Apple Debuts M1, Apple Silicon MacBook Air, Pro, Big Sur, and Much More

Apple's Nov. 10 event debuted the M1, the Apple Silicon processor, the first swap since 2005.
Brad Bergan

Apple's "One More Thing" event was the third in as many months, and while earlier events emphasized the Apple Watch, iPad, and iPhone, the company's Nov. 10 event focused on the wholesale transition to Apple Silicon for the Mac series, called the "M1" CPU.

The event streamed live at 1:00 PM EST on Apple's YouTube channel (featured below). The pre-recorded video streamed from Apple Park, with Tim Cook and a tight collection of other corporate executives.


UPDATE Nov. 10, 1:30 PM EST: Apple's new Mac Mini, MacBook Pro

The Mac min comes with two USB-C ports — supporting both Thunderbolt and the USB 4, along with HDMI 2.0, 3.5 mm, and two USB-A ports, according to the live event. It starts at a price of $699 — $100 less than the earlier, Intel-based version.

The 13-inch MacBook Pro also uses Apple's M1 chip, and is an astounding 2.8 times faster than the earlier model's CPU.

Apple MacBook
The 13-inch MacBook Pro goes for $1,299. Source: Apple / YouTube

Additionally, the MacBook Pro comes with a new active cooling system, and with its 8-core CPU, it supports 20 hours of video playback, and can browse the web for 17 hours. It includes two USB-C ports with support for USB 4 and Thunderbolt 3, and can include up to 16GB of RAM, in addition to 2TB SSD, according to the live event.

Starting at $1,299, the 13-inch MacBook Pro goes for just $1,199 for students. The MacBook Air, Pro, and Mac mini are open for orders today, with the initial orders arriving sometime next week.

UPDATE Nov. 10, 1:25 PM EST: Apple's new MacBook Air 3.5 times faster than earlier model

Apple's new MacBook Air is 3.5 times faster than the last version, which is three times faster than Windows' best-selling alternative laptop. Additionally, SSDs can run at twice the speed, and the device itself supports 15 hours of web browsing, offering 18 hours of seamless video playback.

Notably, it has no fans. The MacBook Air starts at $999.

Apple M1 Apps
iPad and iPhone apps like HBO Max will run on the Mac. Source: Apple / YouTube

UPDATE Nov. 10, 1:20 PM EST: Big Sur for macOS, Rosetta 2, mobile apps on the Mac

Using Big Sur, Macs with M1 may awake in an instant, providing "buttery smooth" performance, according to the live event. The macOS' Big Sur is designed to fully actualize the potential of apps like Garageband, Logic Pro, iMovie, and much more.

The Big Sur will be released this Thursday, Nov. 12, according to the live event.

Universal apps — which are apps built for both Intel and Apple Silicon processors — will be available for download at the Mac App store next week. They include Adobe Lightroom (coming next month), Omni Group, and (in 2021) Photoshop.

Apple M1 Details
The M1 uses a 16-core Neural Engine. Source: Apple / YouTube

However, some apps might perform better in Rosetta with M1 than they did with Intel, which is why Rosetta 2 is on the way. iPad and iPhone apps like Among Us, HBO Max, and many others will be totally accessible on the Mac, according to the live event.

Apple M1 Specs
The M1 has up to eight GPU cores, which boosts the CPU. Source: Apple / YouTube

UPDATE Nov. 10, 1:15 PM EST: Apple's M1 specifications

The new M1 has a GPU capable of substantially boosting CPU performance, with up to eight GPU cores. Notably, the M1 has more power per Watt than PC chips, and is by "far the highest-performance CPU we've ever created," said Apple VP Johny Srouji.

Additionally, the M1 comes with USB-C and Thunderbolt support, and features Apple's most rapid-acting Secure Enclave, while running on a 16-core Neural Engine.

Apple M1
The Apple M1 features four high-performance cores. Source: Apple / YouTube

UPDATE Nov. 10, 1:10 PM EST: Apple Silicon comes to the Mac via the M1 chip

Apple has unveiled the M1, the company's first chip containing an entire computing system for portable Mac computers, according to the live event.

Apple's new M1 chip is the "world's fastest CPU core," and comes with four high performance cores. Confirmed for the Mac, the new CPU is optimized for low-power machines, comes with 16 billion transistors, featuring "amazing peformance leading edge technologies," according to the live event.

Nov. 10 event unveiling Apple Silicon MacBook Air, Pro, Big Sur

The Nov. 10 event will almost certainly focus on Apple's plans to move the Mac lineup forward to Apple Silicon processors — initially announced during the WWDC in June, with a follow-up teaser suggesting that the first Silicon Mac would launch sometime in 2020.

As of writing, Apple's Mac lineup uses Intel processors, but this isn't the first time Apple has transitioned its ships-of-the-computing-line to a new processing architecture. Long ago, in 2005, Apple announced plans to switch from PowerPC processors for Macs to Intel processors, during the WWDC, reports

Notably, Apple has proved its prowess in creating proprietary processors through the intervening years, with the iPad and the iPhone. Now these in-house upgrades are coming to the Mac.

Apple's ARM Mac, 12-core design, 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple's first ARM Mac round will likely be based on the same A14 architecture — as was seen in the iPhone 12 and the iPad Air. But the processors will be optimized to support larger thermal windows and power features of laptops. Back in April, Bloomberg suggested the first ARM Mac chip will come with a 12-core design.

Additionally, one of the initial Apple Silicon Macs will likely be a new upgrade of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Both Bloomberg and a reliable yet cryptic Twitter leaker L0vetodream, along with Ming-Chi Kuo.

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