Apple released two MacBooks that are unlike any other laptops they have ever produced before. The two laptops come in the form of MacBook Air and MacBook Pro 13. What makes them unique is the new CPUs powering then and the new Mac OS they premiere.
Apple has been using Intel CPUs in their laptop line up while utilizing custom ARM based CPUs on the iPhone, iPad and watches. Now, for the first time ever, Apple is using custom ARM based CPUs on their laptops too, in other words, the laptops are using same kind of CPUs found in their phones and tablets. This might make many frown thinking that CPUs made for handheld devices will not provide the power needed to handle resource-intensive laptop tasks. However, the company claims that the new CPU, Apple M1, outperforms the Intel chips that powered the previous version of the MacBook Air and the Pro 13, as well as “80% of PCs” in the market right now.
The shift to a new iPhone-like CPU architecture, in conjuction to the new Mac OS 11 Big Sur, brings the ability for MacBooks to run iOS apps made for phones and iPads natively, yes you can now use your favorite iPhone app on your MacBook! In case you are worried about the compatibility with software made for Intel powered Macs, Apple has a solution, Rosetta 2, which enables the software that hasn’t been updated to the new architecture to run seamlessly.
The M1, being an smartphone-like chip means that the new laptops will be very battery efficiency, they run cool, so cool such that the MacBook Air doesn’t even have a fan. The MacBook Pro 13 has a fan though, which enables its M1 to run at higher sustained performance. Back to the battery life, MacBook Air promises a whopping 15 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of streaming movies on Apple TV app. The Pro 13 lasts even longer, 17 and 20 hours in those two areas respectively.
The MacBook Air has a 7 core M1 and goes for $999 while the MacBook Pro 13 has an 8-core M1 plus touch bar and costs $1,299. Brace yourselves for the M1 transition, Apple plans to shift its entire computer line up to ARM based chips within two years. Its already happening with these two laptops and a $699 Mac Mini running on M1 as well.