At its November 10th event, Apple announced a major update to its Mac lineup with the long-rumored custom-chip M1 processor.
New models of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini will all come with the custom Apple silicone under the hood. All models can now be pre-ordered. The launch is scheduled for next week, along with existing Macs with Intel processors.
Apple says the new MacBook Air is available for pre-order for $ 999 and offers up to 98% faster performance than most Windows laptops in the same class. It's also 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptops.
The new MacBook Air can run faster without a fan. According to Apple, it is possible to export a project for the web in iMovie up to three times faster than before and to incorporate 3D effects into Final Cut Pro up to five times faster.
With storage, the SSD is also 2x faster than that of an Intel-based MacBook Air, and overall system performance should feel 3.5x faster. The laptop can also take advantage of features like instant wake up, where the laptop wakes up instantly when the lid is lifted.
The new MacBook Air offers up to 15 hours of battery life for surfing the Internet, 18 hours for video playback and six hours for web conferencing. It keeps the wedge-shaped design for which it is known and features Touch ID for logins, as well as the Magic keyboard and Force Touch trackpad.
Other features of the MacBook Air include Apple's latest image signal processor (ISP) in the M1 chip, which improves the camera's image quality through better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and better automatic white balance. The integrated connectivity includes two Thunderbolt 3 USB 4 ports.
That's just the tip of the iceberg. Apple also announced a new 13-inch MacBook Pro at the event. Starting at $ 1,300, this new MacBook Pro can take full advantage of Apple's new M1 CPU.
According to Apple, it can be up to 2.8 times faster than the previous generation and up to 3 times faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class. According to Apple, this new 13-inch MacBook can create code in Xcode up to 2.8 times faster for real-world tasks. It is also capable of rendering a complex 3D title up to 5.9 times faster in Final Cut Pro.
In terms of energy efficiency, the MacBook Pro can last up to 17 hours for web browsing and 20 hours for video playback, according to Apple, which is twice as long as an Intel MacBook Pro. Much like the MacBook Air, the laptop also has Apple's latest ISP, which allows for sharper images and more detail in shadows and lights on video calls.
Connectivity is relatively the same with two Thunderbolt ports that support USB 4. In terms of design, the Pro remains unchanged, retaining its signature screen as well as its 3-pound weight. The base model MacBook Pro has 8 GB of unified memory that can be configured up to 16 GB.
Finally, there's the Mac Mini, which is between $ 700 and $ 100 cheaper than previous models. It is considered Apple's most versatile computer and offers massive generational changes. According to Apple, graphical performance is 6 times faster than the previous generation, especially with complex 3D rendering settings. And while gaming, it can play a graphics-intensive game like Shadow of the Tomb Raider at frame rates up to four times higher.
Other changes to the Mac Mini include a new advanced thermal design. There's even Wi-Fi 6 for faster wireless performance and the Secure Enclave in M1 for top-notch security. All models support Thunderbolt and USB 4 support. Configurations are available with either 8 GB of unified memory or with 256 GB or 512 GB of SSD storage.