But even if it is the iPads that are stealing the spotlight, today's big Apple event, which took place at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts – USA Today called the whole thing "a finely tuned stage show" – was about more than tablets. It was also about a new operating system; a new desktop machine; and a new line of lighter, faster, and cheaper Apple laptops.
The desktop first: The Mac Pro, which is expected to launch later this year, is a cylindrical machine that has already been compared to a trash can. But the Pro, with its Xeon E5 chipset, will be twice as fast as the current-model Apple desktop, according to Apple. Very, very fast, in other words. As Adrian Kingsley-Hughes of ZDNet notes, it's also extremely small: 6.6-inches in diameter and 9.9-inches high.
Next up, the Retina MacBook Pros. Apple's high-end isn't completely overhauled, but it is refreshed, with fourth-generation Intel processors. You can expect a machine that takes up less space than last year's model – the 2013 Retina MacBook Pros are 0.71 inches thick and 3.46 pounds – and cheaper, too. Beginning this week, $1,299 will get you the entry-level 13-inch Retina MacBook Pro; the 15-inch models start at $1999.
Finally, the operating system. The Mavericks OS, which is a departure from the "big cat" monikers of yore, is named for a popular surfing spot in the north of California. And unlike the other products unveiled by Apple, you don't have to pay for Mavericks; you don't have to wait for it either. Just navigate over to the Mac App Store (link here) and start downloading.
"If your Mac can run OS X Mountain Lion then it should run Mavericks, and in its announcement today Apple reiterated this includes the mid-2007 iMac, MacBook Airs from late-2008, and the Mac Mini from early 2009," writes Topher Kessler of CNET. "Also keep in mind the App Store will check for system compatibility, so if you can download it to your system without error, then it should install just fine."