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Apple’s. InMost importantly, the new Mac hardware was nowhere to be seen. After a seven-month stretch that brought us the new , still no sign of the Apple Silicon Mac Pro, the bigger-screen MacBook Pro, or the 27-inch iMac.
As part of its aggressive move away from Intel-powered computers, the company introduced the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini desktops using its own M1 processor in late 2020. In April 2021, the iMac was the smaller of the two desktop models. a. redesigned with. The last new Intel-powered Mac to be announced was the Intel Core i9 , which was most notable for adding an excellent 1080p webcam, a version of which is now in the 24-inch iMac.
But what was left out of the first two iterations of the M1 Macs were systems for high-end creative professionals who rely on the more powerful Mac Pro or 16-inch MacBook Pro. M1 Macs are currently limited to 16GB of RAM and don’t offer the discrete AMD graphics card available in some Intel-powered Macs.
With WWDC so focused on developers, this would have been the perfect time to introduce new Mac hardware to these power users,. New MacBook Pro models, potentially 14- and 16-inch versions, are still a possibility this summer or later in 2021.
Considering new macOS updates and potentially upcoming hardware, here’s what sits in the current Mac lineup, and who should consider buying now and who should consider waiting.
with himIntroduced in late 2020, the classic $999 MacBook Air has once again become one of the most universally useful laptops you can buy. It has essentially the same M1 CPU as the 13-inch Pro and 24-inch iMac, along with excellent battery life and a slim, lightweight design. The biggest performance differences between M1 systems come from the seven-versus eight-core graphics built into the M1, and the additional performance overhead available in systems with fans like the MacBook Pro and 24-inch iMac, which make the system warmer, longer lets run.
For students, writers, working from home, and most mainstream users, I still think the MacBook Air is a great value and a good place to start (and probably end) your hunt for a new computer. represents.
My view on the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro hasn’t changed much since it was introduced last year. You’re paying for a slightly brighter screen, Touch Bar, and fan-based cooling, with essentially the same performance in the less expensive Air. Unless you’re a fan of the Touch Bar, I’d live with the wind.
The 16-inch Pro remains an Intel-only system, and can ramp up to 64GB of RAM and an AMD 5600M GPU, making it more suitable for true “Pro” users who’ve built on Apple silicon Macs until then. Live until something like this happens. The rumored M2 variant with GPU support.
The often-overlooked Mac Mini is the least expensive way to get both a macOS system and an M1 device. In testing, we found that it delivers performance equal to or slightly better than the M1 MacBook Pro, which costs almost twice as much. But the Mac mini is also a niche product. This is great if you’re working on a lot of taxing work or podcasting on video and want to use your own display and input devices. This is a great computer for small production studios, as it can be mounted almost anywhere.
The 24-inch iMac is the first Mac designed from the ground up as the M1 system, and also the first major design update to the iMac line in nearly eight years. While it doesn’t move the bar on the performance or component options of the earlier M1 Macs, the excellent camera, very light weight and small, smart looking design all come together to make this a great family or home office computer. I would consider it best for the work-from-home type who wants a bigger screen.
The Mac Pro feels like a lifetime away from anything like the MacBook Air. It’s been through several completely different iterations over the yearsBy . Starting at $6,000, no one is going to confuse it for the M1 Mac. It starts with Intel Xeon processors and offers various AMD Radeon GPUs and up to 1.5TB of RAM (that’s literally a $25,000 upgrade). And don’t forget the $400 wheels.
My advice as of now is that, if you’re looking forward to a pro-level new Mac equipped with AMD, either go with the Intel versions still available, which will be supported for years to come, or look at this. Keep waiting for what happens later in 2021. If you’re a student or casual user looking to buy a new MacBook, I can safely say that after seven months, I’ve only had some very minor compatibility issues with the M1 MacBook Air, And it’s my pick for the most practical Mac. I’m still waiting for the 27-inch version of the new iMac, but the 24-inch model has almost everything I want, as long as you’re okay with the smaller screen.