SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) – Apple revealed a smaller, $329 version of its hit iPad tablet computer, with a screen that’s about two-thirds the size of the full-size model.Apple starts taking orders for the new model on Friday Oct. 26 and will ship Nov. 2, said marketing chief Phil Schiller at an event in San Jose, Calif.It weighs 0.68 pounds, half as much as the full-size iPad, and is as thin as a pencil,The screen resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels, the same as the iPad 2 and a quarter of the resolution of the third-generation iPad.Company watchers have for a year been expecting the company to release a smaller iPad to counter cheaper tablets like Amazon.com Inc.’s Kindle Fire.Apple unveiled a slightly updated fourth-generation traditional iPad with a new, twice-as-fast processor and U.S. 4G-LTE coverage provided by Sprint in addition to Verizon and AT&T.The new iPad comes with the Apple’s Lightning connector. Previous versions featured the significantly larger 30-pin connector that Apple has used since 2003.Apple’s current iPad lineup starts at $399 for the iPad 2 and $499 for the fourth-generation iPad. Apple also unveiled a new version of its iMac desktop computer that’s one-fifth the thickness of the old model around the edges.At five millimeters around the edges, the new iMac is thinner than most stand-alone computer monitors. It bulges in the back, however. Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller did not say how much.The new model achieves its severe thinness in part by eliminating the optical disc drive. Apple has been leaving those drives out of its most recent laptop models as well.An iMac model with a 21.5-inch screen will start shipping in November for $1,299 and up, Schiller said. A 27-inch version will start at $1,799.The computer also introduced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro laptop that has a “Retina” display, with four times the resolution of the previous model.The new model follows a 15-inch MacBook Pro with a Retina display introduced this summer, and will start at $1,699. Apple’s marketing chief Phil Schiller said it will go on sale immediately.The old MacBook Pro will still be sold, starting at $1,199.The new model dispenses with an optical drive and a traditional hard drive. Instead, it uses solid-state “flash” memory. This makes it 20 percent thinner and at 3.75 pounds, nearly a pound lighter than the previous model.
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