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Apple Silicon: New Mac Mini, new Macbook Air and new Macbook Pro

Last updated on March 9, 2021

At its last event in 2020, Apple introduced the first three Macs with the new processors based on the ARM architecture.

Software chief Craig Federighi with the new Macbook Air
(Image: Apple)

Intel out, Apple Silicon in: Apple has taken the step announced in summer and introduced the first three Macs with their own processors. Apple calls the processor M1. It is equipped with eight CPU cores (four high-performance cores), eight GPU cores and 16 cores for the Neural Engine. Also integrated is the Secure Enclave for security and encryption tasks. Apple promises overall high performance with low power consumption.

The computers run Apple’s new operating system MacOS Big Sur. The Mac should start as fast as an iPhone or iPad. Apple demonstrated fast graphics displays with a rendering program and some games.

Apples Apps have already been rewritten for the new architecture, including Final Cut Pro X. In addition, the previous Intel apps run on the machines, thanks to the Rosetta 2 emulator. Developers can now write apps for both architectures, similar to the Universal Apps for iOS. Adobe wants Lightroom ready for launch, Photoshop is scheduled for 2021. iOS apps will also run on the Mac with Apple Silicon, if the developers support this.

Air without fan

The first Mac with M1 is a Macbook Air It is a model with a 13.3 inch screen and 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution and 400 nits. A fan is missing. The Macbook Air is said to be up to 3.5 times faster than the current Intel version. The SSDs are also supposed to be about twice as fast as before. But Apple didn’t reveal how these values were determined.

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The Macbook Air is designed to last up to 18 hours without power. The webcam should offer better picture quality than the previous models, the resolution remains unchanged at 720p. Touch ID for scanning the fingerprint is also built in by Apple.

The device weighs 1.29 kg and costs from 1,000 US dollars. The notebook is available with up to 16 GB RAM and 2 TByte SSDs. It is equipped with WLAN 6 802.11ax and USB-C.

Mac Mini for developers and beginners

In addition to the Macbook Air there is also a Mac Mini with M1. The desktop device is intended as an entry-level device. For later iMacs with Apple Silicon are also expected. Apple has not yet revealed whether the Mac Mini is faster than the Macbook Air. In the Mac Mini works at least one fan. Besides Thunderbolt/USB 4, Ethernet, HDMI 2.0 and two USB-A ports are available. The Mac Mini costs from 699 US dollars.

Macbook Pro for professionals

The Macbook Pro was also equipped with the M1, but currently only in the version with a 13.3 inch screen and 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution at 500 nits. A fan is also built into this device. The battery life should be up to 20 hours. Three microphones, a touch bar and a new camera are also included. The notebook costs from 1,299 US dollars. This device is also available with up to 16 GByte and 2 TByte SSDs and weighs 1.4 kg.

The Macbook Air costs in Germany from 1.100,50 Euro. But there are 8 GByte RAM and 256 GByte SSD memory as well as the M1 with eight cores and seven GPU cores.

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For 1.363,70 Euro the M1 is available with eight GPU and eight CPU cores as well as 8 GByte RAM and an SSD with 512 GByte. 16 GByte RAM costs 224,20 Euro extra. For a 1 TByte SSD also 224.20 Euros must be paid. It only gets more expensive with the SSD with 2 TByte, which costs 672.60 Euros additionally. For the most expensive Macbook Air, customers have to pay 2,260.50 euros.

The Macbook Pro 13 inch is sold from 1,412.45 Euro. For this, there are eight CPU and eight GPU cores as well as 256 GByte memory and 8 GByte RAM.

The Macbook Pro 13 are only equipped with two Thunderbolt/USB-4 connectors. Therefore, the Macbook Pro also has a built-in touch bar, which is missing on the Air. The surcharge for 16 GB RAM or a 2 TByte SSD is 224.20 euro each. A surcharge of 672.60 euro is due for 2 TByte SSD memory.

The new Mac Mini costs from 778,85 Euro. But there is the M1 with eight CPU and eight GPU cores and 256 GByte SSD and 8 GByte RAM. The model with 512 GByte SSD is sold for 1,003.05 Euro. As with the previous Macbooks, RAM and SSD memory can also be ordered with larger capacity. The surcharges are identical.

All devices will be available from 17 November 2020

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