The Biggest News Out Of Apple’s Unleashed Event Yesterday
At yesterday’s virtual Apple Unleashed event, the world caught its first glimpse of the new MacBook Pro lineup, complete with an updated design that restores cut ports, a gorgeous 120-hertz screen, and powerful new internals. Apple’s newest M1 Pro and M1 Max chips in the refreshed MacBook Pro mark a sizable leap in performance over the original M1 chip released last year. These new models offer up to six times the memory bandwidth of the base M1 chip for nearly instantaneous program load times, advanced 3D renders, and powerful video editing never before seen on a Notebook. By putting the power and technology behind what consumers are asking for, Apple could be approaching a new golden era of innovative technology that professionals will be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
Apple Brings Back the Ports (Finally)
Steve Jobs once said, “Some people say, “Give the customers what they want.” But that’s not my approach. Our job is to figure out what they’re going to want before they do.’ While this mindset helped Apple reach the success it enjoys today, this way of thinking has backfired on the tech giant in recent history. The most notable example of this is the controversy surrounding the MacBook Pro’s Touch Bar and removal of essential ports over the past five years.
The Touch Bar is a touchscreen display that sits above the MacBook Pro keyboard. You can use it for extensive control from adjusting volume to in-app functionality like selecting a tab in the Safari browser. While serviceable, many people have complained about the Touch Bar replacing physical function keys. Unfortunately, it often gets in the way of typing and isn’t all that helpful for control across a majority of apps.
As for ports, Apple ditched HDMI, USB, and SD inputs to make thinner laptops, ushering in the rise of USB-C hubs. This loss of core functionality pushed creatives like photographers and video teams away with the lack of SD card readers and HDMI output. Apple continuously doubled down on its decision to cut ports, shooting themselves in the foot by not putting its buyers first. This opened the floodgates for MacBook Pro alternatives from companies like Dell and Lenovo to flourish.
Apple has listened to its fans’ complaints, shipping the new MacBook Pros with not only physical function keys that remove the Touch Bar, but a HDMI port, SD card reader, two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports on the right side, and two USB-C Thunderbolt ports, a microphone input, and a MagSafe 3 charging slot on the left. A MagSafe charger snaps onto MacBooks with ease and could be found on older MacBooks up until Apple did away with it in 2016 as it shifted to a “forward-thinking design.”. Apple demonstrated the newest standard of this technology, MagSafe 3 in a slide during the presentation along with the feature’s ability to provide a charge of up to 50 percent in 30 minutes.
Overall, this redesign with a focus on extensive connectivity is a step in the right direction for Apple, bringing their superior hardware and software experience to the creation station buyers actually want instead of following an aging mantra. At just 4.7 pounds for the 16-inch and 3.5 pounds for the 14-inch model, the MacBook Pro packs powerful hardware in addition to extensive connectivity on the move. Even more impressive than the body refresh is the silicon inside of it.
Apple M1 Pro & M1 Max Provide High Performance With Low Power Consumption
Instead of separate components, the M1 employs a System on a Chip (SoC) design that combines the computer processing unit (CPU), graphics processor unit (GPU), and RAM into a single unit for stronger performance efficiency with less power draw. However process-heavy professionals like videographers and coders require more power than the original M1 could afford. Apple’s new 8-Core M1 Pro and 11-Core M1 Max chips launching inside of the newly redesigned MacBook Pro rectify this.
The M1 Pro chip features 33.7 billion transistors, a 16-core GPU, and a choice of an eight- or ten-core CPU. The M1 Max retains the same ten-core CPU but features an unrivaled 57 billion transistors and supports up to a 32-core GPU for graphics-intensive processes like editing high-resolution video or rendering complex 3D animation. Zooming out to the larger chip landscape, the M1 Max is on par with the most powerful Intel processors available using just a fraction of their power. We’re excited to see how competitors respond, especially with Apple’s hardware virtually skipping any potential bottlenecks.
