Apple announces new Mac lineup with M1 silicon chip

20 hours of battery life and up to six times faster performance? Sign us up.

Georgia Dixon
Digital Content Editor
Read More
November 12, 2020
2 min read

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Lineup of Apple Mac products

You'd be completely forgiven for feeling a wave of fatigue upon reading there's more Apple news. October and November have been massive months in tech, with Xboxes, Playstations and new iPhones out the wazoo. But despite the overwhelming feeling of "please, Apple, no more" (or is that just me?), the tech giant, as per usual, pleasantly surprised us this morning with a far more exciting than expected drop of three new next-gen Macs: the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini.

At first glance, the trio doesn't appear to be all that different in terms of appearance. It's only once you look under the hood that things get really interesting.

M1 chip

With the 2020 lineup, Apple has introduced its very first chip designed specifically for the Mac. The company claims the new octa-core silicon M1 chip is "the most powerful" it has ever built, bringing massive improvements to performance and efficiency. In fact, the M1 is said to deliver up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, up to 15x faster machine learning, and all while essentially doubling battery life.

MacBook Air

Apple's thinnest, lightest laptop is getting the M1 upgrade, increasing its CPU speed by 3.5x compared to its predecessor and boosting battery life to 15 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of video. It's also the first fanless MacBook, meaning it runs completely silently.

It boasts a 13.3" display, a TouchBar with TouchID, can support an SSD of up to 2TB and features the latest WiFi 6 and Thunderbold/USB 4. Prices start from $1,599.

MacBook Pro

The powerhouse of the MacBook family is becoming even more powerful and long-lasting thanks to its new M1 chip. You can expect up to 17 hours of web browsing and a whopping 20 hours of video.

Currently, the upgrade only applies to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, which can house up to 2TB of storage and up to 16GB of RAM. Like the Air, it's got WiFi 6 and the new Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports. Prices start from $1,999.

Mac Mini

The quiet, oft-forgotten child of the Mac family is being ushered into a new era with the introduction of Apple's new silicon chip, which the company says brings "towering performance, minus the tower" from its tiny but powerful desktop.

The Mac Mini starts from $1,099, with optional upgrades to 16GB RAM and up to 2TB storage.

macOS Big Sur

We also got a good look at the upcoming macOS Big Sur update, which brings a new design and the long-awaited ability to run iOS apps (like Instagram and Among Us) on Mac. Not only does this open up the Mac to millions of more applications, but it means you won't have to fork out twice to get an app on both your iPhone and your computer.

Big Sur is the first macOS update that truly echoes its mobile counterpart (iOS 14), with the introduction of widgets, Control Center and Memoji, not to mention iOS' familiar aesthetics. Each new Mac will launch from 17 November with Big Sur preinstalled, but current Mac owners can get their hands on the update from tomorrow.

Georgia Dixon
Written by
Georgia Dixon
Georgia Dixon has over seven years' experience writing about all things tech, entertainment and lifestyle, with bylines in TechLife magazine, 7NEWS and Stuff.co.nz. In her spare time, you'll find her playing games and daydreaming about good food, wine, and dogs.

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