Apple debuts new MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 chip

Posted:
in macOS edited November 2020
Apple's M1 chip "changes everything" in a new MacBook Air, which Apple claims is three times faster than 98% of the PC laptops sold in the last year -- and without a fan.




Announced at its November 10 event, the first device with Apple Silicon is the MacBook Air. Reusing the same chassis as the previous model, Apple said that the new MacBook air is up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation.

The new MacBook Air retains the pricing of the previous model, starting at $999, or $899 for education buyers. Apple has announced that pre-orders begin today.

"MacBook Air is the most popular Mac," said Apple's Mac Product Line Manager, Laura Metz. "In fact, it's the world's best selling 13 inch notebook users love it stunning Retina display, great everyday performance and incredible portability, all in a sleek wedge shaped design."

The MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 has an 8-core CPU, and comes with up to an 8-core GPU. Apple says this makes graphics up to 5x faster than the previous generation, while Machine Learning runs at up to 9x faster.

"These days, users are working more from home, learning remotely, and using the Air to stay connected. making performance and battery life, extremely important," continued Metz. "We're thrilled that our first chip for the Mac enables the MacBook Air to do things that were previously impossible on such a thin and light notebook."

"So if you're editing family photos or exporting a video for the web with iMovie, the new air blazes right through it," he continued. "Or if you're working in Lightroom, you can manage huge raw libraries that are unheard of speeds, turning your Air into a mobile photo studio."

The new MacBook Air with Apple Silicon M1 has no fans, which Apple says means it runs completely silently. Apple also claims that it has the longest battery life ever in a MacBook Air, with a quoted 15 hours maximum wireless web browsing, and 18 hours of video playback.

The display is the same 2560x1600 resolution as the previous MacBook Air. The webcam is a 720p model, also the same as the earlier MacBook Air. Wi-Fi has been upgraded to Wi-Fi 6, and Bluetooth remains at version 5.0

The new GPU in the MacBook Air is capable of supporting the Apple Pro Display XDR, at 6K resolution at 60Hz.

Preorders for the new MacBook Air have already started. Prices begin at $999 for a model with the M1 chip with seven GPU cores, 8GB of integrated RAM, and 256 GB of SSD storage. A model with the M1 chip, eight GPU cores, and 512GB of SSD storage retails for $1249.

An upgrade to 16GB of unified memory costs $200 on all models.
watto_cobra
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Yes! 

    I need to upgrade my 2015 Air - this is exactly what I was waiting for.

    And as I suspected, the RAM is integrated into the SOC and that delivers a huge speed boost.  I’ll bet the graphics memory is shared with main - doesn’t matter nearly as much with this approach.  Win Win.

    I’m sure fixed memory will set off all the “whhaaaa - what about upgrades (that few ever do)?!?”. As long as it has at least 16GB I’ll be good.  

    Also unsurprising but welcome they announced that it has no fan.  It shouldn’t be a hotplate like my 2015 is even with a fan. 

    Can’t wait for the Apple Store to come back online!
    edited November 2020 tmaywilliamlondonjony0ronnraoulduke42watto_cobraiqatedo
  • Reply 2 of 130
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,210member
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄
    CheeseFreezeParadroid
  • Reply 3 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. ߙ䦬t;/div>
    You aren’t buying a collection of parts, your buying functionality.

    If you don’t think the value proposition works for you, don’t buy it.  Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t raise the price - this little thing called inflation means they are already grossing less just from that alone.  

    If you want cheap crap there are plenty of other vendors to choose from out there.  Have at it.   I have no problem paying for a better experience.  I originally typed out paying more for a better experience, but comparing previous Air to this one you aren’t paying more for a machine that appears to be better in every way.

    Yup - damn those greedy Apple bustards!
    edited November 2020 StrangeDaystmayRayz2016Beatsericthehalfbeefastasleepchiawilliamlondoncornchipronn
  • Reply 4 of 130
    mwhitemwhite Posts: 264member
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄

    Shut up!!!!
    StrangeDaysSpamSandwichBeatsfastasleepwilliamlondoncornchipronnrezwitsuraharawatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 130
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,210member
    docno42 said:
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. ߙ䦬t;/div>
    You aren’t buying a collection of parts, your buying functionality.

