back to article Apple arms high-end MacBook Pro notebooks with M1 Pro, M1 Max processors

Apple on Monday announced 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models armed with Arm-compatible Apple Silicon chips, extending its platform architecture transition, and Intel exodus, for its high-end notebooks. Cupertino's web-streamed presentation, which also featured new music products and services, was highly anticipated by Apple …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It has a notch!

    I think Apple are losing the plot (even more so). They've added a notch to the menu bar. I notice that most of the screen shots on the product page show the applications without an associated menu bar so the notch isn't obvious.

    1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

      Re: It has a notch!

      It's probably a placeholder to accustom users with the reality of a handler watching you work on "your" computer.

      They will be looking at you through that notch and maybe given hints e.g. "green dot" you've been good, "red dot" handler is writing a report on you (for example you watched a video that criticises communism), "blue dot" mean that you've been slacking, "blinking brown dot" means your social score will get lowered unless you write a comment praising the party on your Facebook wall.

      Then the "red squares" - for reporting anything suspicious you saw, e.g. your friend posted a frog meme. "red squares" will boost your social score.

      "policeman" icon will mean that "your" computer is being searched and you should take a break.

      The future?

    2. theOtherJT Silver badge

      Re: It has a notch!

      Oh man, that's going to drive me _nuts_ when watching fullscreen video if they aren't kind enough to black-bar at the top of the screen.

      I say "Going to" because I'm due one of these things next year from work, and since I'm required to support the blasted things I'm going to have to have one.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: It has a notch!

        In fullscreen the area of the notch is black, so it just looks like a larger bezel on top. When in normal use the menu bar is on top, this just creates a gap in the menu bar but uses what would otherwise be wasted space for a top bezel.

        I suppose if the black gap in the menu bar bothers you you can use dark mode...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It has a notch!

          >> it just looks like a larger bezel on top

          If notches on phones are anything to go by, it'll look sort-of-kinda-like a larger bezel on top, only with a clear textural difference. The notch is going to be visible in full screen mode.

    3. gnasher729 Silver badge

      Re: It has a notch!

      No, they didn't "add a notch" to the menubar. My older Mac has a 10mm border at the top of the screen. They removed 6mm of that border, so the menubar could move up by six mm, and goes right over the bit with the camera. The screen sizes are all 16 x 10, plus 74 pixels additional height. They didn't move a notch into the menubar, they moved the menubar away from its old position outside the area where the screen used to end.

      1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

        Re: It has a notch!


      2. Solviva Bronze badge

        Re: It has a notch!

        So basically the top menu bar is shifted up and an extra 74 vertical pixels are available? W00t!

        I cried when everything 'upgraded' from 1920x1200 to Full HD 1920x1080. That missing 120 pixels was awfully noticeable being 10%. A notch in this menu bar may or may not be distracting, but as 90% of the time that menu bar is visible and about 20% at the left & 20% at the right is ever used, the centre 60% is rather unloved.

        As for the rest (ports) welcome back to 2012 (minus the USB-A ports). I guess in another 5 years the ports will be disappearing again till you're left with a big USB-C powerbank + screen + keyboard, before suddenly they announce a full set of ports, like it's the best thing since sliced bread.

        How many years did it take them to realise 'pro' users actually use the function keys?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: It has a notch!

          it's kind of ironic, that the new design has a large number of ports (large by the current standards), kind of mimicking what they offered in Macbookpro in 2013/14. While I'd never touch apple products on various grounds, I applaud the port selection, because where apple goes, the rest of the horde follows This will, hopefully, reverse the current trend for the ultimate, port-less laptop...

          1. GraXXoR

            Re: It has a notch!

            If you mean ironic in an Alanis Morissette sort of way, then sure.

            They are merely just listening (at least in part) to their professional customer base for once instead of churning out stuff that looks good and (except for the notch), giving them what they had literally been clamouring for for years.

            And magsafe... woot!...

            TBH, I'm glad they're admitting - in deed if not in so many words - that they fucked up and need to roll back. If these devices live up to the numbers posted in their livestream then they are going to redefine what laptops are capable of away from the mains supply.

