Apple has expanded its MacBook Pro lineup this week by introducing new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. The new MacBook Pros have not just some design-level changes but all-new silicon choices that come in the form of the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. These new proprietary system-on-chip (SoC) units are designed to take on the likes of AMD and Intel. Alongside the MacBook Pro (2021) models, Apple has brought the AirPods (3rd generation) as its new truly wireless stereo (TWS) earbuds as well as Apple Music Voice plan for those looking to access music through their voice. The company also introduced its new HomePod mini colours.
Host Akhil Arora speaks with Reviews Editor Jamshed Avari, Deputy Reviews Editor Roydon Cerejo, and in-house audio expert Ali Pardiwala on this week’s episode of Gadgets 360 podcast Orbital to discuss the new MacBook Pro models, AirPods (3rd Generation), new HomePod mini colours, and the Apple Music Voice plan.
The discussion begins with the M1 Pro and M1 Max chips that Apple has designed as two distinct upgrades to its last year’s M1. The new silicon options have 10 CPU cores and up to 32 GPU cores. However, Apple has decided to not detail its new silicon offerings — just like how it typically doesn’t provide much details about its A-series processors powering the iPhone and iPad series.
Nevertheless, Apple did claim that its M1 Pro and M1 Max deliver up to 70 percent faster CPU performance than the original M1. The M1 Max is also touted to offer nearly six times the memory bandwidth of the M1, along with up to four times faster GPU performance.
Apple has packed the memory within its CPU package as a single chip that helps deliver better performance and high power efficiency. There is also a Neural Engine for artificial intelligence (AI) acceleration.
In addition to the new chips, we talk about the 16-inch MacBook Pro (2021) and 14-inch MacBook Pro (2021) as a whole. The new machines have upgraded specifications as well as an improved design and additional ports over what we had earlier. You will get an HDMI port and an SDXC card slot.
MacBook Pro (2021) price in India begins at Rs. 1,94,900 for the 14-inch variant, while the 16-inch model starts at Rs. 2,39,900.
As a distinctive move, the new MacBook Pro models carry a notch — just like the latest iPhone models. The notch helps Apple provide better screen-to-body ratio and pixel count. It is also not as prominently visible as the notch on the iPhone when the MacBook Pros are in use — thanks to the top bar that appears mostly on all apps.
The new MacBook Pros also come with mini-LED displays that are expected to help improve the viewing experience. There are also physical function keys on the keyboard as Apple has decided to ditch the Touch Bar.
After talking about the new MacBook Pro models, we move to the AirPods (3rd generation) that come as the successor to the AirPods (2nd generation) and look similar to the AirPods Pro. Ali joins the discussion to tell us about the key updates and whether one should go for the new AirPods or continue with the existing model.
We also touch upon the Apple Music Voice plan that is priced at Rs. 49 a month. It is specifically meant for accessing the Apple Music collection via Siri — using your voice. The arrival of the new plan seems more like a marketing gimmick to expand the usage of Siri and project it as a strong competitor against the likes of Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
There are also the new HomePod mini colours, namely Blue, Orange, Space Grey, and Yellow. These are aimed to attract people looking for colourful accessories in their rooms. The HomePod mini price starts at Rs. 9,900.
You can listen to the complete discussion by hitting the play button on the embedded player above.
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