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Posts tagged with "macbook pro"

Austin Mann on the M1 MacBook Pros

Pro photographer Austin Mann has been testing a new MacBook Pro M1 Max with 64GB RAM and an 8TB SSD in Arizona. As always, his review includes beautiful images that required substantial computer power to create. After running the highest-end version of the MacBook Pro through its paces, Mann came away impressed by the laptop’s fast charging and power efficiency, as well as its overall performance:

In summary, the most impressive performance from the new MacBook Pro M1 Max wasn’t just speed (it was about twice as fast), but it was insanely efficient in how it managed both its power and heat, which matters as much or more than pure speed.

Mann’s review does an excellent job capturing how the new MacBook Pros work as a package. It’s not just that they are power efficient or fast, but the combination of multiple advances that has enabled such a substantial leap forward over previous models.

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Apple’s October 2021 Event: All The Small Things

Yesterday, Apple covered a lot of ground quickly, and as usual, more details have emerged in the aftermath of the event. We’ve been combing apple.com, Twitter, and other sources to learn more about the new MacBook Pros, AirPods 3 and more, which we’ve collected below:

MacBook Pro

AirPods 3

Everything Else


Apple Unveils the New 14 and 16-Inch MacBook Pros Powered by the M1 Pro and M1 Max Systems-on-a-Chip

As expected, Apple released new MacBook Pros today featuring all-new Apple silicon systems-on-a-chip (SoCs). Let’s start with the chips that drive the new 14 and 16” MacBook Pros.

Apple introduced two new SoCs, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Both MacBook Pro models can be configured with either SoC, which take the M1 architecture and scale it up for pro-level performance. Today’s presentation emphasized a long list of metrics in several key areas, including the speed, bandwidth, and capacity of its unified memory and both SoC’s efficiency and performance per watt.

The M1 Pro has up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth and can drive up to 32GB of unified memory. The Max doubles that with up to 400GB/s of memory bandwidth and up to 64GB of unified memory.

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Apple M1 Mac Review Roundup: Big Performance and Battery Gains

Last week, Apple unveiled M1-based models of the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini. With deliveries of the computers beginning to arrive around the world, reviews are out, and I’ve rounded up some of the most interesting tidbits from them.

The reviews are overwhelmingly positive with a few caveats. However, reviewers were universally impressed by the new Macs’ performance and the laptops’ battery life. The experience of Wired’s Julian Chokkattu was common:

Spend a day with the new MacBook Air and the improvements are immediately noticeable. The thing’s as powerful as many of the higher-end Intel-powered Macs, blowing past the speed limits of the higher-tier MacBook Air from earlier this year. The M1 is no Mac evolution, it’s a Mac revolution.

What’s especially remarkable about these Macs is that they are low-end models as Jason Snell observes on Six Colors:

It’s all too easy to overlook the fact that these are low-end models, given how fast they are. But this is just Apple’s first step in what the company says is a two-year-long transition. The M1 chip, which appears to be a next-generation riff on the A12X processor in that 2018 iPad Pro, has a bunch of limitations that will undoubtedly not exist on future Apple-designed Mac processors: It only supports two Thunderbolt ports and up to 16GB of RAM. It has no support for external GPUs or discrete graphics of any kind. It can drive a maximum of two displays. It is, by every definition, a low-end chip, the slowest and least capable Mac chip Apple will ever make.

And yet…

Based on my testing, it’s also safe to say that all three M1-based Macs, these low-end systems at the bottom of Apple’s price lists, are among the fastest Macs ever made.

Jason and Myke Hurley also interviewed Apple’s Tim Millet and Tom Boger on Upgrade about the M1 Macs.

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The M1 MacBook Air and 13” MacBook Pro: The MacStories Overview

Before today’s event, little was known about the Apple silicon Macs that the company promised to release by the end of the year. Today, during an online presentation hosted by CEO Tim Cook from Apple Park, Apple took the wraps off its new M1 chip, which powers the new MacBook Air, 13” MacBook Pro, and Mac mini.

Let’s take a look at Apple’s new laptops.

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Apple Refreshes the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a New Keyboard, More Storage, and Updated Processors and RAM

Apple has updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a redesigned keyboard, more storage, and updated processors and RAM. The new model replaces the existing 13-inch MacBook Pro and starts at $1299 like its predecessor and is available in the education market beginning at $1199.

