After September’s annual Apple event for the iPhone and iPad, the focus turned to October and what usually is a Mac update event. Apple was true to form with the announcement for their “Unleashed” event. The rumors up to this point were bumped up a MacBook Pro that would finally see the 16″ model get its M1 conversion. Sure enough, Apple delivered some massive updates to their hardware lineup.
Apple unveiled the M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs. With this update Apple has taken one of the best reviewed chips and kicked it up a hundred notches. We knew a new MacBook Pro was coming but we were oblivious that Apple was out for blood. In a little under a half hour they massacred the existing MacBook Pro leaving the M1 Max / Pro to rise like a phoenix from the ashes.
The improved checklist boils down to this: MagSafe, SD Card, and HDMI ports are back. Improved webcam? Check. Better speakers and more microphones are in here too. Weirdly there’s now a notch on the screen. I am not worried because Apple has the luxury of the Menubar to wrap across it. This renders a notch less intrusive than on the iPhone. The biggest outward change is the deletion of the TouchBar. Apple mentioned “TouchBar” once in passing while explaining the new full-height function key row.
If you think this ‘new’ design looks familiar, I’ve got news for you: it is. We saw this look in the 3rd generation models before Apple went all in on USB-C. Today Apple has admitted the 2015 design was king. And the king has now returned to claim its throne.
PS: Zane Lowe and others announced some music stuff, but it was meh. Updated AirPods, a weird “Siri-only” Music subscription tier, and new colors of HomePod mini were the big reveals.