Going into greater depth on the hardware announcements made at today’s keynote that kicked off Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference. We saw a bunch of updates and new hardware, including a new iMac Pro, which makes me wonder if editors will look back at that old but uodated Mac Pro tower once they see the shiny, space gray design of the new iMac. But there was also an updated iPad and additional features to iOS that makes it even more attractive to mobile content creators. Let’s take a look.
The iMac. The iMac line gets a huge refresh that’s long overdue that includes displays with 500 nit brightness, 43% over the previous model, and 10 bit dithering for display of a billion color shades. Performance-wise, the new iMacs will also get the latest Kaby Lake processors, and will be available with up to 64GB or RAM, two thunderbolt 3 ports, and two USB-C connectors.
Entry level 21-inch iMacs get a 60% Graphics processing boost with Intel Iris UPS, while the 4K retina iMac will go with the Radeon Pro 500 series, and the 27” 5K iMac gets the same plus 8GB of vRAM on board. Additionally, MacOS High Sierra will also support external graphics devices for added graphics processing power.
That additional power brings virtual reality to the Mac, thanks to a partnership with Lucasfilm’s ILM, offering real time VR scene design and playback. They showed a live demo with Star Wars effects guru John Knoll that was simply off the hook and showed how a gamer could put themselves inside the virtual reality space and interact with characters in real time. It was fantastic and for the first time I was excited about the possibilities of virtual reality.
Prices for the new iMacs start at $1299 and they ship today.
But that wasn’t all for the iMac, as Apple announced a brand new iMac called the iMac Pro. Designed with the content creator in mind, this new 5K iMac is being touted as the most powerful Mac ever, even including the towers. With 8, 10, and even 18 core Xeon Processors, the iMac Pros will be driven by AMD’s latest Radeon Vegas graphics chips with 16GB vRam, up to 128GB of ECC Ram, and 4TB SSD drives. You’ll also be able to add up to 512GB of RAM. Say what?!
Connections include four Thunderbolt 3 and a 10GB ethernet. With that capability, the iMac Pro can drive multiple 5K screens, ideal for post production work and makes me wonder if people will care about the new Modular Mac Pro should it arrive next year. This new iMac is simply a beast!
Cost of the iMac Pro will start at $4999 and it will be available in December. Additionally, in a modest update, all Macbooks are getting a refresh to the Intel Kaby Lake processor as well. Also starting at $1299 and shipping today.
Apple announced a new iPad Pro 10.5-inch retina display, which is about the same size as their 9.7-inch model, but with reduced bevels for more screen size. It has an HDR supported screen with 600 nits of brightness and a adjustable refresh rate up to 120 Hz.
The iPad Pro is powered by a six core A10x Fusion processor and 12 core GPU for 40% faster graphic performance and desktop level speeds thanks to Apple’s graphics engine, Metal 2. This means that the iPad can be used to edit 4K video from its 12MP camera.
Price of the iPad Pro starts at $649, and the storage space has doubled to 64GB, and goes all the way up to 512GB. Preorders today, shipping next week.