Another Apple Event has been and gone. But what did Santa Cook have in his magic bag the Apple Peek Performance Event? Lots of things. More specifically, these things:
Looking like a Mac Mini someone extruded upwards with a gigantic vacuum cleaner, Mac Studio is Apple’s answer to people who’ve been howling MAC PRO MINI into the wind for years.
It’s ludicrously powerful, not least when you configure it with an M1 Ultra chip, whose specs merrily boot the Mac Pro’s into the sea. There’s loads of I/O too, including three ports on the front. Whatever would ultra-minimalist Jony Ive say? Tsk.
Stuff says: From an aesthetic standpoint, we’re not yet convinced. It’s a metal box. But for creatives demanding power and modularity, the Mac Studio looks like a winner.
M1 Ultra chip
Hang on, you say: M1 Ultra? Yep. Apple decided that there was another modifier to bolt on to the end of M1 if you reckon Pro isn’t Pro enough and Max isn’t Max enough.
The Ultra is essentially two M1 Max chips glued together, but using ‘UltraFusion packaging architecture’ rather than, say, PVA. The result will terrify the competition – and also your wallet. The M1 Ultra doesn’t come cheap, not least when you buy one with a whopping 128GB of integrated RAM.
Stuff says: All those people who keep claiming Apple’s lead in desktop chips is going to rapidly disappear any day now? Yeah. It looks like they’re very wrong.
For years, we’d been hoping Apple would look at the depressing paucity of 5K displays on the market, take the Mac out of an iMac, and sell the result. With the Studio Display, Apple… hasn’t done that. It’s gone one better.
What you get does somewhat resemble the new iMac, only with a bigger display (27in). But this isn’t just a display. Within the skinny black bezel lurks a 12MP camera, like the one you get in current iPads. There’s a three-mic array and six-speaker sound system. You get three USB-C ports and a Thunderbolt port that delivers 96W of power. There’s even an option for a tilt and height adjustment stand. Imagine! (Apple iMac design team, take note.)
Stuff says: At £1499, it’s not cheap, but it doesn’t cost that much more than LG’s wobbly 5K effort from some time ago – yet on paper looks far better. Hopefully, Stuff will be gawping at one soon for review.
A catch-up iPad Air
Remember when the new iPad mini came out and kicked the iPad Air into touch? Then remember when the 9th-gen iPad ended up with a better camera than the iPad Air? The iPad Air does. It was the same day.
Now it’s time for Apple’s lagging tablet to dry its eyes. This new(ish) iPad Air blazes along with 5G connectivity and an M1 chip, and there’s a new camera that’s the same one that you get in all the other iPads. Finally.
Stuff says: We’d have liked the entry-level model’s storage to be bumped up from 64GB, but otherwise at (from) £569, this tablet looks like it’ll offer great value.
A powerful new/old iPhone SE
Apple calls the iPhone SE design ‘iconic’. Which is a nice way of saying ‘old’. Yes, the new SE looks like the old SE, which resembles the iPhone 8. Boo. But something something skin deep, as ever, because inside this iPhone is an A15 Bionic.
If that’s all gibberish to you, what it means is this entry-level blower (from £419) has the same chip as Apple’s current flagship, which wipes the floor with anything Android. In a dig to the competition, Apple also noted during its event that this device will get “the latest iOS updates for years to come”.
Stuff says: It looks old hat, but that new chip will make this cheapest of iPhones scream. 5G connectivity is very welcome too.
Some green iPhones
Apple took its green credentials in a more literal direction with a mid-cycle refresh to the iPhone 13 line. Yes, we’re getting a new colour – or, more accurately, new colours.
The Pro models get the fancy new ‘Alpine Green’, while the standard models get plain old ‘Green’. Kermit would be proud. Everything else is the same, but Apple helpfully also gives you a photo of a preying mantis on its press release, because green.
And US hittystick on Apple TV+
Apple started its event by saying nice things about Apple TV+. The service has lots of shows that are winning awards, which we’re sure is lovely for Apple. Whatever. We’re still mad about Apple drip-feeding Severance, because we need to know what happens next, dammit.
Anyway, Apple announced that a game where Americans smack a ball with a bat and run around a square will be coming to Apple TV+ every Friday. At least if you’re in the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Japan, Mexico, Puerto Rico, South Korea or the UK. So get ready to give it a swing.
Stuff says: Baseball? On British telly? It’s just not cricket! (Thank heavens – Rest of the World.) Er. We guess if you like baseball, go you! Strike one! Etc!