Apple Event Roundup: What Was the Most Important Announcement?

Apple made a series of big announcements this week. Most of them relate to hardware including the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and iPad mini, but some are related more directly to software offerings like iBook.

Everyone will have a different opinion about which announcement is most significant to them. Not every Apple user is into iOS (or OS X for that matter) and it could be argued that Apple’s products will ultimately have some influence on the non-Apple market as a whole.

In short, I’d like to ask you (the reader) which announcement you feel was most significant to you?

Here’s a look at some of the things Apple unveiled in Tuesday’s press event.

13-inch MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro is no slouch. It boasts an incredibly fast processor on a screen that surpasses big-screen televisions in resolution. There’s a lot more to this smaller MacBook than just a Retina display. A thinner frame and asymmetrical fans offer MacBook fans on a tighter budget a crack at the latest that Apple has to offer in the portable space. If you’re tied between a MacBook Air and a MacBook Pro, this could be a brilliant compromise.

New, Thinner iMac

The iMac has been a popular desktop solution for Mac users since the early days of colored casing and swivel screens. The iMac has evolved from a simple all-in-one to a robust powerhouse that delivers significant bang for the customer’s buck. It’s generally more powerful than the Mac mini and more affordable than the Mac Pro. You even get the advantage of an Apple display.

The new, thinner iMac adds a level of artistic design to the device. In what appears at one angle to be an almost paper-thin screen is actually a powerful computer capable of handling HD video editing and parallel desktop operations with plenty of overhead to spare. It’s my own personal opinion that the iMac was the big highlight of the event.

iPad mini

If two iPad 2s fell in love and had a baby, it would be the iPad mini. This is Apple’s big attempt to latch on to the market of smaller, less expensive tablets. No Retina display is present here, and you’ll have to make do with hardware that mimics the second generation iPad. Still, it’s an Apple tablet you can fit in your hand. Isn’t that nifty?

Fourth Generation iPad

Just half a year after the last generation iPad was released to the world, Apple went and doubled its speed. The fourth generation iPad gives the user a lighting port and a boost in performance, but not much else is different. This is clearly an iPad 3.5, but since Apple did away with numbering the iPad line, we’ll just call it the fourth generation.

iBooks 3

Not a lot of people seemed concerned with the new iBooks features rolling out this week. Social integration so you can share excerpts from your favorite book(s), vertical scrolling, and iCloud synchronization are just a few things the new iBooks makes available to users. For folks not interested in updating their hardware, this may be the most significant announcement for them as users.

Apple Fusion Drive

Apple’s new Fusion Drive isn’t just another hybrid drive. It actually redefines how hybrid drives should work. By putting the OS and supporting programs on a flash storage medium and allocating the standard drive platter to data storage and additional apps, Apple is able to squeeze speedy performance out of a drive that doesn’t sacrifice storage capacity. While yes, this is potentially another Apple-only hardware device that’s more marketing than anything else, it does bring attention to the potential for advanced hybrid drive architecture as a bridge between expensive SSDs and slower HDDs.

Which Apple announcement was most significant to you?

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