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Apple Unleashed event: New MacBook Pro, AirPods, and more

With the recent iPhone announcements behind us, Apple just pulled off yet another major event to announce a few more new products and services. Apple’s second fall event of the year packed in a bunch of interesting announcements adding life to the endless rumors surfacing around the tech and consumer electronics world. The company added two new powerful chipsets to Apple Silicon’s arsenal, 3rd Generation AirPods, two new MacBooks, and more. Here is everything Apple announced at its “Unleashed” event.

Apple Silicon: M1 Pro and M1 Max

Apple unveiled its latest lineup of chipsets: the M1 Pro and M1 Max to power the newest and the upcoming Macs. The M1 Pro sports up to a 10-core CPU consisting of 8 high-performance cores and 2 high-efficiency cores to deliver up to 70% faster CPU performance than the M1 processor. For graphics, M1 Pro features up to 16 GPU cores with increased memory bandwidth. M1 Pro can support up to 32GB of unified storage, delivering up to 200GB/s of memory bandwidth.

Apple says that the M1 Max is the most powerful Apple chipset ever, capable of delivering 400GB/s of memory bandwidth. This wider-memory interface supports up to 64GB of unified memory and sports a 10-core CPU paired with a 32-core GPU for efficient and powerful graphics performance. Apple also highlighted that the M1 Pro and M1 Max can deliver class-leading relative CPU and GPU performance for a fraction of power consumption.

Both chipsets have ProRes, allowing them to accelerate multiple streams of 4K and 8K videos. Other advanced technologies include an all-new display engine, additional thunderbolt controllers, a 16-core neural engine capable of handling 11 trillion operations per second, and more.

MacBook Pro

Apple also unveiled the much-anticipated 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro at the Unleashed event. The new MacBooks are completely redesigned and sport an all-new 100% recycled aluminum enclosure with a notched display. Apple said that both these models offer smaller bezels around the display with the camera hanging slightly lower, creating a notch in the screen. These new MacBooks sport 14.2 and 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR displays and offer a peak brightness of 1600nits. They also sport Apple’s latest ProMotion display technology for adaptive refresh rates of up to 120Hz.

Both models are powered by Apple’s newest M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets paired with 8TB storage and 64GB memory. These new MacBooks also feature an all-new double anodized backlit keyboard with physical keys replacing the TouchBar along with the force touch trackpad. On the connectivity front, Apple brought back an array of connectivity options on their new MacBooks and included an HDMI port, three Thunderbolt 4 ports, a MagSafe 3 port, a headphone jack, and an SDXC slot.

Moreover, Apple has finally decided to upgrade the legacy 720p FaceTime camera to a better 1080p HD camera with an advanced image signal processor with computational video. As far as the battery life is concerned, Apple says that the 14-inch MacBook Pro can last up to 17 hours on video playback, while the larger 16-inch model is rated to last up to 21 hours. Both models are fast-charge capable and can also be charged using the USB-C port along with the dedicated MagSafe 3 port.

Apple announced that the 14-inch variant of the new MacBook Pro starts at $1,999 while the larger 16-inch model starts at $2,499. Both models can be ordered today and will be available starting next week in Silver and Space Gray color variants.

AirPods 3rd Generation

After several speculations and rumors, Apple also announced its newest 3rd Generation AirPods at the Unleashed event. These new AirPods feature spatial audio and dynamic head tracking features to create a three-dimensional listening experience for users. Apple said that these new AirPods are powered by the company’s very own custom high-excursion Apple drivers for a better overall audio experience. Other major upgrades include a high-dynamic-range amplifier, IPX4 water and sweat resistance, skin detect sensor, motion and speech detecting accelerometer, adaptive EQ, force sensors, and one-touch easy pairing. Apple also announced that these new AirPods can offer up to six hours of listening time and the charging case can deliver up to 30 hours of total listening time on a single charge. The charging case can be charged wirelessly, through the Lightning port, or a MagSafe charger.

These new AirPods are available for order now and will be available starting next week for $179.

macOS Monterey: First Look

While the macOS Monterey isn’t official yet, Apple did announce a few features at the event. According to Apple, the upcoming macOS is built to complement and take advantage of the unified memory architecture of the newest M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets. Apple also highlighted security features such as hardware-verified secure boot, runtime anti-exploitation, and fast in-line encryption at the event. Finally, the new macOS will offer advanced power management features for effective task allocations between performance and efficiency cores. Apple also announced that more apps are being developed or ported through Rosetta 2, and almost 10,000 universal apps and plugins are already available for users to download.

Apple Music and HomePod mini

Apple announced an all-new subscription Apple Music Voice Plan designed exclusively for Siri. This new Apple Music Voice plan gives access to any song, playlist, or station using the voice on all Apple devices. Although Apple has not unveiled the official launch date for this new subscription service, it is priced at $4.99 per month per user.

Apple also announced new color variants in yellow, orange, and blue starting at $99 and will be available in November.

The Apple Unleashed event was a unique three-day “Techtober” onslaught of unveilings from three tech giants. Next up is Google, as it unveils the much-anticipated Pixel 6 phones. Samsung, meanwhile, put together a hastily arranged event for Wednesday. Stay tuned!

Images: Apple

Sukesh Mudrakola

Sukesh is a Technology Consultant and Project Manager by profession and an IT enterprise and tech enthusiast by passion. He holds a Master's degree in Software Engineering and has filled in various roles such as Developer, Analyst, and Consultant in his professional career. He holds expertise in mobile and wearable technologies and is a Certified Scrum Master.

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