At its first event in 2021, Apple has unveiled new iPads, new Apple Pencils and even new iMacs. If you’ve been waiting for the impressive M1 chip to make its way to Apple’s desktops and iPad Pro, you’re now in luck.
After redefining the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and Mac Mini, Apple Silicon is now in iMacs. And what’s exciting is that the new iMacs come in a wide variety of colours like the rumours suggested. The front bottom bezel uses a more muted, pastel-ish colour, while the sides and back are in a saturated, bright pop of colour that will definitely liven up any room.
Thanks to the system-on-a-chip architecture of the M1 chip, the thermal performance is better, resulting in smaller fans and a reduction in size of over 50%. The computer itself is just 11.5mm thin, with a 24-inch 4.5K Retina Display screen. The camera has been upgraded to a 1080p FaceTime camera and with the M1 chip having Apple’s latest Image Sensor Processor, video is clearer, more detailed and supports auto exposure, auto white balance and more. The new iMacs also have a six-speaker system built-in, which allows the computer to support spatial audio with Dolby Atmos-supported content.
There are four USB-C ports on the back and two of those four support Thunderbolt for connections to external displays like the Pro Display XDR, along with a magnetic power plug that connects to a power brick that also has a port for ethernet connections.
Apple is also introducing three new keyboards, including one that has a Touch ID button to unlock the new iMac easily. The Touch ID keyboard also allows for quick user switching, so if you have more than one person using an iMac, there’s no need to fumble with switching users. Just hold a finger to the Touch ID button and profiles will automatically switch.
With seven colours available, there’s a colour for everyone. The iMac with 7-core GPU will be available in Green, Pink, Blue and Silver and prices start at S$1,849, while all seven colours are available for the 8-core GPU option, which starts from S$2,149. Preorders open on 30 April, and the iMacs will be available from the second half of May.
Next up, iPads. Apple has announced the new iPad Pro in two sizes, 12.9-inches and 11-inches, which comes with a new Liquid Retina XDR display thanks to mini-LEDs that are over 120 times smaller than the LEDs in the previous iPad Pro. That means brighter screens at a peak of 1600 nits, improved contrast and other benefits. The iPad Pro will also get the M1 chip, which is absolutely incredible, with 50% faster CPU speeds compared to the previous iPad Pro. The graphics performance on this new iPad Pro is also 1500 times faster when compared to the first iPad.
With a maximum storage configuration of 2TB for this iPad Pro model, users will be able to store even more content on their iPad. There’s also Thunderbolt and USB 4 support in the USB-C port now, which is great news, and people looking for blazing fast internet speeds while on the go will be happy to hear that there’s 5G support for cellular models.
Console gamers will definitely want to take a look at the iPad Pro when it comes to mobile gaming, with the DualSense controller from the PS5 and the new Xbox controllers supported. Cameras are also enhanced on the new iPad Pro, with a new 12MP ultra-wide front camera that enables a new Center Stage video feature that automatically pans to keep subjects in the shot.
The 11-inch model is starting from S$1,199 for the Wi-Fi model or S$1,419 for the Cellular + Wi-Fi version, and the 12.9-inch model that has the new Liquid Retina XDR display starts at S$1,649 for Wi-Fi only and S$1,869 for the Cellular + Wi-Fi model. Preorders start 30 April, with general availability from the second half of May onwards.
The rumoured AirTags trackers are finally here, with integration into the Find My app, allowing for iPhones with U1 chips like the iPhone 12 series to see which direction the user needs to walk towards to locate the item that the AirTag tracker is attached to. This feature is called Precision Finding, and allows users to see how far the item is as well. One AirTag tracker is S$45, with a 4-pack going for S$149. The AirTag trackers can be ordered from 30 April, with free personalised engraving when ordered via the Apple website or Apple Store app.
Apple TV 4K is also getting a new refresh, and it now can play HDR in high frame rate, even if you’re casting content from your iPhone to your TV over AirPlay. Apple is going all out to make sure you stay in their eco-system, with a new colour calibration feature that works by putting an iPhone to your TV screen to utilise the light sensor to sense and adjust the colour and brightness.
The Apple TV Remote is completely redesigned, with a new clickpad that’s entirely touch-enabled and even a power button that can turn the TV on or off as well as a mute button. The new Apple TV will start at S$269, with the Apple TV Remote being a separate purchase priced at S$79. Preorders start on 30 April, with general availability in the second half of May.
There are a few other smaller updates too. The iPhone 12 series will now have a new purple colour that’s going to be available from 30 April onwards.
Apple also unveiled Apple Podcast Subscriptions, which allow people to support their favourite creators while enjoying benefits like ad-free listening and early or exclusive access to new series. The redesigned Podcast app will be available when iOS 14.5 is released and listeners in over 170 countries will be able to sign up for the premium subscriptions starting in May.