Breaking from its use of Intel processors, Apple unveiled Mac products powered by “revolutionary” new hardware. What are the experts saying?
Apple unveiled its latest generation of Mac computers Tuesday with three new offerings: Macbook Air, Macbook Pro, and the Mac Mini – all powered by Apple’s new proprietary Central processing unit (CPU) called the M1.
- For a decade and a half, Apple has been using Intel chips to power its computers. But as Intel’s innovation has lagged according to experts, Apple has learned much from manufacturing its own processors. Apple-designed CPUs power everything from the iPhone and iPad to AirPods and select Beats headphones.
- The move towards an in-house CPU for Apple’s personal computer products is meant to tie Macs and iOS devices closer together, creating a more seamless experience.
- Apple touts substantial battery life with the new chips, with up to 20 hours of usage on the Macbook Air with M1.
- The new computers come with USB4, a new standard with higher data transfer rates. The shape of the USB4 connector is based on USB-C, which Apple recently began including in the box of its new iPhone 12 product series.
- CNET believes Apple’s abandonment of Intel CPUs in favor of its own chips based on iPhone technology bodes well for the future of cellular service integration in laptops as 5G service slowly approaches ubiquity.
- Still, there are some complaints. Despite the advances in hardware, the Macbook Air and Macbook Pro ship with only a 720p web camera.
- The Verge notes both laptops ship with the same processor, but includes a cooling fan to allow the M1 to perform better in the more expensive Macbook Pro.
- CNN relies on analysts’ opinions that the in-house design will “give Apple more control over updates and user experience”.
- Time.com’s tech writer Patrick Lucas Austin calls the lack of a major design refresh “a bit of a bummer”, noting memory and webcam shortfalls in the new machines.
- Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern, who has had a complicated relationship with Apple’s hardware innovations, bemoaned the technical jargon used to sell the new computers that she alleges does not factor into the average consumer’s purchasing decisions.
- Daily Mail quotes Wayne Lam with CCS Insight praising the new M1 chips: “Offering three products across different types of Mac compute products Apple is clearly demonstrating the M1’s design versatility.”
© Dallas Gerber, 2020