Apple shares have rallied 3% today on yesterday’s November 10th announcement of a new MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini, powered by the M1, the first non-Intel processor and Apple’s first family of chips designed by Apple specifically for the Mac. The 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. And with M1 and the Big Sur Mac operating system, users get access to the biggest collection of apps ever for Mac.
“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,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “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. 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.”
MacBook Air is Apple’s most popular Mac and the world’s best-selling 13-inch notebook. The powerful 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 up to 9x faster, so apps that use ML-based features like face recognition or object detection can do so in a fraction of the time. The M1 chip’s storage controller and latest flash technology deliver up to 2x faster SSD performance, so previewing massive images or importing large files is faster than ever. And in MacBook Air, M1 is faster than the chips in 98 percent of PC laptops sold in the past year.
MacBook Air also delivers this performance in a fan-less design, which means no matter what users are doing, it remains completely silent. And the new MacBook Air features battery life up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback — the longest battery life ever on MacBook Air.2
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered MacBook Air can:
- Export a project for the web with iMovie up to 3x faster.
- Integrate 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro up to 5x faster.
- For the first time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro without dropping a frame.
- Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
- Use ML-based features like Smart Conform in Final Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.
- Watch more movies and TV shows with up to 18 hours of battery life, the longest ever on MacBook Air.
- Extend FaceTime and other video calls for up to twice as long on a single charge.
Other new features in MacBook Air include Apple’s latest image signal processor (ISP) in the M1 chip, which improves camera image quality with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto white balance and ML-enhanced face detection so users look their best during video calls. Support for P3 wide colour results in an even more vibrant, true-to-life Retina display. The Secure Enclave in M1, combined with Big Sur, delivers best-in-class security with features like Touch ID, which makes it easy to unlock MacBook Air and make secure online purchases using Apple Pay with the touch of a finger. And 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 MacBook Air is priced at $1,299 (CAD), and $1,169 (CAD) for education.
13-inch MacBook Pro:
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is Apple’s most popular pro notebook. The 8-core CPU, when paired with the MacBook Pro’s active cooling system, is up to 2.8x faster than the previous generation. The 8-core GPU is up to 5x faster, allowing users to enjoy super smooth graphics performance. And with M1, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is up to 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class. 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. With up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 20 hours of video playback, MacBook Pro delivers up to twice the battery life of the previous generation and the longest battery life ever on a Mac.
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro can:
- Build code in Xcode up to 2.8x faster.
- Render a complex 3D title in Final Cut Pro up to 5.9x faster.
- Fluidly design intricate game scenes in Unity Editor up to 3.5x faster.
- Perform ML tasks in Create ML up to 11x faster.
- Separate out beats, instrumentals, and vocal tracks from a recording in real time in djay Pro AI, thanks to the amazing performance of the Neural Engine.
- Play back full-quality, 8K ProRes video in DaVinci Resolve without dropping a single frame.
- Compile four times as much code on a single charge, thanks to the game-changing performance per watt of the M1 chip.
The 13-inch MacBook Pro is available for $1,699 (CAD), and $1,569 (CAD) for education.
Mac mini is marketed as Apple’s most versatile computer, and now with M1 it 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, allowing Mac mini to tackle performance-intensive tasks like complex 3D rendering up to 15x faster performance over the previous generation. According to Apple, 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.5
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered Mac mini can:
- Compile code in Xcode up to 3x faster.
- Play a graphics-intensive game like “Shadow of the Tomb Raider” with up to 4x higher frame rates.
- Render a complex timeline in Final Cut Pro up to 6x faster.
- Take music production to new levels by using up to 3x as many real-time plug-ins in Logic Pro.
- Magically increase the resolution of a photo in Pixelmator Pro up to 15x faster.
- Utilize ML frameworks like TensorFlow or Create ML, now accelerated by the M1 chip.
Mac mini is now available for $899 (CAD), $100 (CAD) less than the previous-generation quad-core model.
macOS Big Sur