Apple introduces M1 processor-powered MacBooks
Apple’s third product event, titled ‘One More Thing’ has come to an end. The company during this third event of the year explained in detail how and why it will be shifting Macs to its own chips.
For many years now Apple has been building its own chips for its iPads, iPhones, and Apple Watches. Now the company has decided to do the same for Macs, promising better performance with better power efficiency. Apple calls its first Mac chip the M1. Apple announced three new Macs powered by the all-new M1 chip. The company introduced the first Macs that’ll make the jump – new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini!
M1 is the first personal computer chip built by using 5-nanometer process technology. It is packed with 16 billion transistors, which represents the most Apple has ever put into a chip. The new technology integrates the CPU, GPU, and Neural engine onto a single System-on-Chip (SoC).
Other features of the M1 are – It comes with Apple’s latest image signal processor, which will ensure higher quality video with better noise reduction, improved auto white balance, etc. It also supports the latest Secure Enclave for security. It comes with a high-performance storage controller with AES encryption hardware for faster and more secure SSD performance. It has a better battery performance and also has an Apple-designed Thunderbolt controller with support for USB 4 with transfer speeds up to 40Gbps.
However, despite the performance and efficiency gains the M1 chip allows, there is one constraint and that is memory. Customers buying a new Mac with more than 16GB of RAM will need to purchase an older, Intel-based model. Right now, the M1 cannot support more memory.
Basic specs listed are:
- 8-core CPU (4 for high-performance, 4 for high-efficiency)
- Up to 8-core GPU
- About 16 billion transistors
- Apple’s Secure Enclave system built-in
- Thunderbolt/USB 4 support
New MacBook Air
The first M1-powered Mac Apple announced is the fanless MacBook Air. Apple claims that the new 6MacBook Air is up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation and due to the absence of fans it will run silently. The company claims that MacBook Air will have up to 15 hours of battery life while browsing the web, or 18 hours while watching a video. It will come with 13.3 inch display, SSD support up to 2TB, Touch ID, Thunderbolt/USB 4, WiFi 6. The new M1-powered MacBook Air is priced at starting USD 999. For students and education customers it is priced at starting USD 899.
New Mac Mini
The Mac Mini is also getting refurbished for the M1 and it will support up to 2TB SSD and up to 16GB of memory. Port-wise, it will have two USB-A ports, two USB-C ports (with Thunderbolt/USB 4 support), a 3.5mm headphone jack, HDMI 2.0, and gigabit ethernet. Its base price is USD 699.
New MacBook Pro
Apple claims that the M1 chip bumps the MacBook Pro’s battery life up to 17 hours while browsing the web, or 20 hours of video playback. Like the MacBook Air, it has a 13.3 inch display, and supports SSDs up to 2TB and up to 16GB of memory. It has a TouchID, WiFi 6, supports Thunderbolt/USB4, and has a TouchBar. The price of New MacBook Pro will start at USD 1,299, and USD 1,199 for education users.
Apple says the new macOS Big Sur will be available from November 12. The new MacBooks are available for pre-order starting today.