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Apple unveils new line of MacBooks and Mac mini, plus a new chip

Apple has today revealed the new iterations of their MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac mini products, alongside an unveiling of the company’s new M1 chip.

All three products will be shipped with the new chip, which Apple touts as ‘the most powerful chip’ it has ever made. All of the new Macs will also ship with the updated macOS, Big Sur.

Apple says the M1 chip leads the industry in terms of performance per watt, and with macOS Big Sur, M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU, up to 6x faster GPU, up to 15x faster machine learning (ML) capabilities and battery life up to 2x longer than before. 

“The introduction of three new Macs featuring Apple’s breakthrough M1 chip represents a bold change that was years in the making, and marks a truly historic day for the Mac and for Apple,” says Apple CEO Tim Cook. 

“M1 is by far the most powerful chip we’ve ever created, and combined with Big Sur, delivers mind-blowing performance, extraordinary battery life, and access to more software and apps than ever before.”
 

13-inch MacBook Air

The new MacBook Air features an 8-core CPU and performs up to 3.5x faster than its previous generation, Apple says. Graphics are up to 5x faster, and machine learning workloads can deliver 9x faster than its predecessor.

By virtue of its M1 chip, the new laptop is now completely fanless, rendering the machine silent. Battery life is also improved upon, with Apple boasting 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback.

Wi-Fi 6 delivers faster wireless performance, while two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support allow for connectivity to a wide range of peripherals. 

The new MacBook Air will retail at RRP NZ$1,749.
 

13-inch MacBook Pro

When combining its 8-core CPU and active cooling system, the new MacBook Pro is 2.8x faster than the previous generation. The GPU is 5x faster, allowing for smoother graphics. 

Machine learning processes are up to 11x faster, and the laptop is capable of up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 20 hours of video playback — the longest battery life ever on a Mac.

Its M1 chip allows for building code in Xcode up to 2.8x faster than its predecessor, as well as better video playback quality at 8K ProRes video without dropping a frame. It can also compile four times as much code on a single charge, thanks to the game-changing performance per watt of the M1 chip, according to Apple.

The laptop also features two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support, as well as Apple’s Pro Display XDR in full 6K resolution. 

The new MacBook Pro will retail at RRP NZ$2,299.
 

Mac mini

The newest iteration of Apple’s screenless desktop computer, the Mac mini also brings an 8-core CPU with 3x faster performance than its previous generation, as well as an 8-core GPU which delivers a 6x increase in graphics performance.

ML workloads are also up to 15x faster than its predecessor, and a new thermal design supports its performance while staying cool and quiet. The Mac mini supports up to two displays up to 6K resolution, and features Wi-Fi 6 and the Secure Enclave in M1 for security.

The Mac mini is now available for RRP NZ$1,199.

All three products will begin arriving at Apple Authorised Resellers ‘starting next week’.