Apple ‘Unleashed’: Moving up another notch  

Apple unleashed, MacBook Pro new Apple event 18 October

Apple ‘Unleashed’ was the company’s name for its October 18 event, and to an extent it did unleash — a new range of Macbook Pros, new AirPods and subscription plans for music

The MacBook Air powered by the first generation Apple silicon M1 chipset, launched in 2020, is a pretty capable computer in itself and has held up beautifully over the past year. But users who want to do more with their laptops (read: video editing workflows), have been eagerly awaiting the Pro models of the MacBook and the one year wait seems to be well worth it.

In a 45 minute virtual event, Apple in its carefully edited video unveiled the third generation of AirPods, a new subscription for music streaming, new HomePod mini and the stars of the show, the 14 and 16 inch MacBook Pros.

The 3rd generation AirPods

The new third generation AirPods introduce spatial audio with Dolby Atmos, which had been missing from its earlier iterations. Along with the upgrades, it also boasts of a new design, which is eerily similar to that of the AirPod Pro’s minus the rubber tips. AirPods will also have adaptive EQ, something which was only available in the AirPod Pro till now and Apple says that the new AirPods will also have a longer battery life coupled with better sweat resistance, but those are things that will have to be tested in the future.

Music streaming and HomePod mini

Sticking to the theme of music in the event, Apple went on to unveil their new HomePod mini, which now comes in more colours, the only point that most users would be interested in, and also a new subscription model for streaming their music services. It should be available in India soon.

The stars of the show — the MacBook Pros

As expected, it was towards the end of the event that Apple chose to finally unveil their new lineup of Pro laptops, which will be powered by their new chipsets — the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. The MacBook Pro will come in 14 and 16 inch screen configuration and while the 14-inch MacBook Pro only comes with the M1Pro chipsets users can choose between 8-Core CPU 14-Core GPU and 16GB Unified Memory or 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU and 16GB Unified Memory.

While in the 16-inch MacBook Pro they have the option of choosing between a 10-Core CPU, 16-Core GPU with 16GB Unified Memory and 10-Core CPU, 32-Core GPU and 32GB Unified Memory, all this with storage spaces going up to 8TB SSD.

Interestingly this was the first time Apple used actual Intel chipset generations to compare the difference in performance of Intel chips against their own silicon.

Now, for those of you who have complained about lack of ports, the useless touchbar, lack of high refresh rate screens, poor keyboards – seems like Apple has been listening.

So here is a list of the things that new MacBook Pros add to the current lineup, or rather re-add since it was Apple who chose to remove or add these a few years ago.

Removed – the Touch Bar, thankfully. Added – SD card reader, HDMI port, MagSafe 3 port, 120HZ ProMotion displays and a notch. Another thing that Apple chose to add was a big price tag with the base variant of the new MacBook Pro 14-inch starting at INR 1,94,900 and the 16-inch base variant at INR 2,39,900, going up to 5,89,900 for the top tier 16-inch model, without Final Cut Pro and  Logic Pro.

Now as has been the case, changes that Apple makes to its devices are often a precursor to them becoming mainstream in the coming years, so it will be interesting to see how far the new higher price points, the pro motion notched display and the new silicon change the laptop market.

(Cover: Images

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