Although we should have expected Apple to leave Macbook Pro announcements so late in the year, plenty of creatives have been clamouring for a Macbook Pro that allows them to do their jobs to the best of their capabilities. Thankfully, alongside other products, the machine of their (current) dreams has finally arrived.
A Macbook Pro for the pros
Let’s start with the fact that the HDMI and SD card slots are back, along with the return of the MagSafe charging cable. It’s a massive plus for all Macbook Pro users, whether they’re opting for the 14-inch or 16-inch model. There’s a redesigned keyboard with function keys replacing the much-maligned Touch Bar, but some of the more attractive elements are housed within and showing on your screen.
Now powered by the brand new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, display quality has surged, of course, being tailor-made for the Mini LED displays supporting Apple’s 120Hz refresh rate. But it doesn’t stop there. 120Hz brings added fluidity, yet Apple revealed the device will automatically adjust the refresh rate based on what you’re doing.
You’ll have the option to lock refresh rates when video editing, for example, but you can also set the refresh rate to drop when your screen is static. Speaking of the screen, not everyone is convinced by the iPhone-style notch for the camera, but the fact that it’s a 1080p camera with a wider aperture and a larger image sensor means it should provide better low-light performance.
In the iPhone X, the reason given for the camera notch was that it was needed for face ID purposes. The Macbook Pro however does not have this tech yet, so anti-notchers won’t be too happy about that. Overall though, it’s a fantastic piece of equipment that will surely take pros to the next level in their work.
MagSafe return is only good news
Bringing back the fast-releasing magnetic charger is a godsend for the clumsy or forgetful among us. How many times have you picked up your laptop to show your latest creation to your superior, only to drag your charging cable with you, along with mugs, papers, books and that half-eaten sandwich you were saving for later?
The two-metre-long MagSafe 3 solves that issue by disconnecting in such scenarios, but it also offers fast-charging power that can take you to a 50% charge in half an hour. To be fair though, Apple didn’t provide detailed specs about how that was achieved. In any case, it’s still pretty impressive. And mighty helpful too.
New AirPods with shorter stems
Featuring shorter stems than ever, sporting a battery life of six hours of continuous listening, AirPods III pack quite the punch on the true-wireless headphone scene. In terms of listening, using the case will give you 30 hours, but of course, we’re not here to judge solely on battery life.
The third-gen AirPods are water and sweat-resistant (rejoice!), and they also have an adaptive equaliser that automatically tunes and perfects audio output.
Like the AirPods Pro, head-tracking is supported which also applies when watching video content. Apple also said that they’ve improved microphone performance allowing for full HD voice quality, especially for FaceTime calls.
There’s one major downside, we feel, with these AirPods. Since they carry an open design that rests in your ear, they lack active noise cancellation, which is a key feature that many look for these days. Well, you can’t please everyone, can you?
Are you happy with these announcements from Apple? What else would you have liked to see? Tell us in the comments!