Apple have today announced the upcoming release of three new additions to the Mac computer line-up at their annual Worldwide Developers Conference: new 15-inch MacBook Air powered by the latest M2 chip, an updated Mac Studio equipped with either the M2 Max or new M2 Ultra chip, and finally, the long-awaited Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro.
The first of the new announcements comes in the form of a 15.3-inch MacBook Air powered by an M2 processor. Sticking with the compact and lightweight formula which has defined the Air line-up, this latest offering measures just 11.5mm thick, and weighs only 1.36kg. Despite its compact form factor, it is the most powerful version yet, and is said to be 12x faster than the most powerful Intel-based MacBook Air.
Two Thunderbolt 4 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack are present, and power is delivered via the latest version of the popular MagSafe connector. The Air features a built-in 1080p webcam, whilst a six-speaker audio system with force-cancelling woofers promises to deliver immersive spatial audio. Battery life is specified as an impressive 18 hours use on a single charge.
As with the rest of the current Air range, the new model is available in four colours: Silver, Space Grey, Starlight and Midnight.
Released last year, the Mac Studio has proved to be a popular choice for both home and professional users. The latest version retains the same physical design and connectivity options as the original model, but can be ordered with either an M2 Max processor, or the newly announced M2 Ultra. The base model Studio now features a 12-core CPU and up to a 38-core GPU.
Created by connecting together two M2 Max dies with Apple’s ultra fusion technology, the new M2 Ultra boasts a 24-core CPU, and up to a 76-core GPU offering CPU and GPU performance gains of 20% and 30% respectively when compared to the M1 Ultra.
Maximum RAM capacity has also seen an increase, with M2 Max-powered machines offering up to 96GB of unified memory, and M2 Ultra-equipped Mac Studios capable of supporting up to 192GB.
Until today’s announcement, Apple’s high-end Mac Pro machines were the last in the company’s range to still employ Intel processors. With the launch of the latest version, however, the Mac Pro will now utilise an M2 Ultra CPU, offering all of the performance benefits of the latest Apple Silicon processors whilst still providing users with the option of expanding their system using up to six additional PCIe Gen 4 cards.
The design remains the same as the previous version, with both desktop and rackmount chassis options available. Eight Thunderbolt 4 ports are present, along with a pair of HDMI ports, three USB-A ports, dual 10Gb Ethernet ports, WiFi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The new version is able to drive up to six Pro Display XDR screens, and Apple say that it is up to 3x faster than the most powerful Intel-based model.
Pricing & Availability
All of the new models are available to order now (5 June 2023), and will begin shipping next week. Pricing for each model is as follows:
- MacBook Air 15: From $1299
- Mac Studio: From $1999
- Mac Pro: From $6999