        2. Rob Daglish

          Re: It has a notch!

          I was sceptical of losing the function keys, but I have to say I really liked the touchbar on my MBP - like function keys, but context sensitive? I'll be a bit sorry to see it go, to be honest.

          I do welcome getting some real ports back again though.

    4. iced.lemonade

      Re: It has a notch!

      as someone mentioned above that the menu bar actually bleeds into the previously unoccupied area of the monitor in full screen mode, i think it is kind of odd... every app that supports full screen will have the root menu items cramped into the left half of the menu bar or the menu items will be split into two - most of the menu items will be on the left side and one or two remaining will be on the right side, along with the statuses and what's left.

      menu bar is the center of activities of macintosh since the first System, and i feel apple is unknowingly, partially destroying it with that "notch".

      with Big Sur apple makes the menu drop-down rounded corner in all 4 corners and i already feel it's unnatural - it feels detached and it is better if the rounded corner only apply to the bottom 2 corners and leave the top 2 corners square (so it is a menu drop-down instead of feeling like a pop-up), but it is just my perfectionist 2 cents.

      i hope apple will not introduce Hamburger menu to macOS but... who knows.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: It has a notch!

        On my 13" MBP, not much smaller than the 14", Lightroom Classics's menu bar has ten entries, which along with the eleven icons for running applications etc, takes up the entire length of the screen.

        My question is this. If the notch isn't going to have such an impact, why do NONE of the publicity shots show the menu bar in any of the example screens except for the FaceTime example. Why is every application shown in full screen? It is almost like Apple don't want users to notice they've added a notch.

      2. Dave559 Silver badge

        Re: It has a notch!

        "with Big Sur apple makes the menu drop-down rounded corner in all 4 corners and i already feel it's unnatural - it feels detached and it is better if the rounded corner only apply to the bottom 2 corners and leave the top 2 corners square (so it is a menu drop-down instead of feeling like a pop-up), but it is just my perfectionist 2 cents."

        I completely agree with you there! That's one of the niggling things that, ironically, makes Big Sur feel like a knock-off of MacOS, rather like a half-baked Gnome theme instead of actual MacOS. Likewise the rather clunky and heavyweight vaguely iOS-like widget/control-switch slab panel thing, instead of just continuing to have them as individual icons in the menu bar (which are also easier/quicker to find, select and use (one click instead of two or more): did someone sadly throw the Apple Human Interface Guidelines manual in the bin when they moved from Infinite Loop to the Donut?)

    5. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      A notch appears

      Ah yes, we've now acknowledged that in the piece.


  2. skwdenyer

    So I'm going to be out on a limb here and say I like the touchbar on my MBP. Yes, I'd also like Fn keys. So why can't I have both?

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      You can if you can convince Apple that you're not the only one who likes that strip. I haven't bought a Mac with that on it, but having played around a bit, it seems inconvenient and distracting, and I have not heard anyone who finds it better (observed opinions range from don't use it to sort of dislike it, but that's basically all). That will probably also compress the trackpad a little because they'd have to move the keyboard down to accommodate the extra row.

      1. anthonyhegedus

        I just got a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar and never having used it before, I quite like it. Luckily there’s still an ESC key. When I used to have an older MacBook Pro a few years ago, I rarely used the function keys anyway. This Touch Bar just seems like a more useful application of the space.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          I rarely see it as my machine is normally hooked up to an external keyboard. And this one of the many flaws in the approach. Another is, that while I can't touch type, I don't spend a lot of time looking at the keys to know which is where, but with the Touchbar you have to keep looking to see which key does what. When I do look at the bar I do see some reasonable suggestions for some apps, but, as has always been the case with video and audio work, a dedicated control box makes more sense.

        2. Tessier-Ashpool

          I find the Touch Bar to be reasonably useful. It's a snappy way to change the brightness and volume with a sliding finger. Or to quickly lock the machine. I don't use daft features like the words that auto-appear when I write.

