Apple's highly anticipated "One More Thing"event finally unveiled what longtime Mac users have asked for. This shift from Intel chips to its own proprietary ARM-based silicon was no surprise given the company teased it during its first-ever virtual Worldwide Developers Conference earlier in June. Similar to its recent product launches the presentation was filmed in Apple Park – the brand's corporate headquarters and was hosted by CEO Tim Cook with other key employees.
Of course, the focus of the show was Apple's new in-house processor that will soon find its place inside every computer that rolls out of the factory. To showcase what it can do, the engineers have crafted three products that appropriately flaunts its capabilities. Additionally, its latest operating system version – Big Sur – was introduced and confirmed to go live on Nov. 12. While all supported devices will receive the macOS update, the software is purportedly optimised for the new M1 chipset.
Since it announced the transition from PowerPC in 2005, the company's Mac lineup has been equipped with Intel processors until now. However, the recent Apple Event is a major milestone that confirms its plans to develop and build around its ecosystem of hardware and software. Therefore, the engineers and developers have full control over updates and upgrades in the future.
"There has never been a chip like M1, our breakthrough SoC for the Mac. It builds on more than a decade of designing industry-leading chips for iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, and ushers in a whole new era for the Mac," said Senior vice president of Hardware Technologies Johny Srouji.
"When it comes to low-power silicon, M1 has the world's fastest CPU core, the world's fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer, and the amazing machine learning performance of the Apple Neural Engine. With its unique combination of remarkable performance, powerful features, and incredible efficiency, M1 is by far the best chip we've ever created," he added.
M1 MacBook Air
Apple has been lauded in the past when it debuted the MacBook Air, which at the time, was the slimmest laptop available. Now that it packs the M1 chipset with Big Sur, it boasts improved performance and processing power that can handle resource-heavy applications. Moreover, battery life is rated at up 15 hours with regular web browsing and up to 18 hours for video playback. This makes it a great platform for creative professionals on the move who want a lightweight yet capable computer.
M1 MacBook Pro 13-inch
On the other hand, if you prefer to squeeze out more horsepower from the new M1 processor, Apple offers the new MacBook Pro. Paired with the laptop's active cooling system, users can maximise the processing power of their system. It should outperform the MacBook Air given its designation as a workhorse and it goes beyond that with up to 17 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 20 hours of video playback. Not many laptops from its rivals can even come close to its features.
M1 Mac Mini
Finally, Apple users can enjoy a full desktop experience but in a compact form factor with the new Mac Mini. Just like the previous two items, the M1 chipset is what makes a big difference over its predecessor. Tasks such as 3D rendering, coding, and other creative multimedia projects are all within its capabilities.
Overall, the "One More Thing" Apple Event was an impressive presentation of what the company plans to offer in 2021. Nevertheless, there are people that remain unconvinced based on the lack of actual benchmarks. Throughout the presentation, the performance details provided by the company had no actual data to compare with other platforms.
As such, many tech pundits are hesitant to weigh in on the matter until more data becomes available. Meanwhile, those who are interested do not have long to wait because the M1 MacBook Air, M1 Mac Mini, and M1 MacBook Pro will hit retailers next week.