Apple’s new MacBook Pro with M1: Cheat sheet


The latest MacBook Pro model comes with several updates, including Apple’s new M1 chip.

Apple’s MacBook Pro with M1

Image: Apple

During Apple’s “One More Thing” event on Nov. 10, the company announced an update to its MacBook Pro lineup–the latest MacBook Pro comes with a slew of new features. Additionally, Apple announced news about the Mac mini, MacBook Air, macOS Big Sur, the M1 chip, and Rosetta 2. 

Here’s what you need to know about the new MacBook Pro. This article will be updated as more information about the 13-inch MacBook Pro becomes available. 

SEE: How to migrate to a new iPad, iPhone, or Mac (TechRepublic Premium)

What are the main features of the newest MacBook Pro?

The new 13-inch MacBook Pro is supercharged by Apple’s new M1 system on a chip (SoC), which offers increased CPU performance. The 8‑core CPU can handle “complex workflows and heavy workloads–all with unbelievable energy efficiency,” according to the company. Apple also claims the newest MacBook Pro offers “the world’s fastest integrated graphics in a personal computer.”

According to Apple, the display features a 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS and True Tone technology; 2560×1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors. Supported scaled resolutions include: 1680×1050, 1440×900, and 1024×640. 

SEE: MacBooks are making a great leap forward. Now bring on the 5G (CNET)

The new MacBook Pro offers two storage options: 256 GB, configurable to 512 GB, 1 TB, or 2 TB and 512 GB, configurable to 1 TB or 2 TB. 

The M1 chip and macOS Big Sur work together to make the entire system faster and more secure. Using a Secure Enclave coprocessor, the MacBook Pro provides “a silicon-level foundation for critical security features like Touch ID and Apple Pay,” according to the company. 

The new MacBook Pro also uses a dedicated AES storage encryption engine to keep encryption keys safe, secure boot and runtime security features, and an activation lock which secures the MacBook Pro if it’s ever lost, stolen, or misplaced.

How does this MacBook Pro differ from the previous model?

The M1 SoC sets the newest 13-inch MacBook Pro apart from the previous 16-inch model. According to Apple, the newest MacBook Pro has 2.8 times the CPU performance, up to five times the graphics speed with the 8-core GPU in M1 advanced graphics processor, Apple’s most advanced Neural Engine for up to 11 times faster machine learning (ML), and the longest battery life of any Mac ever (up to 20 hours). 

With its 16-core Neural Engine, the newest MacBook Pro uses ML to complete tasks using video analysis, voice recognition, image processing, and more. Apple’s M1 chip, combined with macOS Big Sur, offers advanced security and privacy features, as well as a faster system, according to the company. 

The M1 chip also helps run the most powerful apps and with Apple’s new Rosetta 2, existing apps will still work as well. According to Apple, for the first time, iPhone and iPad apps can be used directly on macOS Big Sur, offering the biggest collection of apps ever for Mac.

SEE: All of TechRepublic’s cheat sheets and smart person’s guides

What are the specifications for the MacBook Pro?

Chip: Apple M1 chip with 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine

Memory: 8 GB unified memory, configurable to 16 GB

Storage: 256 GB model with 256 GB SSD and configurable to 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB; 512 GB model with 512 GB SSD and configurable to 1 TB or 2 TB

Video support: One external display with up to 6K resolution at 60Hz; Thunderbolt 3 digital video output including native DisplayPort output over USB-C, VGA, HDMI, DVI, and Thunderbolt 2 output supported using adapters (sold separately)

SEE: Apple Silicon M1 Mac buying guide: 2020 MacBook Air vs. MacBook Pro vs. Mac mini (TechRepublic)

Audio: Stereo speakers with high dynamic range, support for Dolby Atmos playback, studio-quality three-mic array with directional beamforming; 3.5 mm headphone jack

Connections and Expansion: Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports with support for charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s), and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)

Communications: 802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking and IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible; Bluetooth 5.0

Size: 0.61 inches tall; 11.97 inches wide; 8.36 inches deep; 3 pounds

Colors: Silver or Space Gray 

How much does the new MacBook Pro cost?

Pricing for the new 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at $1,299 for the 256 GB model and $1,499 for the 512 GB model.

SEE: Apple Silicon: Why developers don’t need to worry about the transition from Intel-based Macs (TechRepublic)

When and where can I buy the new MacBook Pro?

The 13-inch MacBook Pro M1 chip models are available in the US on Apple’s website starting Nov. 17. 

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