The big news at Apple’s One More Thing event was the new M1 processor — which is all fine and dandy but it’s useless if it’s not inside something. Something like the 13.3in MacBook Air, for example? Or the Mac Mini, as well as the 13.3in MacBook Pro? Yeah, that sounds a little more like it.
Look, as expected, nothing’s changed for Apple’s devices — visually, that is. It’ll look the same on the outside as Intel-toting machines, which means you’ve got two choices: brag, or silently bask in the speed upgrades that Apple’s new chip offers. Apple’s making some heady claims, too — that the MacBook Air is 3.5 times faster than it’s previous, Intel-featuring sibling. It’s got 5x faster graphics, which’ll allow for actual gaming. On the Air? Seriously? Apparently.
The 13.3in M1 MacBook Air will also support 4K video editing — we assume that’s if you’re running the M1 chip with the full 8-core GPU, a 16GB load of RAM and probably the 2TB SSD (which you’re not going to be able to buy here so don’t get excited). Apple claims that this edition of the Air is faster than 98% of laptops sold in the last year. Not Macs. Laptops. Again, those are some serious claims. Oh, yes, and the Air is supposedly silent while doing all this because Apple’s yanked out the fans.
And if you want more? Battery life has improved, with up to 15 hours of web browsing and up to 18 hours of video. Real-world will be a little less than that but it’s still a considerable jump over Intel Airs. And perhaps the most bonkers thing about all of this is that Apple’s not increasing the price… in the States. We’re not sure if that’ll hold true here at home.
Also getting a look-in is the Mac Mini. We could go into detail about Apple’s littlest desktop machine but it gets the same performance benefits as the Air and the 13.3in M1 MacBook Pro — the major difference is that it doesn’t have its own screen and keyboard and it’s got different cooling to the other pair of machines announced tonight.
Plus, it’s actually got a decent number of ports. There are two USB-C ports, supporting both Thunderbolt and USB 4, an HDMI 2.0 port and a legacy USB-A, as well as ethernet. If you’re turning this little critter into your home machine, you’ll have actual gaming ability, as well as a considerable amount of performance. And, like the notebooks, it’ll be available in up to 16GB RAM/2TB SSD configurations. And, also like the notebooks, you won’t be able to buy the top-end configuration here. But it’ll have an M1 chip inside, so you probably won’t be too upset.
And the whole ‘pricing’ thing? Instead of just staying steady (again, in the States), it’s actually going to be a little cheaper. We’re not sure what Apple’s on at the moment but it sure seems to have put them in a good mood.