NOTICE AS OF 9/1/2020: This is a revised edition of the Apple October 2018 Event Recap video that we did years ago. For the website, we decided to convert it into an article only, along with adding some tidbits here and there to make it a bit more of an interesting read. Hope you guys enjoy this as we continue to make more content for both our website and YouTube channel. 😉
What is up everybody, Sage here, and I welcome you back to another Apple Event recap, where we get a chance to talk about the latest Macs and iPads for October 2018. I got a bunch of notes down of what enticed me during this entire presentation, so let’s get to it… (If I missed something, don’t jump on me.)
To start off the event, Apple recapped macOS Mojave (first announced at WWDC 2018), which includes features such as Desktop Stacks, some Finder enhancements, and a system-wide Dark Mode. Afterwards, Apple announced the first of two new Mac updates…
The MacBook Air has been around since 2008, and was not only one of the thinnest laptops on the market, but also the first Mac of the modern era to not include an optical drive, a rather controversial move at the time. (As of 2020, all Macs and some PCs today don’t have an optical drive anymore.)
Now for the first time since 2010, Apple has given the MacBook Air a fresh new design, kind of like an in-between of the 2015 MacBook and the 2016 MacBook Pro. It’s not only thinner and lighter than the previous generation (by a very small margin), it also comes in three colors: Gold, Silver, and Space Gray.
The 2018 MacBook Air also has a 13.3-inch Retina display (R.I.P. 11-inch), Touch ID integration (located on the power button) on the keyboard, and improved speakers. And much like the 2015 MacBook, the 2018 MacBook Air incorporates a butterfly keyboard, as well as a force touch trackpad.
Specs-wise, the 2018 MacBook Air includes an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 dual-core processor with integrated UHD graphics, supports up to 16 GB of RAM (which is not upgradeable of course), supports up to 1.5 TB of flash storage, and (supposedly) keeps the same all-day battery life. When it comes to connectivity, there are only 3 ports: 2 USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side, and a headphone jack on the other side.
As for pricing and availability, the base model, configured with a 1.6 GHz Core i5 (with a turbo boost up to 3.6 GHz), 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of flash storage, starts at $1,199 USD, which makes this the most affordable MacBook with Touch ID integration—it’s also $100 less than the 2015 MacBook, which is quite (for lack of a better word) embarrassing, to say the least.
The 2018 MacBook Air was made available on November 7th, 2018.
Overall, the 2018 MacBook Air is a decent upgrade, although as expected, it is rather pricey. But hey, it does beat out the MacBook in both features and price… If Apple bothered to keep the system, the MacBook would’ve been considered the low-end, the MacBook Air the mid-range, and the MacBook Pro the high-end. (Instead, Apple chose to discontinue the product a year later…for now.)
Now let’s talk about the main star of the show: the Mac Mini.
It’s been a while since the Mac Mini got an update; the last time was a bit of a disaster: It only had dual-core processors, but you couldn’t upgrade the RAM anymore. So it seems like Apple did a (mostly) complete 180 with the Mac Mini, when they unveiled its 2018 model.
The 2018 Mac Mini comes in a similar design as the previous generation, except it’s now in a Space Gray color, and the power indicator was moved to the bottom on the front of the system.
On the back, you’ve got Gigabit Ethernet (which can be configured up to 10 Gb/s Gigabit Ethernet), 4 USB Type-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, a single HDMI 2.0 port, 2 USB 3 Type-A ports, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
Specs-wise, the 2018 Mac Mini comes with 8th-generation Intel processors, starting with a quad-core Core i3…off to a great start. It can be configured up to either a Core i5 or i7 six-core processor.
As for memory, the system supports up to 64 GB of DDR4 SO-DIMM RAM. Yes, you heard me right, I said SO-DIMM, which means you could now upgrade the memory in the Mac Mini again. (Although it is a pain in the rear to take the system apart, kinda like the pre-2010 Mac Mini’s were back then.)
In terms of storage, the system supports up to 2 TB of flash storage, which is unfortunately not upgradeable.
Finally, the 2018 Mac Mini has a new thermal system to keep the system cool, while also keeping it quiet.
The entry configuration for the 2018 Mac Mini consists of a 3.6 GHz quad-core i3 (with integrated UHD graphics), 8 GB of RAM, and 128 GB of flash storage (later upped to 256 GB as of 2020), at a starting price of $799 USD. (It’s actually kind of coincidental that it’s also the exact same price as my gaming laptop I got back in 2017.)
The new Mac Mini would be available on November 7th, 2018.
And finally, we come to the redesigned iPad Pro—and I’m not gonna lie…it looks similar to a Microsoft Surface tablet at first glance.
The 2018 iPad Pro introduces a new design with flat edges, and it has an edge-to-edge Liquid Retina display with curves on the corners, just like the iPhone X. The home button was also removed in favor of making the front all-screen, which means you’ll have to utilize the similar gestures used for the iPhone X to get to the home screen. The 2018 iPad Pro also adds some new features, such as the new camera system from the iPhone X, which means Face ID is now integrated.
Specs-wise, the 2018 iPad Pro comes with an A12X Bionic (a variant of the A12 Bionic designed for tablets), which has not only an 8-core CPU, but also a 7-core GPU. (Apple boasted that it has the same graphics performance as an Xbox One S.) Also, for the first time in an iPad, it now supports up to 1 TB of flash storage.
As for connectivity, the Lightning connector was replaced with a USB Type-C connector, which means any device that utilizes Type-C will work with the new iPad Pro, such as external hard drives and monitors; heck, you can even charge your iPhone with the new iPad Pro, which is pretty cool.
Now of course, with a new iPad Pro, there’s bound to be new accessories: The first is a second generation Apple Pencil that excludes the Lighting port, instead attaching to the iPad magnetically, which is pretty cool. The second is a new Smart Keyboard Folio case.
The 2018 iPad Pro comes in two different sizes: 11-inch and 12.9-inch. The 11-inch model started at $799 USD, while the 12.9-inch model started at $999 USD. All models have four different storage configurations (prices may vary): 64 GB, 256 GB, 512 GB, and 1 TB.
The new models would be released on November 7th, 2018.
The 10.5-inch iPad Pro continued to be sold at a reduced price of $649 USD, and to go along with the new iPad Pro, iOS 12.1 (and macOS Mojave 10.14.1) were pushed out with support for Group FaceTime (something that should’ve been available at launch but whatever), as well as support for dual SIMs for the iPhone. (There’s also new emojis but I couldn’t care less about those.)
So that’s pretty much all I have to cover for the Apple October 2018 Event. Overall, I thought it was better than the previous event, and while the main product announcements were okay, the Mac Mini was definitely the main attraction of this presentation.
And thus concludes this recap. Hope you guys enjoyed this read, and as always I will see you all next time. Peace. 😉