Apple’s latest releases include super iPads, a super computer and…baseball

The announcement of the new, 5G-compatible, cheaper iPhone SE was by far the showstopper at Apple’s March event. We were also treated to a new colour addition to the iPhone 13 series (hint: it’s not purple unfortunately), which Apple seems to be very pleased with. But as dedicated as iPhone users are, Apple still has a big fanbase when it comes to its other products, such as computers and tablets.

The tech giant revealed a few new pieces of tech during this event, so read on for what Apple has in store so far for 2022.

Apple’s most powerful iPad Air ever

Apple iPad Air range in five colours
Source: Apple

If you’re in the market for a new iPad, you might be tempted by the latest iPad Air — a device Apple is touting as ‘the most powerful and versatile iPad Air ever’, thanks to its M1 chip and 5G connectivity. Prices start at $929, and devices ship out from March 18, 2022, with pre-orders open now.

Compared to the previous iPad air, the 8-core CPU provides a 60% faster performance and the 8-core GPU delivers up to two times faster graphics performance. The 16-core Neural Engine works in conjunction with machine learning capabilities to create a powerful tablet that can manage editing multiple streams of 4K video, generating 3D designs and playing visually intensive games.

All of this impressive performance is packaged in with a 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display, with 3.8 million pixels and 500 nits of brightness, full lamination, True Tone and an anti-reflective screen coating. To make kicking back watching your favourite show even more enjoyable, there are also landscape stereo speakers for a wide stereo sound.

You’ll get a 12MP wide-angle camera on the back, plus an ultra-wide 12MP front-facing camera. Centre Stage is included with the front camera, which automatically detects other people in the camera’s view, then pans and zooms to ensure they are also captured by the camera, to make video calling smooth and seamless for groups. Apple also promises ‘all-day battery life”, which Apple states is up to 10 hours of web browsing on WiFi or watching video, but this drops down to 9 hours if you’re using mobile data.

  • Prices start at $929 AUD RRP (64GB WiFi-only model) or $1,159 AUD RRP (64GB WiFi + cellular)
  • 5G connectivity
  • 10.9 inch Liquid Retina display
  • M1 chipset
  • 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU
  • 8GB RAM
  • 12MP wide rear camera
  • 12MP ultra-wide front-facing camera with Centre Stage
  • Up to 10 hours battery web browsing (on WiFi network)
  • 64GB and 256GB storage sizes
  • Space Grey, Starlight, Pink, Purple and Blue colourways

Compare data-only SIM plans

If you’re considering buying a new iPad with cellular connection, you’ll need a mobile broadband (or data-only SIM) to go with your iPad. The below table shows a range of mobile broadband plans from different providers. Simply switch between the tabs to see the different plans.

Telstra Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Telstra mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Telstra Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $15 over one month

5GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Small

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • No 5G access
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $25 over one month

30GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Medium

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $55 over one month

75GBMax Data**/billing period $55Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Telstra Logo

Large

  • SIM only plan – pay upfront via AutoPay
  • No excess data charges in Australia
  • 5G access included
  • Share your data with up to 10 plans across your account

min. cost $85 over one month

400GBMax Data**/billing period $85Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Vodafone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Vodafone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Vodafone Logo

10GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $20 over first month

10GBMax Data**/billing period $20Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Vodafone Logo

40GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $40 over first month

40GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
Vodafone Logo

100GB Mobile Broadband Plan

  • SIM Only plan

min. cost $60 over first month

100GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period Link to provider unavailable
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Amaysim Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of  published Amaysim mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 7GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $15 over 28 day billing period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 50GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $40 over 28 day billing period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Amaysim Logo

Sim Only 90GB

  • SIM Only

min. cost $60 over 28 day billing period

90GBMax Data**/billing period $60Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue

Southern Phone Mobile Broadband Plans

The following table shows a selection of published Southern Phone mobile broadband plans on Canstar Blue’s database, listed in order of cost, from the lowest to highest and then by data allowance, largest to smallest. This is a selection of products with links to referral partners.

Brand Features Max Data**/billing period Advertised Cost^^/billing period
Southern Phones Logo

Extra Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $180 over 12 month plan period

7GBMax Data**/billing period $15Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Small

  • SIM Only

min. cost $300 over 12 month plan period

15GBMax Data**/billing period $25Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Medium

  • SIM Only

min. cost $480 over 12 month plan period

50GBMax Data**/billing period $40Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
Southern Phones Logo

Large

  • SIM Only

min. cost $780 over 12 month plan period

100GBMax Data**/billing period $65Advertised Cost^^/billing period Go to Site
View all NBN plans listed on Canstar Blue
Person using Apple Mac Studio and Studio Display
Source: Apple

Major computers upgrades —  Apple’s Mac Studio, Studio Display and M1 Ultra chip

As part of the showcase, Apple announced some major upgrades in the personal computer space, with its new computer and chip.

The M1 Ultra chip is Apple’s latest addition to the M1 chip family. This has been touted as Apple’s most powerful silicon chip ever with 114 billion transistors, which Apple states is the most in a personal computer chip ever. With a 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU and 32-core Neural Engine, it provides the type of power and performance that can handle intensive tasks like rendering 3D environments, compiling code and transcoding video up to 5.6 times faster than on a 28-core Mac Pro.

Putting the new M1 Ultra chip into practice is Apple’s new PC and screen combo — Mac Studio and Studio Display.

Apple Mac Studio and Studio Display
Source: Apple

Mac Studio is powered by the M1 Max and M1 Ultra chips, giving it a powerful performance for anyone needing a computer that can handle those intensive jobs. This all comes in a compact square design, at just 19.7cm wide and long, and 9.5cm high. Its unique thermal design also includes over 4,000 perforations across the bottom and back, for maximum airflow and to keep the computer cool. It also doesn’t matter how intensive the activity is, it will remain quiet thanks to Apple’s innovative silicon.

You can then combine the performance of Mac Studio with the impressive Studio Display, featuring a 27 inch 5K Retina screen, with slim design, narrow borders and an aluminium enclosure. The display has over 14.7 million pixels, 600 nits of colour and support for over 1 billion colours, and features an anti-reflective coating. The screen can tilt up to 30 degrees, and there’s a tilt and height adjustable stand option. There’s also a built-in 12MP ultra-wide camera with Centre Stage, plus three microphone setup, powered by Apple’s A13 Bionic chip.

All of this combines to create one of Apple’s most powerfully performing personal computer setups. For Mac fans or anyone looking for a computer that can handle high-intensity activities like running design, animation and video studios, this could deliver the powerful performance you’ve been looking for.

You can pre-order the Mac Studio and Studio Display directly from Apple, with the devices arriving in stores and shipping from March 18. Mac Studio is priced from $3,099 AUD, while the Studio Display will retail for $2,499 AUD.


Related: The best deals and plans for the Apple iPhone SE


Friday Night Baseball coming to Apple TV+

An interesting part of Apple’s March event was the announcement of Friday Night Baseball games, which will be available via Apple TV+. A double header of Major League Baseball games, along with pre and post-game shows, will be aired in eight countries, including Australia. As these Friday night games are US eastern time, they’ll most likely be airing sometime around midday on Saturday, Australian Eastern time (Apple has yet to specify exact times).

For a limited time, baseball fans will be allowed to access Friday Night Baseball for free, without an Apple TV+ subscription. How long this free access will last for is unconfirmed by Apple. Apple TV+ can be streamed via the Apple TV app on iPhone, iPad, Mac, Apple TV 4K, web browser, select gaming consoles and select smart TVs.

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