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Tools of the Trade: December 2018

By Michael Castelluccio
December 1, 2018
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1. APPLE iPAD PRO

 

In September 2018, Apple rolled out new iPhones and a new Apple Watch. Now, also in time for the holidays, it has released the latest editions of its iPad Pro tablet, MacBook Air laptop, and Mac Mini—all long overdue. The new iPad Pro 2018 is the fastest and most powerful of the laptop-challenging iPads, with an eight-core A12X processor that claims to be faster than 92% of portable PCs on the market today. It has a neural engine that can run 5 trillion operations per second while enabling advanced machine learning. Apple calls the new design an “all-screen design.” The new Liquid Retina display is edge to edge, and there’s no home button or TouchID sensor—facial recognition opens it up. The two screen sizes can accommodate more workspace at 11″ and 12.9″. If that isn’t big enough, a new USB-C port can port your work to a 5K external display. The new internal components are housed within a special aluminum body that’s the thinnest for an iPad at 5.9mm (0.23″) and very lightweight—the 11″ is 1.03 lbs., and the 12.9″ is only 1.4 lbs. And there’s room for your work with storage from 64GB up to 1TB. www.apple.com

 

2. MACBOOK AIR

 

Although the MacBook Air might have started the ultra-thin-and-lightweight movement for laptops, users have waited three years for an upgraded next generation. The just-released model does have two significant improvements in its 13.3″ screen and the Intel processor. The new high-resolution HD Retina display has 48% more colors, 5,120 × 2,880 resolution, and borders that are 59% thinner, with glass that goes right to the edge. Touch ID replaces passwords with your fingerprint, and it even works with Apple Pay. The processor is a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip with Turbo Boost up to 3.6Gz and a 4MB L3 cache. The battery will provide up to 12 hours of power. The Force Touch trackpad is 20% larger, and it supports multitouch gestures like pinch and zoom. www.apple.com

 

3. DELL ULTRAWIDE MONITOR

 

The new Dell Ultrasharp U4919DW is an ultra-wide curved monitor that joins the 34″ and 38″ Dell monitors with its additional foot of workspace at 49″. If you need a multi-monitor setup on your desk, the U4919DW has a native resolution of 5,120 × 1,440 at 60Hz. The 32:9 aspect ratio has a 3,800R curvature to produce a consistent focal length across the screen to avoid eye fatigue, along with the TUV-certified flicker-free screen and ComfortView to reduce harmful blue-light emissions. The screen features in-plane switching and is equivalent to two 27″ dual QHD monitors without a dividing bezel in between. You can work on content from two different PC sources with picture-by-picture (PBP) that splits the screen into two sides as with dual monitors, but without the borders. www.dell.com

 

4. MAC MINI

 

Mac Mini enthusiasts have waited even longer for a major upgrade—four years—but the new Mini arrives with a speed improvement of five-times faster, the choice of eighth-generation quad-core or 6-core processors, and faster memory with configurations from 8GB to 64GB. Storage is all-flash PCIe-based SSD, with reading speeds of up to four times what was available before and in configurations up to 2TB. The nine output ports include four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C), two USB 3, HDMI 2.0, Ethernet, and 3.5mm headphone. With these you can transfer data at up to 40GB/s, connect up to two 4K displays, and power and charge external devices. www.apple.com

 

Michael Castelluccio has been the Technology Editor for Strategic Finance for 23 years. His SF TECHNOTES blog is in its 20th year. You can contact Mike at mcastelluccio@imanet.org.


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