Apple New M1 ChipSource: Apple

For its third special event of the fall, Apple kept the announcements to the minimum, revealing only three new products in the course of 50 minutes. Those products were each significant, however, since they both represent the next generation of Macs. Here's a quick look at what you might have missed at today's "One More Thing" press event.

Apple M1

Before revealing its first Apple silicon Macs, Tim Cook and the company announced the product line's first in-house chip. The Apple M1 is described as "the most powerful chip" Apple has ever created. The first personal computer chip built using 5-nanometer process technology comes packed with 16 billion transistors. As a result, the M1 delivers up to 3.5x faster CPU performance, up to 6x faster GPU performance, and 15x faster machine learning. Perhaps better still, the M1 provides battery life up to 2x longer than previous-generation Macs.

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Two new MacBooks, one new Mac mini

Rumors have long suggested Apple would relaunch the 12-inch MacBook this year. It did not, however. Two of the first Apple M1-based MacBooks announced were the 13-inch MacBook Air (late 2020) and 13-inch MacBook Pro (late 2020). Both arrive on the scene just a few months after Apple last updated both models. Apple also revealed the first M1 Mac mini.

There are some interesting points to consider when looking at any of these Macs. First, the base model for each is priced at much less than their Intel-based counterparts. Secondly, in some cases, the Intel-based versions offer better internals. Consider, for example, the key differences between the M1 and Intel-based 13-inch MacBook Pro. Where the former offers maximum memory of 16GB, the latter is available with 32GB. Additionally, the older model includes maximum storage of 4TB versus 2TB on the M1.

It will be interesting to see how each of the new Macs perform through the various third-party tests. The result will go a long way in determining whether or not to make the switch to Apple silicon now or wait until a more advanced model arrives in 2021 and later.

macOS Big Sur

The next-generation macOS finally has a release date. Current Mac owners can download the updated operating systems beginning on Thursday, November 12. Not surprisingly, the newest Macs will come with the macOS version pre-installed.

What we didn't get

Tuesday's event omitted two products that were long rumored to get released this year, the so-called AirPods Studio and AirTags. While it's possible both could still arrive by the end of the year, it's increasingly more likely Apple has decided to wait until next year to release them.

What did you think?

Did you enjoy the "One More Thing" event? Are you planning on buying one of the new Mac? If so, to get the best price on your new computer, be sure to check out our MacBook Deals guide. Let us know your comments below.