“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,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at today’s virtual event. “M1 is by far the most powerful chip we’ve ever created, and combined with macOS Big Sur, delivers mind-blowing performance, extraordinary battery life, and access to more software and apps than ever before. We can’t wait for our customers to experience this new generation of Mac, and we have no doubt it will help them continue to change the world.”
Apple says the new MacBook Air’s 8-core CPU performs up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation. With up to an 8-core GPU, graphics are up to 5x faster, the biggest leap ever for MacBook Air, so immersive, graphics-intensive games run at significantly higher frame rates.
ML workloads are purportedly up to 9x faster, so apps that use ML-based features like face recognition or object detection can do so quicker. The M1 chip’s storage controller and latest flash technology deliver up to 2x faster SSD performance. Apple claims that the new MacBook Air is faster than the chips in 985of PC laptops sold in the past year — all in a fanless design. The company says the new laptop also features up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback — the longest battery life ever on MacBook Air. Pricing starts at US$999 ($899 for education).
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s most popular pro notebook. With the M1 chip and Big Sur, the 13-inch MacBook Pro with its 8-core CPU is up to 2.8x faster than the previous generation. The 8-core GPU is up to 5x faster. Apple says that, with the M1, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is up to 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class. Machine learning (ML) is up to 11x faster, and for on-device ML tasks that use the Neural Engine, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro is now the world’s fastest compact pro notebook, Apple says.
It offers up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 20 hours of video playback. According to Apple, the new MacBook Pro delivers up to twice the battery life of the previous generation and the longest battery life ever on a Mac.
Other new features in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro include studio-quality mics, and Apple’s latest camera ISP. The new MacBook Pro also delivers best-in-class security with the Secure Enclave in M1 and Touch ID. And it features two Thunderbolt ports with USB 4 support. It’s available for the same starting price of $1,299, and $1,199 for education.
The new Mac mini with the M1 brings an 8-core CPU with up to 3x faster performance than the previous generation. An 8-core GPU delivers up to a 6x increase in graphics performance. Apple says that when compared to the best-selling Windows desktop in its price range, the Mac mini is just one-tenth the size, yet delivers up to 5x faster performance. Pricing starts at $699, $100 less than before.
The new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini with M1 are available to order today on apple.com and in the Apple Store app. They will begin arriving to customers and will be in select Apple Store locations and Apple Authorized Resellers starting next week.