Apple unveils new MacBook Pro laptops alongside faster chips

The tech giant also announced new AirPods and new colour options for the HomePod Mini.

Apple has unveiled two new MacBook Pro laptops alongside new versions of its own-design computer chips, making them the most powerful Pro devices it has ever made, the company says.

The new MacBook Pro range will be powered by Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, which the company said would offer substantial performance boosts on the first M1 chip, which was only introduced last year.

The electronics giant is in the process of introducing its own silicon to all its computers, replacing Intel processors and greatly improving performance compared with its rivals, the firm claims.

Apple said these latest versions would be several times faster than the original M1 but use significantly less power in the process.

The chips will be available first in the newly announced MacBook Pro – Apple’s top-of-the-range laptop, which will come in either a 14.2 or 16.2-inch size, with an HDMI port and SD card slot being reintroduced, alongside the popular MagSafe magnetic charger that had disappeared in recent years.

The new MacBook Pro screen also adds a now-signature Apple feature – with the camera notch seen on the iPhone added to the top of the display.

New Apple MacBook Pro
The MacBook Pro now features Apple’s camera notch, normally seen on the iPhone, for the first time (Apple)

Industry expert Ben Wood, chief analyst at CCS Insight, said: “There will be a huge sigh of relief from prospective MacBook Pro owners that Apple has seen the light when it comes to built-in ports.

“The inclusion of an HDMI port, SD card slot, four USB-C ports and a MagSafe connector for the power cord is a victory for common sense.”

Going on sale next week, the 14-inch MacBook Pro starts at £1,899, while the 16-inch starts at £2,399.

Alongside the laptops, Apple also unveiled a new generation of its AirPods wireless earphones with better battery life, and wireless charging capabilities for the carry case for the first time.

They too will go on sale next week, priced at £169.

And the HomePod Mini smart speaker is being made available in a range of new colours.

“The advent of Apple Silicon has been a shot in the arm for the MacBook line-up and today’s announcement underlines Apple’s determination to accelerate the growth of its laptop business,” Mr Wood said of the announcements.

“The performance of the M1 chip in MacBook products released to date is a major endorsement of Apple’s investment in custom silicon. The M1 Pro and the M1 Max chips take this to new levels with further improvements in performance and battery life.”

“AirPods has turned into a very lucrative business for Apple and turbocharged the adoption of wireless earbuds across the industry. AirPods 3 will add further momentum to the franchise and they arrive at the perfect time as we head into the lucrative holiday quarter.”

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