Apple’s 2020 Mac announcements from its One More Thing event

2020 has been a big year for Apple fans. With three Apple events taking place in the autumn, we were first presented with updates to the iPad and Apple Watch in September, then the iPhone 12 series in October and finally, in November, Apple released new information with regards to its Mac development.

This round of upgrades to Apple’s well-loved Mac range is being heralded as one of the most significant for over 15 years –  read on to found out why.

The M1 chip

The biggest change in Macs from November 2020 onwards is that they will all contain Apple’s own-designed processors, called the M1. In practice this means Apple is able to bring everything about the product under one roof — from conception, design, software and the hardware that makes everything run. In the past Apple’s previous processers have been manufactured firstly by Motorola, then PowerPC, and then Intel.

But what does this mean for you and me? Well, the M1 is faster than the Intel chips in Mac right now and given Apple’s history with its chips, as shown by the rapid increases in iPhone and iPad performance, they will continue to ratchet up their processing power over time.

The chip also prolongs battery life. It can achieve this thanks to the inclusion of eight cores, four that are “high-performance” and four that are “high-efficiency” and use a tenth of the power. This enables it to adapt to the requirements of the task without using any more power than is necessary.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said during a June 2020 live stream where the company announced it would begin making its own processors: “These changes will make the Mac stronger and more capable than ever. I’ve never been more excited about the future of the Mac.”

 

The products

The M1 chip reveal wasn’t the only news from the One More Thing event. Three new Macs, all with the new chip were also announced.

Mac Mini

The Mac Mini compact desktop computer will now boast 3x faster processor performance (CPU) and up to 6x faster graphics performance compared to the previous version. It is also able to take on intensive tasks while consuming up to 60 percent less energy than the previous generation.

MacBook Air

On the surface the latest MacBook Air looks almost identical to the one Apple launched in early 2020. But, thanks to M1 chip, the late-2020 Air offers 3.5x faster CPU and 5x faster graphics compared to the early 2020 model. Apple also claims it’s faster than 98% of PC laptops.

The new MacBook Air manages to outperform its predecessor on battery life too, with an estimated life of 15 hours of wireless web use, compared to 11 hours of wireless web.

The new Air also has a silent fanless design, supports Wi-Fi 6, has a better webcam and can now wake instantly just like an iPhone.

MacBook Pro

The 13-inch MacBook Pro will also now be available with the M1 chip. As with the Air this model will now feature improved performance with 2.8x CPU gains and 5x faster graphics, as well as 17 hours of battery life from wireless web use. There are also new microphones that should improve the way you sound on video calls.

Finally, a touch on the sensor button now instantly unlocks this MacBook, meaning you can use your fingerprint to rent movies, buy apps, or access things like locked documents or system settings without having to re-enter your password.

You won’t have to wait long to get your hands on the first Macs powered by Apple’s latest chip: The Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro are already available to order. You can read more about their pricing here.

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