More transistors translates to more processing power, because they provide a bigger cache for more complex instructions. Paired with more cores equal better performance, the reason for that is because multiple cores allow for juggling of multiple threads of data. For systems running multiple applications at the same time, that leads to a boost in performance. “You get four times the performance in DaVinci Resolve, five times faster GPU performance, and eight times faster ProRes-to-ProRes rendering performance” compared to the previous chip, Davinci Resolve Developer Rohit Gupta said during the keynote yesterday. DaVinci Resolve is one of the most popular video editing tools around, and this bump in power shows just how the new chips perform in real-world scenarios. Through a video walkthrough, we saw a video editor apply things like masks, power windows with tracking, and layers of color correction in real-time without waiting on footage to render the effects.
Both the M1 Pro and M1 Max Chip use the unified memory architecture of the original M1, with the Pro capacity hitting 32 GB and the Max reaching 64 GB. Traditionally, the CPU and GPU are two individual components of a laptop fed into separate memory pools. Apple’s integrated System on a Chip (SoC) setup removes this barrier and allows for the open flow of data between the two components. The result is both processing and graphics tasks load much faster while also dramatically lowering power consumption. Outside of creatives this extended battery life and uncompromising performance on battery make for a workhorse of a machine that will likely outperform nearly any design laptop on the market. Without a barrier to throttle performance anyone can get a high quality portable experience whether they’re surfing the web or working with multiple complex layers in animation suites.
Long Overdue But Welcome Bumps In Display, Sound, and External Monitors
With the longer battery life, the new MacBook Pro is able to utilize a bright Liquid Retina XDR display with ProMotion, which means it can hit up to a 120-Hz refresh rate. ProMotion controls the frame rate so that, when performing less intensive tasks, the Pro lowers the frame rate to preserve battery life and bumps it back up when you’re watching video or playing games. The liquid XDR display comes equipped with mini LED backlighting for improved contrast ratios and deeper blacks—crucial for creatives and media consumers, as the colors pop with more vibrance. The screen can also reach a 1,600-nit peak brightness, which is better than most televisions’ HDR performance.
While the M1 could only output to a single Pro Display XDR, the M1 Pro supports up to two Pro Display XDRs, and the M1 Max can connect to up to three displays in addition to a 4K TV simultaneously for the heaviest of workflows. That means you can have one monitor open to Slack, one to Emails, another for video or photo preview, and a final monitor open to a project timeline. Like the AirPods 3 (also unveiled at Unleashed yesterday), the new MacBook Pro benefits from Dolby Audio, which creates an immersive three-dimensional soundstage. While this might be footsteps in a game or background ambience in a film, this sound reproduction is helpful for pros working with audio content. In addition to the richer sound, a new six-mic array adds extra recording points to capture more detail. Whether you use Garage Band for capturing instrument samples or Logic for professional music production, these improved studio microphones will make a big difference in clarity and noise cancellation.
Apple also finally added a 1080p camera to its MacBook, carrying over the notch design synonymous with iPhones. This allows for a larger light sensor and a higher aperture for better lighting. As many of us realized the importance of a quality onboard camera over the course of this pandemic, Apple’s addition is better late than never. For those working from home or in a hybrid schedule, the new camera means you can shed the external webcam.
The Most Exciting MacBook Pro In Years
While we haven’t gone hands-on with the new MacBook Pro lineup, these advancements are exciting and should keep component manufacturers like Intel and NVIDIA on their toes. Bringing more raw power, better battery life, and more ports, Apple has what it takes to win over the creative crowd. The event is indicative in a shift from Apple’s strategy, listening to consumers needs rather than unfriendly features for the sake of innovation. You can pre-order the MacBook Pro on October 26th starting from $1,999 for the 14-inch and $2,499 for the 16-inch base models.
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Published at Wed, 20 Oct 2021 00:17:00 +0000