I think the Mac changes are good. Great, even. The Retina iMac is a technical feat of engineering and well priced, at that. You need to pay more than $2499, but I don’t think it is unreasonably costly considering the quality of display it includes. Whether the GPU can hold up to the task is another matter.
However, on the iPad side, I don’t think Apple is deserved of any praise. The iPad mini lineup is a literal disgrace. On the low end, Apple is still selling the A5 Mini. The iPad mini 3 doesn’t even deserve a numerical designation. It’s exactly the same product with Touch ID. Not updating the internals at all is insane to me. One of the most compelling aspects of the 2013 Mini was the fact it was identical to the Air in performance, just smaller. That nicety is gone completely with this generation. Even Apple didn’t care for the thing, giving the new Mini only a fleeting mention on stage.
With the Air 2, it’s obviously difficult to make products drastically better every year. The Air 2 is an incremental improvement when I feel like it needed something spectacular. Don’t ask me what that amazing thing is, because I don’t know. The delta between the iPad 4 and the iPad Air 2 is really not that large, given the timeframe. In January, I said that “iPad hardware is outstripping the capabilities of the OS it runs”. With the A8X, that disparity has widened still. I continue to believe Apple will unveil a new split-screen environment for iPad multitasking soon and it is a real shame that it wasn’t ready for today’s event.
And yeah … 16 GB is a joke.