Apple CEO Tim Cook: Presentation in Apple Park
Photo: Brooks Kraft / Apple
It was already clear that more had to come when Apple presented the first Mac computers with Apple chips almost a year ago.
It all started with the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro with a 13-inch screen.
In the test, the devices showed that Apple's M1 processor does a great job: The notebooks are incredibly fast, sometimes complete complex tasks faster than much more expensive predecessor models, but still have more stamina.
Some users, especially professional video and photo editors, were still not happy.
With only two Thunderbolt sockets, a maximum of 16 gigabytes of RAM and 2 terabytes of SSDs, the two mobile computers are too meager for certain tasks.
Anyone who needed a lavish configuration had to continue to buy MacBooks with Intel chips.
Anyone who wanted a MacBook with a large screen, the 16-inch model was only available with Intel technology to this day.
The end of the Touch Bar and the return of MagSafe
This deficiency is to be eliminated by new models that Apple CEO Tim Cook and his colleagues presented in a live video stream today. Initially, the new design, which is based on the look of the current iPhones and iPads, is more angular than before. The next thing you notice is that they have an unusually large number of connections for external devices by Apple standards: three Thunderbolt 4, one HDMI, a headphone connection and a reader for SDXC cards are built in.
For Apple fans it was also a dream come true because the new models are equipped with a new version of the MagSafe port.
Like the MagSafe connector on earlier MacBooks, it sticks magnetically to the charging socket.
The advantage: If someone stumbles over the cable, the MacBook won't be torn from the table, just the magnetic connector removed.
With the new models, Apple is saying goodbye to the Touch Bar, the small screen above the keyboard.
The expensive technology was apparently not as well received by users as Apple's managers had hoped.
Finally full HD
The screens are brand new. Not only do they have new formats - 14 inches for the small model, 16.2 for the large model - they also use new technology. Just like the current iPad Pro, tens of thousands of tiny LEDs, so-called mini-LEDs, are used for the backlighting. Because the brightness can be regulated more finely than with older screen types, extremely high contrasts can be achieved. Apple specifies the resolution as 3024 × 1964 pixels for the 14-inch model and 3456 × 2234 for the 16-inch version.
As in the current iPhones, the screens now work with Apple's Pro-Motion technology.
It regulates the refresh rate dynamically up to 120 Hertz, depending on what kind of content is currently being displayed.
On the one hand, this is supposed to save energy and, on the other hand, deliver smooth images if necessary.
For many users, it is currently more important that the two Apple notebooks are now equipped with new cameras.
Their Full HD resolution gives hope for improved image quality compared to the 720p video cameras that have been installed for years.
New multi-core power plants
By far the most important innovation of the two MacBooks are the chips they are equipped with, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. The big difference to the M1 of the 13-inch MacBooks is that the new chips have eight instead of four so-called performance Have cores.
These are the computing cores that are optimized for demanding tasks.
In addition, there are two computing cores in the chips that are trimmed for energy efficiency, i.e. take on simpler tasks and save the battery in the process.
In addition, the number of computing cores specialized in graphics calculations has been increased from 8 in the M1 to 16 in the M1 Pro and 32 in the M1 Max.
In addition, the M1 Pro supports up to 32 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, the M1 Max up to 64 GB.
The built-in SSDs can hold up to eight terabytes of data.
It won't be cheap
Apple promises true miracles that are possible with it, the company's product managers indulged in long-lasting performance comparisons with PC notebooks, all of which basically had the same message: The new MacBooks are not only much faster than the old MacBooks, but also than the Windows competition.
And they should also be far more economical with energy, i.e. run longer on battery power.
For the 14-inch model, Apple promises up to 17 hours of video playback, for the 16-inch model up to 21 hours.
It is clear that all of this has its price.
And so the price list for the 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at 2249 euros, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro costs at least 2749 euros.
However, memory upgrades can drive these prices up dramatically.
It remains to be seen how hard the production of the new MacBooks will be affected by the lack of chips that is currently plaguing the industry.
According to a Bloomberg report, iPhone production has already had to be throttled because suppliers such as Broadcom and Texas Instruments cannot supply the components they need, or cannot supply them in sufficient quantities.
New AirPods and a new music subscription
If you don't want to or can't spend that much, Apple will lure you with new AirPods.
The AirPods 3 look a bit like a mixture of the AirPods 2 and the AirPods Pro: The antenna arms have become shorter, the charging case correspondingly flatter.
Overall, they look more like the AirPods Pro than the AirPods 2.
However, silicone eartips and active noise suppression are reserved for the pros.
The AirPods 3 now also get 3D audio, Apple's room sound simulation, which also takes the user's head position relative to the screen into account when reproducing the sound.
In addition, they have the same touch-sensitive sensors in the antenna arms that can be used to control music playback and phone calls with the touch of a finger.
The new AirPods 3 cost 199 euros, the old AirPods 2 remain in the range at a reduced price of 149 euros.
The AirPods Pro remain on offer for 279 euros and will be delivered with a new MagSafe charging case in the future.