25 December 2020
As expected and speculated by many, Apple has unveiled its newest Mac devices with its first-ever custom-made Silicon named M1. These include two Macbook models i.e. 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. While the debut of the new processor is the main highlight, these are packed with various other new features and changes. The third Mac model is actually the Mac Mini that has been refreshed to meet modern demands.
Before we get started, it should be noted that all three new Mac devices will start shipping next week in the United States.
Apple started off the announcement by claiming that MacBook Air is the world's best-selling 13-inch notebook. It then jumped to talk about the star of the show i.e. the octa-core M1 chip. It is the world's first-ever 5nm processor for the desktop that is claimed to deliver a significant performance boost. The chipset has eight CPU cores and eight GPU cores claimed to be 3.5 times and 5 times faster respectively than the previous MacBook Air. The GPU itself is being touted as the world's fastest integrated graphics.
The new model is said to be capable of handling multiple streams of full-quality 4K ProRes video. It is claimed to be faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the last year. The team has made improvements to SSD performance as well which is now twice as fast as the last generation model. The second best thing about the new MacBook Air is that it comes with a fanless design that will keep it silent regardless of what task you are doing.
The battery life is claimed to be twice as long as the old generation. It is said to offer up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback. Other features include 13-inch Retina Display, P3 wide color gamut, FaceTime camera with better image processing, Touch ID for authentication, WiFi 6, two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support, and macOS Big Sur. It will also be able to run various iOS and iPadOS applications like native apps meant for Macs.
The all-new 13-inch MacBook Air with M1 chipset starts at $999 but can be purchased for $899 for education. The pricing is the same as the last generation which is still a plus for buyers.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro has also received a refresh with the usage of the new M1 processor. The same 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU will deliver 2.8 times and 5 times faster performance. It is so powerful that it can play an 8K ProRes video in Resolve without dropping a single frame. It is now said to last for up to 17 hours of web browsing and up to 20 hours of video playback on a single charge. The overall battery life is twice as long as the predecessor.
It features "studio-quality mics" and a cooling fan for keeping the notebook temperature under check. Other features are more or less similar to the older MacBook Pro. There is still the Touch Bar with Touch ID along with two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support. It is also capable of supporting Apple's Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution.
The pricing is unchanged for the newer edition as well. The 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 for the base model and it costs $1,199 for education purposes.
Lastly, the Mac mini is one of the Mac devices to get a taste of the new custom ARM-based M1 chip. It will now deliver 3 times the CPU performance and 6 times the GPU performance. It is further claimed to be 5 times faster than the best-selling Windows PC in its price range despite being just 1/10th of the size.
It comes with a new "thermal design" to accommodate a fan for handling all the heating situations. It can now support up to two displays including Apple’s Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution. In terms of connectivity, it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, one USB-A port, one HDMI 2.0 port, one Thunderbolt port with USB 4, and one Ethernet port along with WiFi 6. All of this will cost you only $699 which makes it $100 cheaper than the previous model.