iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini

Following today's Apple event at the Howard Gilman Opera House in Brooklyn, where the company unveiled new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini models, MacRumors received some hands-on time with the products at a nearby location.


For more first impressions, check out our roundups of hands-on articles about the new iPad Pro and Macs from other publications.

iPad Pro

As the iPhone X was to the iPhone, the new iPad Pro represents the most significant redesign of the iPad in its eight-year history, complete with a nearly edge-to-edge display that eschews the home button. That also means no Touch ID, replaced by Face ID, but the TrueDepth sensors fit in the top bezel without a notch.


The new iPad Pro looks and feels incredibly sleek. The bezels have been dramatically reduced in size compared to the previous generation, although they aren't as slim as those on the iPhone X and newer. As good as Apple's palm rejection technology is, the extra space helps prevent unintended tapping and swiping.


I'm not a display expert, but the Liquid Retina display on the new iPad Pro looks crisp with vivid colors. Apple said it is using the same anti-aliasing and other technologies as the iPhone XR to stretch the LCD nearly edge to edge, which is a truly impressive engineering feat. This is the best display on an iPad yet.

The new iPad Pro feels more like a true slate, with sharper, flatter edges complemented by more traditional rounded corners. And at just 5.9mm, the tablet is remarkably thin, with the 11-inch model weighing just over a pound. Both it and the new 12.9-inch model feel about the same weight as their 2017 equivalents though.


Apple has replaced the Lightning connector with a USB-C port to provide creative professionals with a more versatile connectivity solution for pairing accessories and peripherals, such as a 5K external monitor. The USB-C port also has power-out, meaning the new iPad Pro can charge an iPhone and other devices.

On the right edge of the new iPad Pro is a new Magnetic connector. A redesigned Apple Pencil attaches magnetically and begins wirelessly charging instantly. I shook the iPad Pro slightly and the Pencil maintained a strong hold.

Magnetic connector on new iPad Pro

The new Apple Pencil supports a double-tap gesture that can be customized to switch between drawing tools or to show the color palette.


Apple generally doesn't allow benchmarks to be run during its hands-on sessions, so we'll have to wait for that, but the new A12X Bionic chip with an eight-core CPU and seven-core Apple-designed GPU is said to provide up to 90 percent faster multi-core performance with up to twice as fast graphics.

The new iPad Pro packs smaller speakers, yet they are louder and produce stereo sound. Apple's hands-on room was not a good environment to test the speakers, so we'll have to wait until we get the tablet in our hands.

The new iPad Pro starts at $799 in the United States with 64GB of storage. It's available to order starting today ahead of its November 7 release date.

MacBook Air and Mac mini ahead…

MacBook Air

Moving on, the MacBook Air received its most significant redesign since the second-generation model with tapered edges was released in 2010.


The new MacBook Air looks very similar to the latest MacBook and MacBook Pro models, bringing consistency to Apple's notebook lineup. That includes a Retina display (yay!) and the same third-generation butterfly keyboard as the latest MacBook Pro (not so yay, depending on who you ask.)

In the limited time I had to spend with the new MacBook Air, the Retina display looked great. It's a huge step up from the previous display.


Apple says the new MacBook Air takes up 17 percent less volume than the previous model. As a result, the notebook now weighs 2.75 pounds, compared to just under three pounds for the previous model. I found the extra portability to be noticeable, and the weight difference to be negligible.

I tested the new keyboard briefly and it felt and functioned the exact same as the keyboard on the 2018 MacBook Pro. Whether you hate it or like it, Apple seems to be sticking with the butterfly mechanism for now, despite isolated issues with sticky and unresponsive keys that prompted lawsuits and a repair program.


The keyboard is complemented by a larger Force Touch trackpad. It works exactly like the one on the MacBook Pro. The extra space doesn't hurt.


Positioned above the keyboard is Touch ID, a first on the MacBook Air, alongside standard function keys instead of a Touch Bar. In line with the MacBook Pro, the Touch ID sensor is powered by the Apple T2 chip. Like the 2018 MacBook Pro and iMac Pro, the new MacBook Air features Hey Siri support.


Apple has whittled down connectivity on the new MacBook Air to two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, compared to MagSafe 2, two USB-A ports, a Thunderbolt 2 port, a full-sized SD card slot, and a 3.5mm headphone jack on previous models. In other words: you might need to buy adapters.


Apple says the new MacBook Air is its greenest Mac ever, made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.

