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Photo: Apple

Apple unveiled several new products on Wednesday, offering up a MacBook Air with an improved keyboard and an iPad Pro with built-in support for a trackpad as well as an updated Mac mini.

Why it matters: The move marks the first major consumer tech product launch in the quarantine era, demonstrating Apple's faith that coronavirus-induced supply chain challenges are behind it and coming as many are looking for new in-home devices.

Details:

  • The MacBook Air features a new scissor keyboard, twice the storage and improved performance, all while keeping a $999 starting price ($899 for students and teachers).
  • Apple introduced new versions of both the 10.9-inch and 12-inch iPad Pro, adding a LIDAR-based depth sensing camera and ultra-wide lens to the standard camera on the back, which will open up new augmented reality possibilities. The 11-inch model starts at $799 and the 12.9-inch model starts at $999 with Wi-Fi. Versions with cellular connectivity as well as Wi-Fi cost $150 more.
  • A new "magic keyboard" for the iPad Pro, available in May, will add a trackpad as well as backlighting. Apple is also adding trackpad support with the latest version of its iPad operating system.
  • The new iPad Pros and MacBook Airs can be ordered now and will show up in Apple stores (those that are open) next week.
  • The diminutive Mac mini also got an upgrade with double the storage in the base $799 model.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - Technology

Race and technology in America

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

The technology industry is famously determined to change the world — but its efforts to diversify its workforce and remove bias from its products haven't changed nearly enough.

Biden: "Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been"

President Biden speaks during the 40th Annual National Peace Officers Memorial Service at the U.S Capitolon Oct. 16. Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden speaking at the U.S. Capitol on Saturday honored members of law enforcement who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2021 and saluted those who are currently serving.

Driving the news: "We expect everything of you, and it's beyond the capacity of anyone to meet the total expectations. Being a cop today is one hell of a lot harder than it's ever been," Biden said.

Updated 5 hours ago - World

Islamic State claims responsibility for deadly bombing in southern Afghanistan

The mosque after the explosion in southern Kandahar province on Oct. 15. Photo: Murteza Khaliqi/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for a massive blast that tore through a crowded Shiite mosque in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar on Friday, killing at least 47 people and injuring dozens more, AP reports.

Why it matters: Friday's attack was the deadliest to strike Afghanistan since the U.S. withdrew its troops from the region and is the second major attack on a Shiite mosque in a week, underscoring the Taliban's growing security threat from other militant groups.