MacBooks have been on the back burner of Apple’s product stack for years, but today they’re finally getting a big update. Apple just announced a new line of MacBooks powered by Apple’s own ARM processors that have only lived in its iPhones and iPads thus far.
The MacBook Air is the first MacBook that will come running Apple’s own M1 processor. Equipped with an 8-core ARM processor, Apple claims its CPU is 3.5x faster while the GPU is 5x faster than the previous model. Also armed with the latest flash technology, the MacBook AIr also features 2x faster SSD performance.
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Apple seems to be putting a lot of emphasis on the MacBook Air’s graphical power as the company stresses that it’s 5x faster at integrating 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro. Alternatively, this will be the first MacBook Air capable of playing and editing full-quality 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro.
Compared to Windows laptops, Apple claims the MacBook Air is 3x faster and faster than 98% of PC laptops sold last year.
The MacBook Air otherwise is outfitted with 13.3-inch (2,560 x 1,600) display, Wi-Fi 6, Two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support, and lastly Touch ID just like the previous model. Additionally, the MacBook Air with M1 promises up to 18 hours of battery life for video playback and 15 hours of web browsing time. The MacBook Air also runs completely silent now that it doesn’t feature an internal cooling fan.
The MacBook Air starts at $999 and it’s available starting next week. Educational users get a slight discount and will be able to pick it up for $899. It’s available for preorder now. Configurations start with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage.
For MacBook users looking for more power, Apple also announced the first M1-powered MacBook Pro. The new Pro model aims to deliver 2.8x faster CPU and 5x faster GPU – the latter of which will allow the MacBook Pro to drive the Apple Pro Display XDR at its full 6K resolution.
With all the added performance, the new MacBook Pro can playback 8k ProRes video in Resolve without dropping a single frame. Apple claims the new MacBook Pro will be up to 3x faster than best-selling Windows laptop in its class.
Also battery life has been extended to 17 hours of web browsing and 20 hours of video playback.
The MacBook Pro retails for $1,299 to start and educational users pay $1,199. It’s available for preorder now and will ship next week.
If you’re more of a desktop fan than a laptop user, the M1 processor is also coming to an updated Mac Mini. The new model supposedly has a 3x faster CPU and 6x faster GPU. As for the Windows desktop to Mac Mini comparison, Apple claims it can offer 5x faster performance than the top selling CPU.
Apple has also revised the ports on the back of the Mac Mini. Rather than having four USB-C Thunderbolt ports, the new Mac Mini comes with only two, which also double as USB4 ports. The Mac Mini has also gained an HDMI 2.0 and two USB-A ports.
The Mac Mini will start at $699 and it’s available for preorder now to arrive next week.
M1 and Big Sur
Apple promises the M1 will deliver a giant leap in performance per watt. The 5nm chip packs 16 billion transistors and features an 8-core processor. Unlike traditional computer processors, four of these cores are designed for high-performance while the other four are designed for high-efficiency, and the MacBooks can switch between them depending on whether you’re performing heavy duty tasks or trying to conserve battery life. At the same time, the M1 chip also packs an 8-core GPU that promises to deliver two times the performance while using only a third of the power.
Big Sur, the first version of macOS coded for Apple’s own silicon appears to be much faster, and now Macs will be capable of waking from sleep in an instant. Beyond the basic OS, Apple claims Safari is two times more responsive. As for third party apps, Apple has already been working with software developers to create a suite of universal apps that are coded to work with the M1 or Intel processors.
Of course, all of Apple’s own apps have already been converted to the Universal platform, meanwhile Adobe promises Lightroom and Photoshop will be ready by next year. Other big names like Omnigroup are working on their own Universal apps as well.
The new operating system, macOS Big Sur, will be available this Thursday, November 12th.