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Don't let iPad Pro, MacBook Air, Mac Mini starter prices fool you

Storage on Apple's new devices for 2018 is more expensive than you might think.

Sarah Tew/CNET

If you're eyeing a new iPad Pro, MacBook Air or Mac Mini for 2018, it's time to smash open your piggy bank. Apple's new tablet, laptop and desktop computer may seem competitively priced at first, but level up to the top storage capacities and you're looking at a steep climb in what you'll pay for storage.

For example, the cheapest iPad Pro for 2018 starts at $799 (64GB) and quickly builds to $1,899 for the 1-terabyte storage model with the larger screen. That's a 137.8 percent increase. The price increase may seem reasonable when you talk terabytes, considering that you're increasing the entry-level iPad Pro's storage capacity by more than a factor of 15. 

But consider, too, that this year's iPad Pro model already costs $150 more than the cheapest iPad Pro for 2017, with minimal meaningful differences. For example, this year's iPad gets a faster processor, Face ID and USB-C charging, but it loses the headphone jack.

Apple's prices are climbing year over year, and the price swing is likely here to stay, simply because consumers keep buying Apple products at ever higher prices. Where Apple goes, other tech brands follow. Vast deltas between entry-level models and the fully-loaded variations are on track to become the new normal.

Here's how much you'll pay if you pull out all the stops.

Read now: Get used to Apple's higher iPhone, iPad, MacBook prices

Now playing: Watch this: Apple's new iPad Pro, MacBook Air and Mac Mini: CNET...

iPad Pro 2018: From $799 to $1,899

This year's iPad Pro exercises your gray matter with four different storage capacities, two different screen sizes and model variations that include cellular or Wi-Fi only.

Remember that for LTE versions, you'll have to separately factor in your monthly service plan. The same goes for any additional accessories you pick up along the way, like the Apple Pencil and Smart Folio Keyboard, and necessary adapter dongles, like a USB-C to Lightning cable and a USB-C to 3.5mm headphone port.

iPad Pro 2018

64GB storage 256GB storage 512GB storage 1TB storage
11-inch screen (Wi-Fi-only) $799 $949 $1,149 $1,549
11-inch screen (cellular) $949 $1,099 $1,299 $1,699
12.9-inch screen (Wi-Fi-only) $999 $1,149 $1,349 $1,749
12.9-inch screen (cellular) $1,149 $1,299 $1,499 $1,899
Now playing: Watch this: MacBook Air 2018 now has a Retina display

MacBook Air 2018: From $1,199 to $2,599

With four storage sizes and two memory options, you have essentially eight configurations for the MacBook Air. At the end of the day, you can more than double the entry-level cost.

MacBook Air 2018

128GB storage 256GB storage 512GB storage 1.5TB storage
8GB RAM $1,199 $1,399 $1,599 $2,399
16GB RAM $1,399 $1,599 $1,799 $2,599

Mac Mini 2018: From $799 to $4,199


A stack of Mac Minis will cost you.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The seemingly endless matrix of configurable Mac Mini options is enough to scramble your brain and make your eyes pop out of your head.

In addition to choosing from two processor types, you also have four memory options, five storage choices, and two types of ethernet connection. 

If you want Final Cut Pro X or Logic Pro X preinstalled, that'll cost you more, too.

Here's the range of what you'll shell out, excluding software add-ons.

Mac Mini 2018

Base Fully loaded
3.6GHz quad-core processor/128GB storage $799 $4,199
3.0GHz 6-core processor/256GB storage $1,099 $4,199

If you're planning to get multiple Mac Minis to run a larger enterprise out of your home or business, expect your costs to multiply.

Come back later for CNET's full reviews of the MacBook Air, iPad Pro and Mac Mini for 2018. In the meantime, catch up on everything new in the world of Apple.

First published Oct. 30, 4:08 p.m. PT.
Update, Nov. 3 at 7 a.m.: Adds more focus on storage. 

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