Apple Mac, MacBooks Get Refresh with New Apple-Designed Chips

By Paul Riegler on 10 November 2020
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At the company’s third virtual-only product launch, Apple introduced a new microprocessor for its desktop and laptop computers, reinvigorating the almost 40-year-old product line with several new MacBooks and a Mac Mini.

It took Apple CEO Tim Cook and other executives under three-quarters of an hour to introduce all of the new devices during the event, dubbed “One More Thing.”

The event centered on Apple’s introduced of the new M1 chip. The M1 is the company’s new microprocessor that is designed for optimal power efficiency and size.  The M1 has an eight-core CPU, with four high-performance cores, in what Apple calls “the world’s fastest CPU core.” The other four cores are high-efficiency cores that, according to Apple, use one-tenth of the power of older chips while still delivering a high level of performance. The M1 replaces various microprocessors previously sourced from Intel.

Compared to previous-generation Macs, the M1 can reportedly deliver up to 3.5 times faster CPU performance, up to six times faster GPU performance, and up to 15 times faster machine learning.  The chip also will enable a battery life that is up to two times longer as well.

The Cupertino-based company introduced a new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini, all powered by the new M1 microprocessor. With the help of the new M1 chip, the battery in the Air will last for up to 15 hours for Web browsing and up to 18 hours when watching movies using the Apple TV app.  This compares favorably to the prior-generation model where the numbers were 11 hours and 12 hours respectively.  The battery in the new MacBook Pro will last for up to 17 hours when browsing the Web and up to 20 hours when watching a movie, again with the Apple TV app.  The previous-generation MacBook Pro lasted for ten hours both for web browsing and movie watching.

Pricing for the Mac Mini starts at $699, pricing for the MacBook Air starts at $999, and pricing for the new MacBook Pro with a 13” display starts at $1,299.

The Apple event ended with the appearance of John Hodgeman, who played the PC guy in Apple’s “Get a Mac” ad campaigns in the late 2000s. Continuing with his persona form those commercials and ads, Hodgman made futile attempts to justify his noisy fan and inferior battery life as a PC compared to the new fanless MacBook Air with up to 18 hours of battery life. “But stop, wait, hang on, one more thing… why make all these advancements?” he asked, “What’s the point?  I’m a machine, I’m proud of it… Longer battery life? Plug it in!”

Hodgman concluded his appearance saying, “My battery’s drained. I gotta plug in.  Good luck.”


(Photo: Accura Media Group)

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