Today was yet another big Apple Event to announce new products. This one was held interesting enough in Brooklyn at the Brooklyn Academy of Music instead of in California which is where Apple typically holds it announcements. The show opened with a short video ironically extolling New York (“ I happen to like New York”) instead of Brooklyn; I assume Apple does know the difference. In any event, the video was pretty well made and definitely one of the cooler things Apple has done recently.
There were no real surprises at the Event; most of the products had already been leaked to the press. Basically, there is a new MacBook Air, a new Mac mini and new iPad Pros. I can’t say any of them is a “must have” for lawyers although like most new Apple products, they are attractive and will let you do more, faster.
The New MacBook Air
First, the MacBook Air. This is the low price Apple laptop. It’s small -13.3 inch display— light-2.75 lbs— and thin—.07 inches. The MacBook Air product has been around for several years but this is the first refresh in awhile.
I owned a previous version of the MacBook Air for several years and really liked it. It doesn’t have the storage and speed of many of the more sophisticated and faster Apple laptops but for a small, portable laptop, it was great. Ideal for cloud computing. Now, its has Retina display and a new gold colors. It starts at $1199.
Will I buy it? Probably not. I have a larger MacBook Pro and an iPad so I really don’t need an in-between size Apple device. If you want to save some dollars and still get a good device that will do most of what a lawyer does (provided you can connect to the cloud), then this may be for you, however. I am not sure I would see the logic in having both a MacBook Air and iPad, though, since in many—but not all— ways they are similar in what they can do.
The New Mac Mini
Next, Apple introduced a refreshed Mac mini. Again, I had one of these a few years ago as well. It was a fine machine but is really designed to be a desktop. I’m not sure I see the benefit as a lawyer to buying one of these since there are so many more portable devices out there. Unless, of course, you just have a thing for desktops.
The New and Improved iPad Pros
Finally, probably the most important announcement for lawyers was the new iPad pros. I love the iPad Pro, so much so that up until a short time ago, I owned both the larger 12.9 version and the smaller 10.5 inch version. I frankly found the smaller one easier to work with and certainly easier to lug around although the bigger display was pretty striking.
What I found interesting were the sizes
Most of the recent rumors about the new Pros being announced today were spot on: no home button, usb-c port and face recognition. What I found interesting were the sizes. The old 10.5 version now has an 11 inch display, although with edge to edge display, the overall size of the device remains roughly the same. I like this size because its pretty versatile: you can read a book in bed, walk around the courtroom and do most all you need to do with it without fear of dropping it or having it fall on your head when you doze off.
But the new 12.9 inch Pro also has some advantages: you now get a 12.9 display in a device that, according to Apple, is “about” the size of a 8 ½ x 11 sheet of paper. Since I haven’t actually held one (for some reason, my invite to the Event must have gotten lost in the digital mail), I can’t really vouch for how about “about” really is. But if this claim is valid, then there is a good argument for getting the bigger size iPad since overall its not that much bigger than the 11 inch version: for only a slightly larger device, you get a whole lot more display.
Price points vary from $799 for the 64 GB 11 inch iPad to a whooping $1849 12.9 version with cellular and 1 terabyte of storage. I’m not sure many lawyers would need that much storage but that’s now an option.
Both iPads also look a little different: the corners are more rounded and from the video, the sides albeit thinner look a little boxier. But that could be just the angle.
Apple also introduced a new Pencil which is probably worth the $129 price.
Apple also introduced a new Pencil that is probably worth the $129 price: it has a magnet that lets you attach it to the iPad so you’re less likely to lose it. It charges and pairs without being plugged in to the iPad so you don’t have to have your pencil stuck out the end of iPad any more. And you can enable the iPad display by merely tapping the screen and change the function of what the Pencil will do on the screen by double tapping the Pencil. The Pencil is $129. Apple didn’t say if the old Pencils will work with the new iPads although I would think (hope) they would.
And of course, there is a new $179 keyboard that goes with the new iPad sizes. Again, Apple didn’t mention during the Event whether your old iPad keyboard would fit the new iPad but since nothing was said on this issue, I sort of doubt it. So if your going to get a new iPad and you want the keyboard and fancy new pencil, add another $308. Apple ain’t shy about charging.
I’m a sucker for new toys and I will probably get the bigger iPad and see how it goes.
I’m a sucker for new toys so I will probably get the bigger iPad and see how it goes. I may stick with the 64 GB version, though. I noticed I haven’t used close to even that much space recently so there’s no reason for me to get— and pay— more. But you need to think about your own situation before making that call. There’s nothing worse than not having enough storage.
Apple also has a buy back program for the previous iPad version. For a functioning iPad, Apple will pay you up to $375 which isn’t bad and is close enough to what you would likely get selling on eBay to make it worth while.
It was a pretty good show today all things considered and was kind of cool to see Apple going to NYC for a change. Again nothing here that I would call must have for a lawyer but definitely some cool new stuff if you can afford it.