    If you don’t think the value proposition works for you, don’t buy it.  Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t raise the price - this little thing called inflation means they are already grossing less just from that alone.  

    If you want cheap crap there are plenty of other vendors to choose from out there.  Have at it.   I have no problem paying more for a better experience.
    Yes, all these added bells and whistles are nice, looking better on webcam etc, faster ML, but those things are super niche. Better battery is great, but having 10 hours vs 20 isn't essential. When's the last time you worried about how you look on webcam, or how fast ML is? It's actually less functionality for me at least, as it can't run Windows which I use for parts of my job - And so does Apple. Amusingly, the Mac Pros are running Modelsim, which is a logic analyser. And it's Windows only. I used Windows on my Mac regularly at uni, if I couldn't, I would have got a PC laptop. Same for several of my friends at uni.
    edited November 2020
  • Reply 6 of 130
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,210member
    mwhite said:
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄

    Shut up!!!!
    Thankyou for your contribution. 
    pulseimagescornchipMplsP
  • Reply 7 of 130
    One of each please.  It's the holiday shopping season!
    williamlondonronnwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 130
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄
    What makes you think that the total cost of designing and contracting out the manufacture of this new SOC is less than buying off-the-shelf Intel products?
    tmayStrangeDaysdocno42fastasleepchiaaderutterwilliamlondoncornchipjony0ronn
  • Reply 9 of 130
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. ߙ䦬t;/div>
    Insanity. You’re conveniently overlooking years of R&D which you apparently believe falls off trees. Now they have to recoup that. A more capable machine at the same price despite inflation is an appealing value proposition. Out in the real world, where people will snap these up, nobody cares about IT dudes pretending to be CEOs whining about things they don’t understand. 
    edited November 2020 macplusplusdocno42SpamSandwichdewmeericthehalfbeetmaychiaaderutterwilliamlondoncornchip
  • Reply 10 of 130

    docno42 said:
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. ߙ䦬t;/div>
    You aren’t buying a collection of parts, your buying functionality.

    If you don’t think the value proposition works for you, don’t buy it.  Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t raise the price - this little thing called inflation means they are already grossing less just from that alone.  

    If you want cheap crap there are plenty of other vendors to choose from out there.  Have at it.   I have no problem paying for a better experience.  I originally typed out paying more for a better experience, but comparing previous Air to this one you aren’t paying more for a machine that appears to be better in every way.

    Yup - damn those greedy Apple bustards!
    Lol yeah these dudes crack me up, they’re used to lemonade stand economics and that’s about it. No real world experience in product, don’t grasp value propositions, likely have never run a business, etc etc.. Just IT nerds doin what they do best — bitchin’. 
    edited November 2020 docno42SpamSandwichfastasleeptmaychiawilliamlondonmwhitecornchipjony0ronn
  • Reply 11 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    elijahg said:
    Yes, all these added bells and whistles are nice, looking better on webcam etc, faster ML, but those things are super niche. Better battery is great, but having 10 hours vs 20 isn't essential. When's the last time you worried about how you look on webcam, or how fast ML is? It's actually less functionality for me at least, as it can't run Windows which I use for parts of my job - And so does Apple. Amusingly, the Mac Pros are running Modelsim, which is a logic analyser. And it's Windows only. I used Windows on my Mac regularly at uni, if I couldn't, I would have got a PC laptop. Same for several of my friends at uni.
    With that kind of battery life I will no longer care that magsafe is gone.  It’s now irrelevant.  If you need Windows that sucks and these machines aren’t for you (yet).  Luckily I have no such needs for my laptop.  I only care about Windows for gaming and I have a gaming PC for that.  

    Also the Windows story on Apple Silicon hasn’t been completely told yet.  We know Parallels is working on x86 emulation and since Apple owns their CPU design it wouldn’t surprise me if it was going to be beneficial and not complicate things that they have hardware assist for x86 emulation.  I’m not holding my breath, but Apple knows x86 is going to be an issue for Pro’s so I wouldn’t count something like that out.