As mentioned, Apple's hands-on sessions are primarily for looking at and feeling new products, so we'll have to wait for benchmarks to judge performance. The new MacBook Air features Intel's eighth-generation dual-core Core i5 processor, with a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz.


Other tech specs include up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1.5TB of SSD storage, and integrated Intel UHD Graphics 617.

The new MacBook Air is priced from $1,199 in the United States, a $200 premium over the previous $999 and up MacBook Air. Base specs include 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and Intel UD Graphics 617.

The new MacBook Air is available to order starting today ahead of its November 7 release date in many countries.

All in all, the MacBook Air has received a much-needed refresh that will help reignite its popularity as the perfect on-the-go notebook. It's also a worthy rival to the 12-inch MacBook now, and $100 less to boot. We'll have more comparisons of Apple's latest notebooks in the days and weeks to come.

Mac mini

As for the new Mac mini, Apple had only a few of them set up along the perimeter of the hands-on room.


We didn't have much of an opportunity to truly play with the new Mac mini, but it looks beautiful in it sleek new Space Gray finish. Beyond that, it looks more or less the same as the previous model.

The real upgrades to the Mac mini come on the inside, with up to a 3.2GHz six‑core eighth‑generation Intel Core i7 processor, up to 64GB RAM, up to 2TB of SSD storage, and Intel UHD Graphics 630. Considering the Mac mini was last updated in 2014, these tech specs will make it significantly faster.


Apple says the new Mac mini has up to five times faster performance and up to 60 percent faster graphics.

The new Mac mini has four Thunderbolt 3 ports, one HDMI port, two USB-A ports, and 10-Gigabit Ethernet, but loses a SD card reader. It also has a new thermal system that supposedly allows for double the airflow.

Pricing starts at $799, up from $499 for the previous model, with orders today and availability November 7.

Stay tuned to MacRumors for continued coverage of the new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini. Also check out @MacRumors and @MacRumorsLive on Twitter for a recap of today's announcements and more.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
21 months ago
It's interesting that the new iPad Pro looks like the iPhone 5/SE. It was a great design!
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
Am I the only one who thinks this isn’t reaaaaaly edge to edge?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
Some beautiful photos MR. Keep it up.
[doublepost=1540936087][/doublepost]

Am I the only one who thinks this isn’t reaaaaaly edge to edge?

I've got a feeling that real edge-to-edge would mean that you'd always lose screen real estate due to covering it with your fingers when holding it.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
I will never understand why they make it thinner and have this camera protruding?

Make it thicker so it is one flat surface, fill it up with the battery and enjoy!

Oh, it doesn’t need to be when you have a case?

If you use it with the case, then it is thicker again! What nonsense... Instead of carrying stupid volume (in form of a case) around, I would prefer to carry smart volume (like battery or processor power) around...

Oh, you not want it to be scratched? Then place it in a safe and never use it!
[doublepost=1540937844][/doublepost]

It's interesting that the new iPad Pro looks like the iPhone 5/SE. It was a great design!

And it will be a great design for a new elite 4 inch phone!
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago

Apple says the new Mac mini has up to five times faster performance and up to 60 percent faster graphics.

Its nice to have a 2014 computer to compare to!
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
21 months ago
What is Apple's gain in making the iPads thinner - it is tougher engineering and more expensive? And, they "lost" the audio jack to this effort. Revisiting my opinion on this(Edit - not revising). What is wrong with a 0.7mm's worth of air space inside the casing? The camera could be flush, like in the iPhone - it is not a pro photography device, definitely to wieldy enough to use as one, unlike the iPhones..

Meanwhile, the entry level Mac mini has ALL the ports! Attach external storage and add memory as needed, it is a perfect base home computer and server. Not a single Apple exclusive port on this! This alone will recruit so many millions into the Mac commune.

I like the MacBook Air for losing some weight, not the ports. Or becoming thinner - no point.

I've personally found the iPhones after 5S to hold with ease in my hand without a case - too slippery. Now, they are thinner for no real reason - all products from iPhone to MacBook Pro!
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Leaker: Apple to Stick With Lightning Over USB-C for 'iPhone 12' Before Going Port-Less Next Year

Tuesday May 26, 2020 2:31 am PDT by
Apple will use a Lightning port instead of USB-C in the upcoming "iPhone 12," but it will be the last major series of Apple's flagship phones to do so, with models set to combine wireless charging and a port-less Smart Connector system for data transfer and syncing in the iPhone "13 series" next year. The above claim comes from occasional Apple leaker and Twitter user "Fudge" (@choco_bit),...