          When I earn my debugging crust switched and I'm switched into a Windows VM, the Touch Bar shows the regular function keys you'd expect of Windows. So that's pretty good.

      2. tip pc Silver badge

        I use the touch bar infrequently but more often than function keys.

        On my pc laptop I need to press a modifier key to use the function keys, which again are seldom used.

        Touch Bar gets far more use than function keys but both are seldom used.

      3. Solviva Bronze badge

        My touch bar gets the most use when I'm pressing a number key, likely whilst also pressing alt or cmd. The way my fingers spread out, often one of them glances the touchbar and 'presses' whatever f key happened to be near the stray finger. Annoying when working in terminal that interprets the f key as something.

    2. IgorS

      Great to see I am not the only one!

      Not that I use it all that often, but it is more useful than the F-keys by far.

    3. theOtherJT Silver badge

      I kinda like it too... or I did until mine stopped being a touch screen and just became a touch. I can sort of remember where some of the things like volume and brightness are, but it's a damn pain for everything else. I got it repaired the first time it happened... and then it did it again. We've got about 200 of the damn things at work, and I'm far from the only person this happened to.

      It'd be a nice thing to have as a configurable option - but to be honest I reckon they did the right thing by dropping it based on my experience with the thing.

    4. DS999 Silver badge

      That seemed to be one of the most hated things about recent Macbooks, so I think you are pretty much alone in liking it.

      I mean, I'm sure the butterfly keyboard had one or two fans as well but that doesn't mean they should have kept it!

      1. tip pc Silver badge

        No one liked the butterfly.

    5. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      The solution for that would be a USB "breakout" box.

  3. elsergiovolador Silver badge


    - Likely non repairable

    - Made in communist China that violates human rights

    - Likely at some point Apple will be snooping on your content and your laptop will be capable of snitching on you

    - Largely proprietary platform - difficult to install open source operating system that you can audit

    What else?

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: eWaste

      - Probably, except I guess that the battery will still be fairly simple to replace. iFixIt will tell. But that’s true of all major laptops nowadays isn’t it? You can have skinny or you can have easy to repair - you can’t have both. Sadly, the world is choosing skinny and repairability is now a niche requirement (for which you can buy a niche laptop)

      - Also true. The same as every other laptop and electronic device in the world today.

      - Ahh, that old chestnut. But I’m calling bullshit and giving you a thumbs down. You see, Apple very publicly markets itself as the privacy company. If you can find evidence that this is their plan, and you can provide this evidence, then you will bring the whole deck of cards down around Apple’s ears. It would be a marketing disaster - and cause major share price tankage. If this was their intention they wouldn’t court catastrophe by saying the opposite.

      - Actually, it’s very easy to install open source software. And if you’re happy to build it yourself then you can even install open source on iOS.

      Look. I get it. You don’t like Apple. But the arguments you give betray blind prejudice rather than reasoned argument. I’m sure that the platform you prefer is excellent - for you. It might not be excellent for me. So isn’t it good that we have a choice?

      Look at all the prejudice in the world. The wars caused by hating. The lack of cooperation in politics. The idea that for one person to win everyone else has to lose. Your views are symptomatic of this wider malaise. So, unless you have actual evidence of malfeasance, can I suggest that you try to love a little instead? You don’t need to like Apple, you can ignore it. But live, and let live.

      1. elsergiovolador Silver badge

        Re: eWaste

        You can have skinny or you can have easy to repair - you can’t have both.

        It's not about being easy, but being able to repair at all. For example, Apple asked TI to modify the charging chip they used and then to not sell it to anyone else but Apple. So now when $5 charging chip dies in a laptop, you can't replace it unless you have another dead mac that happens to have that chip working. They are going around that too - for example parts getting serialised and programmed to only work with a specific machine - so even if you have original parts, they will not work when swapped over. Then you have other issues like running high voltage lines next to low voltage CPU data lines, to increase the potential of failure.

        But that’s true of all major laptops nowadays isn’t it?

        Apple is pioneering this and other companies are watching what they can get away with and then copy.

