Typical. For once, Apple announces an event that airs at a sociable time for New Zealanders to enjoy and… it’s pretty uneventful. Yes, we got the M3 chip, but Apple couldn’t be bothered to put it in too many things to justify its existence. No Mac mini, no big-screen Mac or 13in laptops.
The whole thing was all over in half an hour, which is enormously abridged by Apple standards. The Verge was able to condense that down to ten if half an hour feels like too much corporate self aggrandisement for one day.
If that still feels like too much, here’s the executive summary of Apple’s announcements in print.
- Apple M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max
With its two previous M chips, Apple has saved the Pro, Max and Ultra versions for a later date. But this time, the company decided to launch all three at once — mainly, presumably, because the new large MacBook Pros needed them.
So, what can you expect? Well, the M3 performance cores are 15% faster than its M2 version, and 30% faster than its M1 equivalent.
Because the chips are built to the 3nm manufacturing process, they’re also more efficient. And Apple says the efficiency cores are 30% and 50% faster than their M1 and M2 equivalents. That means you can get better battery life if you’re using an M3 laptop, or less mains drain if you’re using a desktop.
Which brings us onto…
- The 24in M3 iMac
The iMac hasn’t seen a refresh since the 24in model arrived with M1 back in 2021. And while there’s still no sign of the promised 32in version, the colourful desktop has been dragged into 2023 with the M3 chipset.
No other changes to speak of — not even new colours, and the Magic Keyboard, Mouse and Trackpad all still have Lightning connectors for some reason. But you can at least now buy one with the basic M3 chipset.
Prices start at NZ$2,499 — or NZ$3,249 if you want two extra GPU cores and 512GB storage. They’ll be on sale from November 7.
- 14in and 16in MacBook Pros
If you want to test the power of M3 Pro and M3 Max, then you’ll need one of Apple’s new MacBook Pros.
These once again come in two sizes, with 14 or 16 inch screens, and are mostly unchanged, except for the presence of a new Space Black colour scheme, which Apple says is less susceptible to getting unsightly fingerprint smudges.
If you’re looking to get a big(ish) screen MacBook on the cheap(ish), you’ll be pleased to hear that Apple is letting you buy a 14in model with a basic M3 chip, rather than requiring you to go all in on Pro or Ultra specs as with the last generation.
“Cheap” is relative, of course, and the lowest-cost configuration will still set you back NZ$3,199. If you want the 16in version with the M3 Max chip, prices start at NZ$6,549 — and that can go up to NZ$13,024 if you want 8TB of SSD storage and a frankly ludicrous 128GB of memory.
Like the iMac, the new MacBooks go on sale on November 7.