The performance of Apple’s M1 chips exceeded our expectations and made the 2020 MacBook Air the most impressive laptop we’ve used in years (it’s also done wonders for the redesigned iMac). So it’s not too surprising, as per Bloomberg News this morning, that Apple is readying a whole slate of Macs using next-gen versions of the company’s in-house chips. The details sound very promising.
The story, from reliable Apple-watcher Mark Gurman, says the company is preparing to unveil redesigned MacBook Pros in 14-inch and 16-inch screen sizes “as early as this summer.” Not only will the machines have a redesigned chassis, but they’ll also bring back the beloved magnetic MagSafe charger (though it’s not clear in what form) and previously excised inputs like the HDMI port and SD card slot.
The return of the SD slot to the MacBook Pro — originally rumored in January — will be extremely welcome for many professionals who use the port to quickly transfer videos and images from cameras’ SD cards. And though we’d seen reports that MagSafe might be making a comeback for the MacBook Air, we didn’t know that MacBook Pro might be getting it, too.
After the new MacBook Pros have been unveiled, Gurman says Apple plans to release “a revamped MacBook Air, new low-end MacBook Pro and an all-new Mac Pro workstation.” A higher-end Mac mini and larger iMac are also reportedly in the works, with all of the new machines boasting chips “that will greatly outpace the performance and capabilities of the current M1 chips,” according to Gurman’s anonymous sources.
Chips for the MacBook Pro will reportedly come in two variants, codenamed “Jade C-Chop” and “Jade C-Die.” Compared to the M1 chips — which have four high-performance cores, four energy-efficient cores, and eight graphics cores — the new designs will have eight high-performance cores, two energy-efficient cores, and either 16 or 32 graphics cores. Bloomberg also says they’ll have an updated Neural Engine for machine learning tasks and support up to 64 gigabytes of memory compared to 16 gigabytes for the current M1.
None of this is particularly shocking. We’d all expected the next generation of Apple’s in-house chips to be “the best ever” (as they always are, every year, per Apple’s marketing spiel), but it’s still good to hear that Apple is preparing such a wide-ranging overhaul of its Mac lineup. The M1 chip breathed new life into Apple’s computers, what might the M2 do next?