In a press release, the company said:

Apple today updated the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the new Magic Keyboard for the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook and doubled the storage across all standard configurations, delivering even more value to the most popular MacBook Pro. The new lineup also offers 10th-generation processors for up to 80 percent faster graphics performance1 and makes 16GB of faster 3733MHz memory standard on select configurations. With powerful quad-core processors, the brilliant 13-inch Retina display, Touch Bar and Touch ID, immersive stereo speakers, all-day battery life, and the power of macOS, all in an incredibly portable design, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is available to order today, starting at $1,299, and $1,199 for education.

The new MacBook Pro comes in new CPU configurations and improved graphics capabilities. According to Apple:

The 13-inch MacBook Pro lineup now offers up to 10th-generation quad-core Intel Core processors with Turbo Boost speeds of up to 4.1GHz. Customers who are upgrading from a 13-inch MacBook Pro with a dual-core processor will see up to 2.8 times faster performance. The integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics deliver up to 80 percent faster performance over the previous generation 13-inch MacBook Pro for 4K video editing, faster rendering, and smoother gameplay. The new graphics also enable users to connect to Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.

The MacBook Pros that today’s machines replace had base configurations with a 1.4GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5 and 2.4GHz quad‑core Intel Core i5, both of which supported Turbo Boost and had 128MB of eDRAM.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Like its predecessor, the new MacBook Pro has a 13.3-inch diagonal display that uses IPS technology that supports 2560‑by‑1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch. The display also supports P3 wide color, Apple True Tone technology, and 500 nits of brightness.

The new model follows in the footsteps of the 16-inch model with a new keyboard too. In addition to using a scissor mechanism like its 16-inch sibling, the new 13-inch model also includes an inverted-T arrow key layout and a physical Escape key.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Storage has been doubled across all configurations, starting at 256GB and offering up to a 4TB SSD. RAM is faster too. Some base-models of the updated laptop start at 16GB of 3733MHz memory, which can be upgraded to as much as 32GB.

As for ports, the new MacBook Pro hasn’t changed. The computer has two or four Thunderbolt 3 ports that also support USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 depending on which model you buy, plus a headphone jack. The speakers and microphone array appear to have been upgraded to something similar to the 16-inch model too.

Also, weight and battery life remain nearly identical. The new MacBook Pro weighs a slightly heavier 3.1 pounds compared to the model it replaces which was 3.01 pounds. Regarding the battery, Apple says users can expect similar performance compared to the models that the new laptops replace.

It’s nice to see the 13-inch MacBook Pro updated in line with what we saw when the larger model was updated last November. The keyboard update is especially welcome. I’ve been using a 2016 13-inch MacBook Pro and the keyboard has been a constant source of frustration. With this update, I expect Apple’s most portable pro laptop to serve users that need its power well.


CNET Interviews Phil Schiller About the New MacBook Pro, iPad Pro, and More

To mark the release of the new 16-inch MacBook Pro, Roger Cheng of CNET interviewed Apple’s Phil Schiller. The interview begins with a discussion of the laptop’s new keyboard but covers the role of the iPad Pro in Apple’s hardware lineup as well as Macs in education too.

According to Schiller, Apple spent a lot of time talking to pro users in the wake of criticisms of the MacBook Pro’s butterfly keyboard and was told that pro users wanted something like the Magic Keyboard available for desktop Macs. Of that process Schiller told CNET:

There’s a bunch of learning that happened. Some because of moving the desktop keyboard to the notebook and some because we just learned more along the way and wanted to further advance the technology.

Conspicuously absent from the interview though is any mention of changing the keyboard in response to the hardware failures that many users reported.

Cheng also asked Schiller where the iPad Pro fits in Apple’s pro lineup and whether there are plans to merge it with the Mac lineup. As Apple executives have told CNET for years, Schiller was clear that the compromises that a hybrid touch-based Mac would require wouldn’t benefit either platform. Specifically with respect to the iPad Pro, Schiller said:

It was literally to create a different product category. A couple years ago, we split off and created the iPad Pro. This has been a wonderful thing because it allowed us to create two models where we can push the technology. It really accelerated the use cases for iPad.

So now there are a lot of cases where people will use iPad, especially with Pencil, as an artist-creation tool or as a field-compute tool. What we find is there’s a fair number of people who actually spend more of their compute time on their iPad than personal computer. They didn’t choose one or the other. That’s just where they spent a lot of their time.

