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Home of the most recent episodes of The CultCast including links to topics discussed and coupons from our beloved sponsors.

380: New Macs! New iPads! New AirPods! We REACT

Chris C.

Photo:  Auburn/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Photo: Auburn/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

This Week!

Apple just released so much new hardware, they had to do it over 3 full days. We break it all down, and react to all the new gear. Plus, the saga of MoviePass continues with yet another new wild announcement… but is their new unlimited plan too good to be true?


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Why this week’s Apple PR blitz is brilliant [Opinion]

  • Apple is reaching Hannukah levels of gifting this week with significant new hardware releases on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

MONDAY

On Monday Apple released a new iPad Air 3 and iPad Mini 5

iPad Air 3

  • The new iPad Air has a 10.5-inch Retain display, A12 Bionic chip, and first-generation Apple Pencil support.
  • Performance-wise, it’s just as fast as the iPhone XS.
  • This iPad replaces the older 10.5-inch iPad Pro that Apple’s been selling for $650 up until now
  • $500 for the 64GB model

iPad Mini 5

  • iPad mini now delivers three times the performance and nine times faster graphics.
  • Improved Retina display with True Tone, wide color support, is 25 percent brighter than before.
  • A12 Bionic processor
  • first-generation Apple Pencil support
  • Headphone jack!
  • the same $399 price tag as the previous model.

TUESDAY

On Tuesday Apple gave some much needed spec bumps to the iMac, added better RAM and GPU options to the iMac Pro, and even dropped the prices on some of their high-end MacBook Pros! iMac

  • iMac lineup has been updated with Intel's latest 8th-gen and 9th-gen Core processors, including a six-core 8th-gen Core i7 with Turbo Boost, and a monster eight-core 9th-gen Core i9 with Turbo Boost up to 5.0GHz (for the 27-inch 5K iMac).
  • Apple says the new i7 brings a 60% performance increase for the 21.5-inch iMac, and up to a 240% for the for new i9 iMac.
  • Radeon Pro Vega graphics options are now available across the new iMac lineup, including Vega 20 for 21.5-inch models and Vega 48 for 27-inch models. Apple advertises up to 80 percent faster graphics performance compared to the previous iMac lineup.
  • New RAM and storage options are also available.
  • Base iMac STILL include a 5400RPM mechanical hard drive…

iMac Pro now available with Vega 64X graphics and 256GB RAM

  • Those with a need for speed can now equip the iMac Pro with an AMD Radeon Pro Vega 64X graphics card and up to 256GB of RAM for the first time. But be prepared to break the bank

Apple drops prices on some high-end MacBook Pros

  • There’s good news for MacBook Pro buyers looking for a lot of storage: Apple has lowered the costs of its most-expensive SSD options.
  • When upgrading your SSD, you can save $200 for the 2TB option, and $400 for the 4TB option.
  • The bad news is that Apple didn’t change prices on any MacBook Pro SSDs that are 1TB or smaller. Putting a 1TB drive in a high-end 15-inch MacBook is still an extra $400 over the cost of a 512GB one, for example.
  • The total package, with 256GB of RAM and everything else as standard, is $10,199. If you add every possible upgrade to the iMac Pro, not including software or a VESA Mount Adapter, it costs $15,699.

WEDNESDAY

New AirPods deliver hands-free ‘Hey Siri’ and better battery life

  • Apple’s newest wireless buds are here with a brand new H1 chip that allows for hands-free “Hey Siri.” They also promise better battery life in between charges, and even faster connectivity.
  • An optional Wireless Charging Case is also available, but it’s not cheap.
  • AirPods 2 have the same $159 price tag, or $200 with the wireless charging case. The wireless case a la cart is $79.

With New Unlimited Plan, MoviePass Swears It's Got Its Shit Together

  • Thanks to MacDonald Ted for this glorious story.
  • On Monday, MoviePass announced the new plan, which it is calling “Uncapped.” Under the Uncapped plan, subscribers can watch one 2D film a day, for $19.95 per month. A “limited time” offer gets you that same deal for just $9.95 per month with a one-year commitment.
  • But can we trust MoviePass?
  • Of course they’re playing games in their terms of service. A line in their user agreement gives MoviePass the right to throttle a user’s filmgoing options in the event that an individual’s use of the service has an adverse impact on “MoviePass’s system-wide capacity or the availability of the Service for other subscribers.”