Apple unveils redesigned MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, plus new AirPods

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A pair of MacBook Pro laptops and a pair of chips shared at Apple’s center Inc.

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event aired on Monday, which also included the debuts of new AirPods.

The new designs with 16- and 14-inch screens have curves reminiscent of classic MacBooks, and that’s not all that’s back: Apple has brought back slots for HDMI and SD cards, as well as the plug-in socket. MagSafe magnetic power supply. (Laptops still have Thunderbolt 4 / USB-C ports that you can use to power them and connect monitors and other peripherals.)

The new laptops are powered by new, oversized versions of the M1 chip designed by Apple and launched last year: the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Because these chips have an architecture that resembles the processor found in iPhones, Apple says their advantage is high performance while maintaining power efficiency over chips from Intel. Corp.

Last year’s MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro run shorter and longer, and easily do a bunch of basic computing tasks.

That’s why the other big news on Monday was battery life: Apple said the 14in MacBook Pro is capable of 17 hours of video playback, while the 16in version can last 21 hours. Apple claims these are the first MacBooks with fast charging capability – you can replenish the battery up to 50% in 30 minutes.

Apple has brought back the MagSafe magnetic power plug for its new MacBook Pro laptops.


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The Pros are also offered at the pro level: the 14-inch model will start at $ 1,999 while the 16-inch one will start at $ 2,499. Both will ship next week, Apple said.

Apple took the time during its presentation to share a lot of statistics on its new processors, although the main one is the number of cores: the original M1 has an eight-core processor and up to eight cores. for graphics processing. The new M1 Pro has a 10-core processor and up to 16-core GPU, while the M1 Max has up to 32-core GPU. Translation: more processing bandwidth, especially with visually intensive software. Notably, the newer MacBook Pro models don’t come with discrete graphics processing like their high-end Intel predecessors.

While one of the slogans used in the presentation was “supercharged for the pros,” puffy chips will still have to prove themselves in the real world.

To win over customers of machines like the previous 16-inch MacBook Pro, Apple will need to demonstrate that the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips are up to CPU and graphics-intensive tasks such as video encoding, data analysis, 3D modeling and Suite. This means convincing the developers of this demanding software to write code optimized for Apple chips, said Patrick Moorhead, founder of the analysis and technical consultancy firm Moor Insights & Strategy. Until that happens, the new MacBook Pro models are unlikely to be aimed at extremely power users.

“Real professionals who make their money from intense video and sound, I think it will be a challenge for Apple to move them,” he said. He believes Apple could continue to sell Intel-equipped Macs through corporate channels, even after removing them from its own retail pages.

A major test will likely come later, when Apple finally replaces the silicon inside the Intel Xeon-powered Mac Pro, Moorhead said.

IPhone 13 Mini and iPhone 13 get better battery life and new camera tips. The iPhone 13 Pro get brighter, faster screens. Apple Watch enlarges a bigger screen with the Series 7. And Apple is revamping the iPad Mini. WSJ’s Joanna Stern highlights fall lineup. Photographic illustration: Laura Kammermann

Refreshing the AirPod

Apple also introduced the third generation of its very popular AirPods wireless earbuds. Newbies still have that streamlined earpiece, rather than the gaskets found on noise-canceling AirPods Pro, but they share other things with their higher-end siblings: shorter rods, a wireless charging case, and resistance to sweat and water.

Apple says it has increased listening time from 5 to 6 hours. It has also increased the price: the new AirPods cost $ 179 and will be available next week, according to the company. The second-generation AirPods, once $ 159, will remain on sale at a reduced price of $ 129.

Apple’s new generation AirPods feature shorter rods, a compact, wireless charging case, and sweat and water resistance.


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What the new AirPods don’t have are the health features my colleague Rolfe Winkler talked about last week. An in-ear thermometer and health features like posture alerts and hearing enhancement may not appear for years, if at all. Apple could change its plan, according to people it spoke to.

Any other big surprise from Apple is unlikely this year. “With the improvements they’ve made to Apple TV and throughout the launch of the 13th generation iPhone and iPads,” Mr. Moorhead said, “there’s not much more to update. day according to their traditional schedules. ”

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Write to Wilson Rothman at [email protected]

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