WWDC 2023: Mac Pro finally gets Apple Silicon, Apple launches new Mac Studio and a bigger 15-inch MacBook Air

At WWDC 2023, Apple finally introduced the Mac Pro custom Apple chip. The company has also introduced a new MacBook Air 15 with M2 SoC.

By Abhik Sengupta: Apple launched a bunch of new Mac computers, including an all-new Mac Pro with a custom Apple M2 Ultra SoC, at the WWDC 2023 on June 5. The company also refreshed the MacBook Air with a 15-inch display. The Mac Studio which was first unveiled last year, can now be configured with M2-series chips. During the event, Apple said that with the new launches, Apple completed its transition from Intel-based processors to custom ARM-based Apple chipsets. The new Apple computers will also launch in India.

MacBook Air 15

Starting with the MacBook Air, the new laptop is similar to MacBook 13, but with a bigger 15-inch display. Apple says the MacBook Air 15 is the slimmest 15-inch laptop in the segment, which promises “all-day” battery life. In terms of looks, the new MacBook Air looks similar to its predecessors, meaning the port connectivity and many features remain the same. It is powered by an M2 SoC, similar to the 13-inch MacBook Air.

The laptop comes in four colours — midnight, starlight, silver, and space grey, and starts at Rs 1,34,900 for regular customers and Rs 1,24,900 for educational customers.

In terms of specifications, there’s a 15.3-inch LED display with 2880×1864 pixels resolution (QHD+) and a standard 60Hz refresh rate. The display promises 500nits of brightness, though Apple notes this is 25 per cent brighter than most Windows-running PC laptops. The MacBook Air 15 port connectivity options include a MagSafe charging port, a Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB-4 port, and a USB 3.1 Gen port. There’s also going to be a 3.5mm headphone jack, which could be the preferred option by many creators who like wired on-ear headphones.

As mentioned earlier, Apple at WWDC touted the MacBook Air 15 as the “lightest” 15-inch laptop. Other key features include Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.3 support, 1080p FaceTime camera, and a six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers. Lastly, Apple says that the new chip also enables the MacBook Air 15 to offer up to 18 hours of battery life.

Mac Studio

The new Studio can be configured with Apple M2 Max and M2 Ultra chips. As the name suggests, the M2 Ultra chips unlock more power. The chip leverages the power of M2 Pro SoCs. It features up to 24-core CPU (16 performance and eight efficiency cores), up to 60-core GPU, up to 32-core Neural Engine, and standard 64GB unified memory. The company points out users can add up to 192GB of unified memory. Additionally, storage can be increased to up to 8TB.

Physical port options include a 3.5mm headphones jack, an HDMI port, four Thunderbolt ports, and two USB 3.1 Gen 2 ports. There’s also an ethernet port with up to 10Gb of speed support. If users select the Mac Studio with M2 Max SoC, then the device includes two USB-C ports. Wireless connectivity options include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3.

The Mac Studio looks similar to last year’s model, though the M2 Ultra variant weighs 3.62 kg. The M2 Max variant weighs 2.70 kg. Users will need to buy a monitor to connect the Mac Studio to.

Apple notes the Mac Studio with M2 Ultra is up to 3x faster than the previous-generation Mac Studio with M1 Ultra and up to 6x faster than the Intel-based 27-inch iMac.

The Mac Studio with M2 Max Soc starts at Rs 2,09,900, while the model with M2 Ultra SoC starts at Rs 4,19,900.

Mac Pro

Finally, Apple has also introduced a new Mac Pro with M2 Ultra SoC. It features the same cheesegrater-like design but with improved features to aid professional creators.

The base unified memory board is 64GB, though it can be increased to up to 128GB of unified memory. The storage can also be increased to 8TB. Apple says the new Mac Pro can simultaneously support up to eight displays with 4K resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate. Whereas, it can support three displays with up to 8K resolution at 60Hz.

The box would also include an Apple keyboard and mouse. The Mac Pro features seven PCle expansion slots, with six open expansion slots that support Gen 4. Its connectivity options include eight built-in Thunderbolt 4 ports — six on the back and two on the top. Additionally, Mac Pro includes three USB-A ports, two higher-bandwidth HDMI ports that support up to 8K resolution and up to 240Hz frame rates, two 10Gb Ethernet ports, and a headphone jack to enable the use of high-impedance headphones.

Available in both tower and rack-mounted enclosures, Mac Pro (Tower Enclosure) starts at Rs 7,29,900 and Rs 6,87,900 for education. The Mac Pro (Rack Enclosure) starts at Rs 7,79,900 and Rs 7,27,900 for education. Additional technical specifications and configure-to-order options will be available at the Apple Store.

At WWDC 2023, Apple finally introduced the Mac Pro custom Apple chip. The company has also introduced a new MacBook Air 15 with M2 SoC.

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