        Apple very publicly markets itself as the privacy company

        They are also publicly marketing themselves as net zero company, while actively working on increasing eWaste. It's a classic - company advertises one thing and then does another. The client scanning debacle is just an example what they are really up to.

        - Actually, it’s very easy to install open source software.

        Let me know how to install Linux on those new machines.

        You don’t like Apple.

        arguments you give betray blind prejudice rather than reasoned argument

        isn’t it good that we have a choice?

        The wars caused by hating. The lack of cooperation in politics.

        I suggest that you try to love a little instead?

        Oh good lord. Is that from a playbook?

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: eWaste

          Open Source software != Linux. You didn’t specify that the open source you wanted was Linux. Don’t get me wrong, I love Linux - but why the hell would you buy a Mac laptop to run Linux?

          You buy a Mac to run MacOS. You can install Open Source software on MacOS.

          But, FWIW, there are projects to put Linux on M1.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: eWaste

            There aren't projects backed by Apple to put Linux on the M1, and that is the real crux. Graphics drivers for the M1 have to be reverse engineered. Apple could really help here if they wanted to, but they don't.

            1. Rob Daglish

              Re: eWaste

              Yes... because HP, Dell, Lenovo, Acer et al. are all working hand in glove to get linux onto their machines, right?

              1. Jaybus

                Re: eWaste

                Ummm...all of those manufacturers sell laptops and workstations with Linux preinstalled. So, yes, indeed they are.

          2. doublelayer Silver badge

            Re: eWaste

            "why the hell would you buy a Mac laptop to run Linux?"

            Here are a few reasons I prefer my computers to run Linux, whether I intend that to be the only OS or not. This includes the Macs I have bought.

            1. I use Linux, so if I can run it on my hardware, then I have that option. If I'm using Mac OS, then I'm fine. If I suddenly find that I want something Mac OS doesn't have, boot to Linux. I find that convenient.

            2. In case of damage to the operating system, I can boot to Linux as a convenient method of investigation and recovery. I can mount the Mac OS filesystem read-only in order to copy off files I don't want to risk losing during a repair, and I can also poke around to see what went wrong. Using the built-in recovery system can work for this, but it's running from the same storage device and it has some tools which write to the local system, so I like starting with something I know will not before using the recovery to repair the system.

            3. If Mac OS drops support but the hardware keeps working, Linux can be a replacement OS. I like having that option.

            "But, FWIW, there are projects to put Linux on M1."

            I wouldn't trust those. For one thing, we haven't yet seen whether they work at all on the new chips in these machines. Undoubtedly some hardware and firmware have changed. The only question is how much those changes will impact the existing efforts. Apple isn't, to my knowledge, trying to actively stop those efforts, but they certainly aren't making any effort to keep to a standard that Linux can follow, as they did with their Intel laptops.

            I would not buy an ARM Mac if running Linux on it outside a VM was important to me. If you're fine with Mac OS being the only native OS you can run, then it's still an interesting option.

            1. GraXXoR

              Re: eWaste

              If you want to run linux and you don't like apple's approach, vote with your wallet. Buy a windows machine and put linux on it instead or buy a framework modular laptop (is that what it's called?)

              win:win You get linux, apple doesn't get your money.

              That seems far more reasonable a stance to me than buying hardware from a company you dislike and trying to crowbar an OS onto that they have made abundantly clear they don't want to see running on bare metal.

      2. SkippyBing

        Re: eWaste

        - Also true. The same as every other laptop and electronic device in the world today.

        I'll tell Thailand they're part of China then, given my phone was made there (Sony). My TV seems to have been made in South Korea which I'm assuming is another renegade province...

        1. IGotOut Silver badge

          Re: eWaste

          I'll tell Thailand they're part of China then, given my phone was made there (Sony). My TV seems to have been made in South Korea which I'm assuming is another renegade province...

          And where did many of those components come from?

          As soon as I see "Red" China, I know what sort of person is posting.

