Space Black MacBook Pro and colourful iMac get a massive performance jump

There is now a Space Black MacBook Pro. The colourful iMac has returned. And they mean business, with the M3 chips as performance and gaming underliers. Apple has refreshed the 14-inch MacBook Pro and 16-inch MacBook Pro portfolios to usher in the M3, M3 Pro and M3 Max chips. And the colourful 24-inch iMac, which skipped the M2 generation last year, also gets a refresh whilst retaining the likeable, sprightly personality.

Image for representational purposes only.
Image for representational purposes only.

The 14-inch MacBook Pro and the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which are now up for pre-orders, get the full spectrum of options – the M3, the M3 Pro or M3 Max chips, with subsequent choices such as memory size dependent on the pick, drawing from significant improvements in architecture, graphics performance, memory availability and power per watt balancing. Both laptops can now return as much as 22 hours on a single battery charge, a significant step forward in terms of the convenience of portability.

Prices for the 14-inch MacBook Pro start at 1,69,900 for the M3, 1,99,900 for the M3 Pro and 3,19,900 for the M3 Max. The 16-inch MacBook Pro doesn’t have the M3 chips, with the portfolio stepping forward with an M3 Pro as the baseline (this starts at 2,49,900) and the M3 Max option that costs 3,49,900 onwards.

Not much has changed in terms of the design, and indeed the port configuration or ergonomics. But there is a darker Space Black colour that replaces Space Grey (that was a shade lighter in comparison). Silver remains as is. It’ll be interesting to see how this finish holds up, and some thought has gone into it, potentially drawing from the learnings of the dark blue “midnight” finish of the latest generation MacBook Air. Apple says there’s a “breakthrough chemistry that forms an anodization seal to greatly reduce fingerprints.”

No words minced. “The new MacBook Pro is a big upgrade for any user, especially those who have not upgraded from an Intel-based Mac. The M3 Max model is up to 11x faster than the fastest Intel-based MacBook Pro model,” says Apple. The Liquid Retina XDR display upgraded too, with 1000 nits of sustained brightness and 1600 nits of peak brightness.

Even though the refreshed 24-inch iMac skipped the party last year, this jump from the M1 chip to the M3 chips will undoubtedly give it a renewed purpose. There’s no change visually or in terms of the design, which means depending on spec, you’ll have as many as 7 dual-tone colour options to choose from. Prices for the 24-inch iMac start at 1,34,900 and listed by default are the M3 options – for now, ‘Customise your Mac’ lets you add more memory or storage, but no M3 Pro or M3 Max options.

Still, performance gains with the M3 are so high, Apple claims Safari web browser will be 30% faster than before and productivity apps such as Microsoft Excel will load spreadsheets up to 30 percent faster too. This can also manage easily with editing and playback of up to 12 streams of 4K video, that’s 3x more than before. Adobe Photoshop will be 2x faster.

From an iMac that was enticing for students and work from home scenarios in particular, the demographic has widened significantly to include video and photo editors, graphics workflows, gamers and content creators.

Apple’s particularly speaking to those who are still holding on to an Intel chip powered iMac. “The new iMac with M3 is incredible for anyone, especially those who haven’t yet upgraded from Intel, providing a giant leap in performance and capabilities only possible with Apple silicon,” says John Ternus, Apple’s senior vice president of Hardware Engineering at Apple, launching the 24-inch iMac.

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