Apple Releases macOS Catalina 10.15.5 With Battery Health Management Features, Fix for Finder Freezing

Tuesday May 26, 2020 1:59 pm PDT by
Apple today released macOS Catalina 10.15.5, the fifth update to the macOS Catalina operating system that was released in October 2019. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 comes two months after the launch of macOS Catalina 10.15.4, which introduced Screen Time Communication Limits. macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is a free update that can be downloaded from the Mac App Store using the Update feature in the...

16-Inch MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and iMac Pro With Mini-LED Displays Again Rumored to Launch in 2021

Tuesday May 26, 2020 5:30 am PDT by
Apple plans to release several higher-end devices with Mini-LED displays in 2021, including a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro in the first quarter, a new 16-inch MacBook Pro in the second quarter, and a new 27-inch iMac in the second half of the year, according to Jeff Pu, an analyst at Chinese research firm GF Securities. This timeframe lines up with one shared by analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who recently...

Leaker Shares Details on 'iPhone 13' Camera

Wednesday May 27, 2020 4:27 pm PDT by
The next-generation iPhone 12 lineup coming in fall 2020 isn't out yet, but Fudge (@choco_bit), a leaker who sometimes shares information on upcoming Apple devices, today offered up details on what Apple has in store for the 2021 iPhone 13's camera setup. A simple design drawing depicts a device with a four camera array, which Fudge claims will have the following features: 64-megapixel...

Jailbreak Tool 'unc0ver' 5.0 Released With iOS 13.5 Compatibility

Sunday May 24, 2020 3:06 pm PDT by
The team behind the "unc0ver" jailbreaking tool for iOS has released version 5.0.0 of its software that claims to have the ability to jailbreak "every signed iOS version on every device" using a zero-day kernel vulnerability by Pwn20wnd, a renowned iOS hacker. The announcement comes just days after it was announced that the tool would soon launch. The unc0ver website highlights how the tool...

Apple Making It Harder to Avoid Nagging macOS Update Notifications

Thursday May 28, 2020 8:13 am PDT by
With the release of macOS Catalina 10.15.5 and related security updates for macOS Mojave and High Sierra earlier this week, Apple is making it more difficult for users to ignore available software updates and remain on their current operating system versions. Included in the release notes for macOS Catalina 10.15.5 is the following:- Major new releases of macOS are no longer hidden when...

HBO Max Now Available on Apple TV and iOS Devices

Wednesday May 27, 2020 2:42 am PDT by
HBO Max launched today, and is now available on Apple TV, iPhone, and iPad. WarnerMedia's new streaming service, which replaces HBO Now, combines HBO content with shows and films from Warner Bros and Turner TV. The service is available as a native app on the ‌Apple TV‌ HD and ‌Apple TV‌ 4K, but second and third-generation ‌Apple TV‌ owners will need to AirPlay HBO Max content...

First App Using Apple and Google's Exposure Notification API Launches in Switzerland

Tuesday May 26, 2020 3:02 pm PDT by
The first app that takes advantage of the Exposure Notification API developed by Apple and Google has launched in Switzerland, according to a report from the BBC. A team of app developers working on contact tracing app called SwissCovid have rolled out the app in a beta capacity for members of the Swiss army, hospital workers, and civil servants. After the app is tested and approved by MPs,...

Anker Launches $100 24K Gold-Plated USB-C to Lightning Cable

Wednesday May 27, 2020 12:47 pm PDT by
Anker, a brand normally known for its well-made, affordable accessories for Apple devices, has debuted a new $100 24K gold-plated USB-C to Lightning cable. According to Anker, the cable, which is in the PowerLine+ III family, features a "Special Edition Gold Design" that's "bold yet elegant" with the aforementioned gold-plated cable heads and matching braided gold and black cable. The...

Apple Reissuing Numerous iOS App Updates, Potentially Related to Recent 'This App is No Longer Shared' Bug

Sunday May 24, 2020 9:13 pm PDT by
Over the past few hours, a number of MacRumors readers have reported seeing dozens or even hundreds of pending app updates showing in the App Store on their iOS devices, including for many apps that were already recently updated by the users. In many cases, the dates listed on these new app updates extend back as far as ten days. Apple has not shared any information as to why updates for...