It’s refreshing to hear Schiller push back on the notion that Macs and iPads will inevitably merge or that consumers need to choose between the two. As someone who uses a Mac and an iPad Pro, I know that’s nonsense, but I also understand that a ‘winner-takes-all’ narrative is more entertaining.

The interview closes with a short discussion of the Mac in the education market where it has struggled at times against Chromebooks. As a parent who’s seen two of my kids learn to code on a Mac while a cheap, locked-down Chromebook sits idle in my house, except when it’s used to turn in assignments and take tests, this from Schiller resonated with me as true:

Kids who are really into learning and want to learn will have better success. It’s not hard to understand why kids aren’t engaged in a classroom without applying technology in a way that inspires them. You need to have these cutting-edge learning tools to help kids really achieve their best results.

Yet Chromebooks don’t do that. Chromebooks have gotten to the classroom because, frankly, they’re cheap testing tools for required testing. If all you want to do is test kids, well, maybe a cheap notebook will do that. But they’re not going to succeed.

Don’t miss Roger Cheng’s full interview on CNET with Schiller. It’s one of the best articulations of Apple’s pro hardware perspective and the place of the iPad in the company’s hardware lineup that I’ve read in a long while.

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Apple Announces New 16” MacBook Pro with Redesigned Keyboard, Thinner Display Bezels, and Updated Processors

Apple has announced a new 16-inch model of the MacBook Pro that features a redesigned keyboard with keys that use a scissor mechanism, a larger screen with thinner bezels, and 9th generation Intel Core i7 and i9 processors. The new model replaces the existing 15-inch MacBook Pro.

Rumored since early this year, the new laptop is almost identical in size to the 15-inch MacBook Pro, which is 0.61 inches (1.55 cm) tall, 13.75 inches (34.93 cm) wide, and 9.48 inches (24.07 cm) deep. In contrast, the new 16-inch model is 0.64 inches (1.62 cm) tall, 14.09 inches (35.79 cm) wide, and 9.68 inches (24.59 cm) deep. The new MacBook Pro is also heavier, weighing in at 4.3 pounds (2.0 kg) compared to the 15-inch laptop, which is 4.02 pounds (1.83 kg).

The slight increase in size is thanks primarily to the reduction of the new MacBook Pro’s display bezels, which have been virtually eliminated. The laptop features a new high-resolution display too, which Apple lists as 3072 x 1920 pixels with a 226 ppi pixel density. The display is driven by new AMD Radeon Pro 5000M series graphics. Also, the MacBook Pro boasts significantly-improved 6-speaker setup and high-quality microphones to capture less background noise when recording.

Apple has also returned to a scissor mechanism for the new MacBook Pro’s keyboard. It remains to be seen whether the updated design is an improvement over the butterfly mechanism used for the past few years in Apple’s laptops. Before the company moved to the butterfly mechanism, which allowed for reduced key-travel and, consequently, thinner devices, a scissor keyboard mechanism was used in the MacBook Pro.

The keyboard on Apple’s latest pro-level laptop is also notable because it features the return of a physical escape key. The escape key was eliminated in Touch Bar-enabled MacBook Pros in favor of a software escape key on the Touch Bar, but the latest model shortens the Touch Bar to make room for a physical escape key, which many users missed. The new keyboard also features an inverted-T arrow key layout. Apple says:

The 16-inch MacBook Pro features a new Magic Keyboard with a refined scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel and a stable key feel, as well as an Apple-designed rubber dome that stores more potential energy for a responsive key press. Incorporating extensive research and user studies focused on human factors and key design, the 16-inch MacBook Pro delivers a keyboard with a comfortable, satisfying and quiet typing experience. The new Magic Keyboard also features a physical Escape key and an inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys, along with Touch Bar and Touch ID, for a keyboard that delivers the best typing experience ever on a Mac notebook.

The 16-inch MacBook Pro also features an updated Intel 9th generation i7 and i9 processors with up to 8 cores. The base model runs at 2.6 GHz, which users can upgrade. RAM starts at 16GB and is configurable up to 64GB. Storage starts with a 512GB SSD, which can be increased to as much as 8TB.

To learn more about the new MacBook Pro, listen to episode 271 of Upgrade from Relay FM where Six Colors founder Jason Snell interviews Apple’s MacBook Pro Product Manager Shruti Haldea.

The new laptops are already available to order on apple.com and with the Apple Store app starting at $2,399, the same price as the old 15-inch model, with deliveries beginning later this week. Apple also notes that the Mac Pro will be available to order in December.