      3. tip pc Silver badge

        Re: eWaste

        "Probably, except I guess that the battery will still be fairly simple to replace. iFixIt will tell. But that’s true of all major laptops nowadays isn’t it?"

        late 2016 mbp apple recalled in recent years due to butterfly keyboard issue and swelling batteries. I took mine to a genius bar as the keys where sticking and they shipped away as the battery is glued to the upper case that the keyboard is attached to and is not serviceable in store, I had no clue about both issues being a recall, they could have notified me anytime but waited for me to have an issue.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: eWaste

        his points are (mostly) valid, but they do apply to ANY brand (and I'm saying this as a 'propa' apple-hater). Nevertheless they are valid points, and we ALWAYS gloss over them, because 'everybody's doing it, shrug'...

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Cool, but nope

    The Max sounds like an amazing workstation, but Apple's disgraceful attitude to customer privacy means that even if you buy one, you will never own it. My current M1 Air will be the last Apple product I ever buy, and it will be running Asahi Linux as soon as is practical.

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cool, but nope

      Ooh, the Apple shills are out in force today...

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cool, but nope

      Do you work for:

      a) Google

      b) Pritti Patel

      c) China

      d) The US?

      Answers on a postcard to....

  5. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    Performance claims

    It'll be interesting to see which of their performance claims stand up to scrutiny. What special sauce is in that GPU that they reckon puts it far ahead of the current state of the art, for instance?

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Performance claims

      I don’t know why you got a downvote. You’re right. It will be interesting. I’m sitting on the side of the fence that says these computers will be barnstormingly good - but I have a vanilla M1 (both MacBook Air and Mini) and they’re astonishingly fast for everything except games. They blow my 12 core 3.6GHz Xeon Mac Pro out of the water for most workloads - and all whilst sipping at the power.

      I suspect that you’re on the sceptical side of the argument - and that’s fine by me. Your point is still good. It’ll be interesting, so have a thumbs up.

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Performance claims

        Yeah I'm generally a sceptic; Apple's marketing claims should always be taken with a grain of salt.

        However, the M1 CPU has already shown its class and it's impossible to ignore. Its considerable power and performance benefits are understandable considering it's an ARM on steroids and also the trouble Intel has had keeping x86 relevant. GPU tech, on the other hand, doesn't have that limitation.

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Performance claims

          Benchmarks of last year's M1 GPU by Anandtech:

          They found it to be the equal of a low-end discrete GPU but far more power efficient.

          It should also be remembered that after the independant benchmarks of the M1 came in, Apple were seen to have been straight in their their presentation about the M1's performance.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Performance claims

        in general, all those claims are claims and probably made to stir excitement, and sale, etc, etc. The usual bull for people creaming over 27,35% increase over previous 'best in class', etc, etc. There'll be plenty of faked, genuine, gamed, semi-gamed, reliable, shill, etc, reviews to get a real picture.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Performance claims

      I'm guessing they're comparing it to the Intel integrated GPUs (known to fine for business display use, but not great for more resource-intensive tasks), and not something like a dedicated nVidia or AMD chip

      1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

        Re: Performance claims

        One of the slides contained a comparison to "discrete PC laptop graphics" but, of course, didn't go into any further detail.

        1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

          Re: Performance claims

          Didn't the presenter say it was the fastest they could find on the market? Didn't mention any names though...

          1. SkippyBing

            Re: Performance claims

            Which market, and how hard did they look?

            1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge

              Re: Performance claims

              Given the chip track record, I'm happy to believe they tested it properly; they're opening themselves up to ridicule if they didn't. Which would mean something like a Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 with 16GB.

          2. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

            Re: Performance claims

            Not sure, I only saw the slides. I'll be buggered if I'm watching a launch event (for any device, not just Apple).

        2. ibmalone

          Re: Performance claims

          I'll happily believe it can be more power efficient, but 32 GPU cores? Intel's 11th gen chips have onboard Iris Xe, some of these have 96 execution units (and also share system RAM, unlike discrete graphics). An RTX 3050 has only 20 compute units, but 2048 floating point units, so just what a compute unit is worth varies. You'd have to look at benchmarks, but I'd like to see more than just a graph drawn by the art department.