    It’s WAY early in this transition.  This is the start of a 2 year process, according to Apple.  It will be interesting to see how things play out, that’s for sure.
    StrangeDaysfastasleeptmaywilliamlondonmwhitecornchipjony0raoulduke42ronnurahara
  • Reply 12 of 130
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 2,521member
    APPLE DO NO WRONG !!!
    williamlondonwatto_cobraParadroid
  • Reply 13 of 130
    Anyone know how corporate remote access tools like Citrix Receiver work on this new M1 model?

    That’s a key requirement for our teams.  Many have been holding out waiting for this
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 14 of 130
    Will this run legacy apps? As in, do current apps need to be ported over? Will there be Rosetta-like technology available?

    Sorry if this was made clear already.


    watto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    wood1208 said:
    APPLE DO NO WRONG !!!
    For my requirements so far, nope - they have done incredibly right.

    I love how people who shriek “Diversity is our Strength” on one had, freak out whenever someone does something counter to the “norms”. 🤪
    Beatstmaywatto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 16 of 130
    First thought: the magic is back. Eat this, PC!
    now let’s wait when reality kicks in...  ;)
    rezwitswatto_cobraspock1234
  • Reply 17 of 130
    harrykatsarosharrykatsaros Posts: 37unconfirmed, member
    Disappointed by the no design refresh. iPad Pro style thin bezel screens and Face ID should have been included in the new MacBooks. Every other PC manufacturer is now making top line notebooks with modern edge to edge screen designs and Apple is still shipping a machine that looks almost identical to what they first released in 2015. Face ID is the most baffling thing of all. The Mac is the best suited platform to unlock the power of Face ID and it’s the only platform where it’s not available. 
    Scot1williamlondonwatto_cobra
  • Reply 18 of 130
    docno42docno42 Posts: 3,551member
    Will this run legacy apps? As in, do current apps need to be ported over? Will there be Rosetta-like technology available?

    Sorry if this was made clear already.


    Yes - there is Rosetta2 technology.  AI has several good articles discussing it from when it was introduced back at the world wide developers conference.  Just search the site for Rosetta 2 and they should pop right up :smile: 
    cornchipronnwatto_cobraquadra 610spock1234
  • Reply 19 of 130
    elijahgelijahg Posts: 2,210member
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄
    What makes you think that the total cost of designing and contracting out the manufacture of this new SOC is less than buying off-the-shelf Intel products?
    It's estimated the similar A series chip used in iPhones are about $60, which is a lot less than the $150 for the i3 in the MBA. The i3 also needs the supporting chipset too, whereas the M1 is a SoC with pretty much everything on board.
  • Reply 20 of 130
    BeatsBeats Posts: 2,431member
    That ENDING to the event was hilarious!!

    Underwhelmed overall. These are old Macs with new chips. Was hoping to see new designs, FaceID and an all new App Store.


    elijahg said:
    docno42 said:
    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. ߙ䦬t;/div>
    You aren’t buying a collection of parts, your buying functionality.

    If you don’t think the value proposition works for you, don’t buy it.  Frankly I’m surprised they didn’t raise the price - this little thing called inflation means they are already grossing less just from that alone.  

    If you want cheap crap there are plenty of other vendors to choose from out there.  Have at it.   I have no problem paying more for a better experience.
    Yes, all these added bells and whistles are nice, looking better on webcam etc, faster ML, but those things are super niche. Better battery is great, but having 10 hours vs 20 isn't essential. When's the last time you worried about how you look on webcam, or how fast ML is? It's actually less functionality for me at least, as it can't run Windows which I use for parts of my job - And so does Apple. Amusingly, the Mac Pros are running Modelsim, which is a logic analyser. And it's Windows only. I used Windows on my Mac regularly at uni, if I couldn't, I would have got a PC laptop. Same for several of my friends at uni.

    Funny how battery life is what everyone bit*hes about but when Apple fixes it, suddenly no one cares.


    elijahg said:
    I notice the price is the same as before, so rather than dropping the price due to cheaper CPU and increasing accessibility for people, they're just absorbing the extra profit. Great, that's the Cook Way. 🙄

    Can you break down component pricing, manufacturing costs and shipping since you seem to have all the data? Thanks.
    StrangeDays9secondkox2williamlondoncornchipjony0NB2017docno42rezwitsronnurahara
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