Today's presentation bought new products and upgrades, but the ones we are interested in are the new iMac and iPad Pros. All powered by the M1 chip.
Ok, let's get the first bit of pre-presentation speculation out of the way. Did we see Final Cut Pro running on the new M1 powered iPad Pros? No, but Lumafusion did feature more than once.
Now on to the new iMac.
Since the debut of custom silicon, Apple said that it would progress through the Mac range to move away from Intel. Today was the next step as the new iMac is powered by the M1 chip, the same silicon we see in the MacBook Air, 13" MacBook Pro and Mac mini. I think we were expecting a more powerful chip, but maybe that might debut at WWDC.
The new range of coloured 11.5 millimetre thick iMacs (green, yellow, orange, pink, purple, blue, and silver) all feature a 24-inch 4.5K Retina display with 11.3 million pixels at 500 nits of brightness. There are two models, one with a seven core GPU and one with an eight core GPU, both have 8GB of unified memory.
At last we have a higher resolution camera that runs at 1080p! There's also studio-quality mics and a six-speaker sound system. Apple say that the new machine runs at under 10 dB for noise, that's 50% lower than the previous model. Connectivity is two Thunderbolt ports on the 7 GPU model and an extra two USB3 ports on the 8 GPU version. You get a power switch on the back and a headphone socket on the front, no card slots.
We are big user of Touch ID, so it's great to see this added to the custom keyboards. It's encrypted too between the keyboard and the Mac. The in-line power brick not only keeps the machine thinner, but also tidies up the desktop by having an ethernet port that transmits the data up the power cable to a magnetic connection on the machine. Very clever.
“M1 is a gigantic leap forward for the Mac, and today we’re excited to introduce the all-new iMac, the first Mac designed around the breakthrough M1 chip,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “With its striking design in seven stunning colours, its immersive 4.5K Retina display, the best camera, mics, and speakers ever in a Mac, and Touch ID, combined with the amazing performance of M1 and the power of macOS Big Sur, the new iMac takes everything people love about iMac to an entirely new level.”
- Up to 85 percent faster CPU performance, so users can export their favourite video project in iMovie faster than ever, easily work with massive 100-megapixel photos in Lightroom, and compile new apps in Xcode in a fraction of the time.
- Up to 2x faster GPU performance for certain apps like Affinity Photo and Photoshop, and up to 50 percent faster than the most powerful discrete graphics in the fastest 21.5-inch iMac, allowing users to render edits in real time or add complex filters to their photos in a snap.
- The ability to edit up to five streams of 4K footage, or one stream of 8K footage, without dropping a frame in Final Cut Pro.
- Up to 3x faster machine learning in apps that leverage the 16-core Neural Engine in M1.6
The new iMac is available to order beginning Friday April 30th. Prices start at $1,299.
And for those that scrutinise every pixel in Apple's presentations looking for extra buttons on app GUIs, here's a grab from today of the new iMac running Final Cut Pro.
For more information on the new iMacs, visit the Apple webpage.
iPad Pro 11 and 12.9 Inch
We fully expected to see new iPads in the presentation and we were not disappointed. The new 11-inch and 12.9 inch iPad Pros both feature the M1 chip. The larger model also has a Liquid Retina XDR display, which gives similar performance to the Pro Display XDR. Liquid Retina XDR gives 1000 nits of full-screen brightness, 1600 nits of peak brightness, and a 1 million-to-1 contrast ratio.
The new models also feature Thunderbolt which opens up a whole new range of fast accessories, including the ability to use the Pro Display XDR at full 6K resolution.
As we mentioned at the top, no FCP, but LumaFusion was featured more than once in the presentation.
Will we be able to use the new iPad Pro as an HDR monitor when running Final Cut Pro? We don't don't know, but it certainly does look impressive outputting to a Pro Display XDR.
The 11-inch iPad Pro starts at $799 (US) for the Wi-Fi model and $999 (US) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model, and the 12.9-inch iPad Pro starts at $1,099 (US) for the Wi-Fi model and $1,299 (US) for the Wi-Fi + Cellular model.
For more information on the new iPad Pro, visit the Apple webpage.