Apple has made a big switch for its two most popular MacBooks: the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air will now come with the company’s own custom M1 chip, which integrates the CPU, GPU and a Neural Engine. The new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air both come in 13-inch display sizes. While Apple will continue selling the Intel-based version of the MacBook Pro, the same has been discontinued for the MacBook Air.
But what do the two new MacBooks offer to customers and what has changed compared to previous versions. We explain in detail below.
Apple MacBook Air, Pro with M1 processor: Price compared to Intel versions
The MacBook Air with Intel processors was actually updated back in March 2020, and Apple had introduced it at a lowered price of Rs 92,900 for the base 256GB version at the time. This MacBook Air is no longer listed on the Apple website for sale.
The new MacBook Air with the M1 processor starts at the same price of Rs 92,900 for the 256GB version. The higher storage 512GB variant will start at Rs 1,17,900. So technically, the new MacBook Air retains the same price.
Apple is giving the option of upgrading memory and storage on the MacBook Air with the M1 processor. This feature can be availed on the Apple website at the time of purchase. In order to increase the memory to 16GB, users will have to pay Rs 20,000 extra. For 1TB storage space on the 512GB version, it will cost Rs 20,000 extra, and for 2TB storage, it will cost Rs 60,000 more. Apple is also giving customers the option of pre-loading Final Cut Pro X at Rs 24,900 and Logic Cut Pro X at Rs 15,900 respectively.
The new MacBook Pro with M1 processor and 13-inch display starts at Rs 1,22,900 for the 256GB storage version with 8GB memory. This is the same price as the Intel variant, which was also upgraded in May this year. The 512GB version of the MacBook Pro with M1 processor will cost Rs 1,42,900. Once again customers have the option of increasing memory to 16GB for Rs 20,000. They can also upgrade storage to up to 2TB at the time of purchase similar to the MacBook Air variant.
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While the Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch with Intel will still be sold, it is no longer listed as available for purchase on the website. The 16-inch Apple MacBook Pro with Intel processor is however, available for purchase starting at Rs 1,99,900 for the base 256GB version with the six-core Intel Core i7 processor.
Apple MacBook Air with M1 vs MacBook Air with Intel: Specifications
With the new MacBook Air, the biggest change is the processor, which also impacts the battery performance, as Apple claims its System on Chip (SoC) ensures better power efficiency compared to the traditional processors seen on older laptops. Apple’s M1 processor integrates CPU, GPU and includes a 16-core Neural engine for machine learning and AI-related tasks.
The MacBook Air with M1 has an 8-core CPU, which is divided into four high performance cores and four efficiency cores. It also includes an eight core GPU for graphics. In comparison, the Apple MacBook Air with Intel processors came with the dual-core Intel Core i3, i5 and i7 processors.
The other change is on the battery performance, which is also driven by the higher efficiency of the new M1 processor. Apple is promising up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and upto 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback with the new MacBook Air. The Intel versions had up to 11 hours wireless web and up to 12 hours Apple TV app movie playback. Keep in mind both have the same integrated 49.9-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery and come with a 30W USB-C Power Adapter.
The new MacBook Air with M1 retains the same 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology with 2560 x 1600 pixels and 400 nits brightness with True Tone technology as the earlier version. The dimensions are also the same at 0.16–0.63 inches height, 11.97 inches width and 8.36 inches depth. The new MacBook Air weighs the same at 1.29 kg.
Apple’s new MacBook Air continues with the 720p FaceTime HD camera, though the company says the new M1 processor comes with its improved image signal processor (ISP) which will ensure higher quality video with better noise reduction, greater dynamic range, and improved auto white balance.
The MacBook Air with M1 also has Stereo speakers along with wide stereo sound and support for Dolby Atmos playback and a three-mic array with directional beamforming. The 3.5mm headphone jack continues on the MacBook Air.
The keyboard also continues to be the Backlit Magic Keyboard, which was introduced on the 2020 version, and the MacBook Air will also have Touch ID along with the Force Touch trackpad seen on the previous variants.
Another difference on the MacBook Air is that it now comes with 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6, which is much faster compared to 802.11ac Wi-Fi seen on the previous generation. It also includes Bluetooth 5 support. Apple has also gone for two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports compared to the two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports on the previous version.
Apple MacBook Pro with M1 vs MacBook Pro with Intel: Specifications
Apple’s MacBook Pro with M1 processor has the same eight-core integrated SoC as the MacBook Air. The earlier MacBook Pro, which was upgraded in 2020 as well comes with Intel Core i5 and Core i7 processor options, though these are are quad-core processors. It also comes with Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645 for graphics.
Once again, the memory on both variants is 8GB, though, Apple does offer an upgrade to 16GB. Storage starts at 256GB and going up to 2TB for both the M1 and Intel versions of the MacBook Pro. The new MacBook Pro retains the same 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display with IPS technology and a 2560×1600 pixels resolution with 500 nits brightness. Dimensions are the same: 0.61 inches height, 11.97 inches width and 8.36 inches depth with 1.4 kg weight.
It continues with BackLit Magic Keyboard, Force Touch trackpad, Touch Bar on top and Touch ID sensor. The MacBook Pro also has the same stereo speakers with high dynamic range, support for Wide stereo sound and Dolby Atmos playback as well as a three-mic array with directional and a 3.5mm headphone jack.
The big difference is on the battery front with the MacBook Pro offering up to 17 hours wireless web and 20 hours of Apple TV app movie playback. This is significantly higher compared to the 2020 version which had up to 10 hours wireless web and Apple TV app movie playback. Once again, the battery size is the same on both versions: an integrated 58.2-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery with a 61W USB-C Power Adapter.
The new MacBook Pro also gets two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, compared to the two Thunderbolt (USB-C 3 ports) on the previous version. It also continues with the 720 p FaceTime HD camera. The new MacBook Pro also gets the better WiFi 6 and has Bluetooth 5 support as well.
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