Apple announces new M1 MacBook Pros with display notch as well as third-generation AirPods

As expected, Apple has announced new MacBook Pro laptops during its Unleashed virtual event held this morning (Oct 19, 1AM SGT).

Available in two screen sizes of 14.2 inches and 16.2 inches – both with 120Hz refresh rate – the MacBook Pros (MBPs) feature a similar display notch first found on iPhone X’s display. This notch houses a 1080p FaceTime HD camera with new four-element lens and f/2.0 aperture. According to Apple, the menu bar is raised up and around the notch, so you do not lose any screen estate. Interestingly, no Face ID technology is included.

The new MacBook Pro features a display notch. (Photo: Apple)

The re-designed MBPs feature Apple’s new M1 Pro processor with 33.7 transistors – or twice that of M1 chip – and an even faster M1 Max processor with 3.5 times more transistors than M1 chip. In other words, both new processors are very very fast! Amazingly fast!

With the re-design, Apple has also brought back the ports that many consumers have missed when the Cupertino tech giant introduced the USB-C-only MBPs back in 2016. Yes, you are reading this right. The new MBPs come with a HDMI port, a SD card reader and a headphone jack.

The ports are back! (Photo: Apple)

But fret not, there are still three Thunderbolt 4 (or USB-C) ports for your usage. In other words, the new MBPs (with M1 Max chip) can connect up to three Apple Pro Display XDR monitors and a 4K TV without an adapter.

The new MBPs see the introduction of a new MagSafe 3 charging port. However, the laptops can be still be charged via its USB-C ports, according to Apple.

In addition, the much-maligned Touch Bar that has been around since 2016 is gone too. Instead, the physical function keys are back with a Magic keyboard. This keyboard is said to offer the familiar tactile feel of mechanical keyboards that pro users love.

The Touch Bar is gone, replaced by physical function keys. (Photo: Apple)

The 14-inch M1 MBP starts from S$2,999, while the 16-inch model starts from S$3,749. Both MBPs will be available for order soon on Apple Online Store. But local availability of these new laptops is yet to be confirmed.

At the same time, the third generation of Apple’s true wireless earbuds AirPods is here. It looks like a combination of AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro, featuring shorter stems and more rounded body. But it does not come with replaceable ear tips.

The rumours are right about the 3rd-generation Apple AirPods. (Photo: Apple)

The new earbuds are sweat and water resistant with an IPX4 rating, so you can wear them for your workouts or jogs in the rain.

The new AirPods are sweat and water resistant. (Photo: Apple)

The AirPods (3rd generation) also has a longer battery life of 6 hours, compared to 5 hours of AirPods (2nd generation). The charging case supports wireless charging as well as Apple’s MagSafe charging system. The case extends the new AirPods’ battery life to 30 hours.

The 3rd-generation AirPods charging case supports MagSafe. (Photo: Apple)

Priced at S$269, the AirPods (3rd generation) will be available to order soon from Apple Store.

However, the 2nd-generation AirPods (S$199) is still available, thus making the AirPods (3rd generation) the mid-range model of Apple’s true wireless earbuds offering. In addition, the flagship AirPods Pro now comes with MagSafe Charging Case for S$379.

Trevor Tan

Started out with dreams to become a street photographer, Trevor Tan somehow became a tech journalist with over 16 years of consumer tech experience. Maybe he plays too much video games and buys too many new gadgets.
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