Apple fights for the right to keep your Christmas cash

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In case you were busy catching some shut-eye, Apple just announced a few new devices that are this very moment clawing  for the money in your wallet. The big fruit just launched a pair of new iPads, some new Macs, and announced some good news about their desktop software suite.

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First off is probably the highest-anticipated single tablet from the company, the iPad mini with Retina. The tiny 7.9-inch slate now comes with a gorgeous HD display and comes in at USD399 (ouch), against the previous Mini which cost USD329 at launch, and is now going to be available starting at USD299 for 16GB of storage. Whether or not the pricing will drive the sales of the old Mini enough to edge out other tablet competition should be seen in a few short weeks. The rest of the Wi-Fi-only models go for USD 499 for 32GB, USD599 for 64GB and USD 699 for 128GB. LTE versions will be cost USD 529, 629, 729 and 829 for 16, 32, 64, and 128 respectively. They will be running the A7 chip which we first saw in the 5S. Apple has said that it will be four times faster than the previous Mini, deliver eight times the graphics performance, and still have enough juice or ten hours of use.

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Next up, we have the full-size iPad’s king, the iPad Air. It’s thinner, lighter and still has the same sharp screen we have come to love. The fifth-gen iPad is a lot of the same, save for the reduction in overall heft. It is all of one pound heavy, against 1.44 pounds for the precious generation, and is just 7.5mm thick against the previous 9.4.

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It bears the same A7 chip, which also promises eight times better performance than its predecessor, and twice improved graphics, to boot. The iPad Air will be available in both Wi-Fi-only and LTE models, with the former coming in at USD499, 599, 699 and 799 for the 16, 32, 64 and 128 models, and the latter at USD 629, 729, 829 and 929 for the same storage sizes. The price of admission is, admittedly, not cheap, but Apple believes the extra spec is worth the increased price points. We just wish there was a little more there than “thinner and lighter” plus a new processor. Also, bad news for those looking to score a cheap, brand-new-from-Apple Fourth-gen iPad. Much like the strategy for the iPhone 5 and 5s, they’re pulling the direct predecessor from the market entirely, instead choosing to offer the iPad 2 for USD399.

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Apple also launched the new Mabook Pro lappies, which get the solid Intel Fourth-Gen core processors (previusly knows as Haswell). There’s a 13-incher that’s available for USD1,299, which tips the scales at just about 3.5 pounds, and a hair or three under 3/4 of an inch thick. This comes with a 2.4GHz Haswell processor, 128GB SSD and 4GB of RAM. It will pack a Retina display, and is offered with optional upgrades that give you more RAM, storage or a faster processor, all for a fee.

The larger bother comes in at 15.4-inches, had a Fourth-Gen Intel Core i7 processor running at 2GHz, a whopping 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage, and Iris Pro graphics, or an Nvidia GeForce GT 750M graphics card, for those inclined to do some solid gaming. Take yours home for USD1,999.

Those who would rather stay on their desks have the new Mac Pro to look forward to. The new device, available starting USD2,999 comes with a new, cylindrical design, an Intel Xeon E5 processor with up to 12(!) cores, and a maximum of 64GB(!!) of RAM. You can connect up to three 4K displays to this beast of a machine with no problem. Excuse us while we pick our jaws up from the floor. If this is the machine you are looking to own, it’s going to be a bit of a wait, as it drops some time at the end of 2013.

Feeling poor yet? Yeah. We are, too.