Today Apple held its "One more thing" event, and as expected, the company took the wraps off of its first Mac computer powered by its own system-on-chip.
The MacBook Air will be the first Mac with Apple Silicon. The chip inside this MacBook Air is called M1, an Arm-based SoC that's built on a 5 nanometer process. It includes an 8-core CPU with four high performance cores for tasks that require more power and four high efficiency cores for lower power, everyday tasks.
Apple's M1 chip also includes GPU with up to 8 cores for 2.6 teraflops of performance. There's a 16-core Neural Engine to help with machine learning, too, plus a Secure Enclave and a Thunderbolt/USB 4 controller.
Apple is no stranger to having custom chips for its devices. It uses Arm-based A series chips inside the iPhone and iPad, including the A14 Bionic found in its latest iPhone 12 and iPad Air models. Now it's taking all of the experience it's gained from all those years creating custom A series chips for the iPhone and iPad to create an SoC for Mac that it hopes will offer improved performance and better power efficiency.
Getting back to the MacBook Air, this new model features a 13.3-inch Retina display with P3 wide color for more vibrant images. There's no fan that'll help keep the MacBook Air silent even under heavier workloads, and there's a Touch ID fingerprint reader for security. Up to 16GB of RAM will be available along with up to 2TB of SSD storage.
Of course, battery life is important on a laptop, and Apple says the M1 chip will help the new MacBook Air get up to 15 hours or web browsing or 18 hours of video playback on a single charge. That's up from 11 hours of web browsing and 12 hours of video playback on the current MacBook Air.
The new MacBook Air with Apple's M1 SoC starts at $999.
Apple also took the wraps off of a new MacBook Pro. This new 13-inch model boasts 2.8x faster CPU performance and 5x faster graphics thanks to Apple's M1 chip. The MacBook Pro also includes an active cooling system to help sustain high performance when you need to take advantage of those improvements.
Battery life is better with this MacBook Pro, too. Apple says you'll get up to 17 hours of web browsing or 20 hours of video playback, up from 10 hours each on the current Intel-powered MacBook Pro. This machine offers the longest battery life ever in a Mac, Apple touts.
The new MacBook Pro also offers Touch ID, a Touch Bar, and Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. You'll be able to get the laptop with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage. Pricing starts at $1,299.
Finally, Apple is also launching an M1-powered Mac mini for desktop users. This model offers up to 3x faster CPU performance and up to 6x faster graphics, plus support for 6K external displays. The port array on the back of the Mac mini includes an Ethernet port, an HDMI 2.0 port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports, and two USB-A ports.
Apple has confirmed that the Mac mini will be offered with up to 16GB of RAM and up to 2TB of SSD storage, just like the new MacBook models. Pricing for the Mac mini starts at $699.
All three of the new M1-powered Macs will be available for purchase starting today and they'll launch on November 17.
Apple detailed some of the improvements that it's making improvements to macOS Big Sur, which is launching on November 12, that these M1 devices will benefit from. These include instantly waking from sleep, optimized versions of all Apple apps, and universal apps that developers can build for support with both Apple Silicon devices and Macs with Intel chips.
Now that the first Macs with Apple's own chips are here, are you going to buy one?