Fresh off unveiling a raft of new iPhones, tech giant Apple has peppered us with high-performance once again. In a characteristically secretive event entitled simply ‘Unleashed’, Apple dropped a MacBook Pro-sized bombshell and the fallout is still being felt.
With big upgrades, new hardware, and some handy additions to accessorize them with, the Apple Unleashed event didn’t disappoint. Here is everything you need to know about the latest reveal.
New MacBook Pros
The biggest announcement of the night came by way of Apple’s flagship laptop. Two new MacBook Pros were unveiled, each taking advantage of the new M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets, delivering greater returns, a better camera, the best audio system ever in a notebook, and more importantly, some powerhouse performance.
“We set out to create the world’s best pro notebook, and today we’re excited to introduce the all-new MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max — a game-changing combination of phenomenal performance, unrivaled battery life and groundbreaking features,” Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing said. “The all-new MacBook Pro adds a breathtaking XDR display, more ports like MagSafe 3, an advanced 1080p camera, and a sensational six-speaker sound system, all in a stunning new design. The new MacBook Pro simply has no equal and is by far the best pro notebook we’ve ever built.”
According to Apple, the M1 Pro and M1 Max revolutionize the MacBook Pro experience, marking a big step forward in the transition to Apple silicon on Mac. “MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max applies a system-on-a-chip (SoC) architecture to pro systems for the first time, featuring fast unified memory and increased memory bandwidth for unparalleled performance with best-in-class performance per watt and industry-leading power efficiency,” Apple said.
Specifically, M1 Pro features a powerful up to 10-core CPU with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency cores, along with an up to 16-core GPU. Apple claims this delivers up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than M1, and up to 2x faster GPU performance. There is also up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth with support for up to 32GB of fast unified memory.
A sight for sore eyes, both the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models feature a Liquid Retina XDR display for the first time. Apple confirmed that this display uses the same mini-LED technology seen on the iPad Pro, delivering up to 1,000 nits of sustained, full-screen brightness. For creatives, the new boost means that you can enjoy a P3 wide colour gamut with support for 1 billion colours to craft a smoother gradient. ProMotion technology also comes to the Mac on this new display, featuring an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz.
As mentioned, both models come with a larger display than the previous generation, with the 16-inch model taking centre stage. The larger of the two new beasts, this laptop offers an expansive 16.2-inch display with 7.7 million pixels, the most ever on a Mac notebook. Best of all, the display features even thinner borders and extends up around the camera to provide users with even more room for their content.
Camera & Audio
According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro comes with a 1080p FaceTime HD camera — the best ever in a Mac notebook. The brand claims this addition will double the resolution and low-light performance. “The camera system taps into the powerful image signal processor (ISP) and Neural Engine of M1 Pro and M1 Max for a computational video that enhances video quality — so users appear sharper with more natural-looking skin tones,” Apple said.
On the audio front, the new MacBook Pro cops a high-fidelity six-speaker sound system from two tweeters. The sound system also supports spatial audio for the first time, meaning you can enjoy a movie in Dolby Atmos without needing a soundbar or a cinema trip.
Aside from the obvious, the big boost for current MacBook users is the connectivity. Both models feature three Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect high-speed peripherals, an SDXC card slot for fast access to media. There is also an HDMI port for conveniently connecting to displays and TVs, and an improved headphone jack that supports high-impedance headphones.
Pricing and Release Date
Customers can order the new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models from today, and they will be available beginning Tuesday, 26 October. The new 14-inch MacBook Pro model starts at AUD$2,999, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro model starts at AUD$3,749.