          1. ibmalone

            Re: Performance claims

            (The one thumb down trusts Apple's marketing department to draw squiggles on graphs.)

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Performance claims

        'I'm guessing they're comparing it to the Intel integrated GPUs'

        Yep - it's relative to a 13-inch MacBook Pro with Intel Iris Plus

    3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Performance claims

      The special sauce is the shared memory approach that they introduced with the M1 last year: no memcpy when going between CPU and GPU. What this in practice means is that you may well need more RAM than you're used to.

      1. J. Cook Silver badge

        Re: Performance claims

        And since it tops out at 64 GB, that might be a deal breaker for the real heavy duty players.

        1. Jaybus

          Re: Performance claims

          Yes, and it won't be increased past 64 GB until TSMC's 3 nm node is ready. That is the trade-off with the UMA approach. Certainly, Intel, Samsung, and others will produce unified memory chips in the near future, but I think it has a limited lifespan due to the scalability issue.

          Another concern with this approach is cost. Each new node is becoming increasingly more expensive. The price of a 300 mm wafer constructed at the 5 nm node is US$16,988, whereas the cost of the same wafer at 7 nm node is US$9,346 and at 10 nm it is US$5,992. The pattern suggests that the production costs are nearly doubling with each new node. A 300 mm wafer constructed at 3 nm will be approaching US$30,000.

  6. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    3.5mm headphone jack

    Looks like the MacBook designers didn't get the memo about deleting 3.5mm headphone jacks from the BOM

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 3.5mm headphone jack

      Admittedly, I skimmed through this, but the impression I had was

      "All the new bells and whistles (eg keyboard) that didn't work - we're going back to the old kit, and making it sound like it's a wonderful feature!" So was a bit surprised that they didn't include the 3.5mm connector... IIRC I did see on the internet that you could get a headphone jack - just need to drill a hole.....

      Disclaimer - not a Apple fanboi!

  7. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

    Why Have You Left The One You Left Me For

    Says a PowerPC processor

    With thanks to both Crystal Gayle for her timeless rendition and Mark True for the lyrics

  8. tip pc Silver badge


    The return if additional ports is reluctantly welcomed, but the loss of the Touch Bar seems like a huge mistake.

    Using the bar as an additional touch input is very useful.

    The design of the machine looks like my 2012 mbp.

    Why no visual unlocking system?

    How does cost stack up to an equivalent pc?

    I was really looking forward to an upgraded Mac mini and am quite disappointed with this.

  9. trevorde Silver badge

    Great but ...

    ... there's no native software (and never will be any)

    1. 45RPM Silver badge

      Re: Great but ...

      You’re such a card. What native software would you like? Because it might well have it already.

      1. trevorde Silver badge

        Re: Great but ...

        A proper MCAD solid modeller, like SolidWorks, Pro-Engineer or Catia, would be a start. Then some decent FEA solvers like Ansys or Nastran. Nice to have would be a CFD package like StarCD. To finish it off, a few CAM products such as Delcam or Mastercam. For extra points, something to drive a rapid prototyping machine, or even just send a file to one.

        1. 45RPM Silver badge

          Re: Great but ...

          Hmm. An interesting non argument. You’ve chosen a use case that might be important to you, but it’s a minority use case and not a market that the Mac plays in.

          It’s also easy to invert. After all, I could complain that there’s no software for Windows because my preferred applications - Xcode, BBEdit, Transmit, Nisus - aren’t available.

          They’re both nonsense arguments, and you know it.

          1. trevorde Silver badge

            Re: Great but ...

            Apart for Xcode (a native app dev tool), there are alternatives available on Windows for all the apps you use.

            For the apps I cited, my point is there are *no* native alternatives albeit in a highly specialised niche.

            A more mainstream category would be gaming where AAA Mac exclusive titles are non-existent.

            TBH, I'm struggling to find a 'killer app' for the Mac.

            1. 45RPM Silver badge

              Re: Great but ...

              I did a quick search for CAD CAM tools for Mac. I found plenty. It’s not my field though, so I don’t know how good they are. (Just as there are alternatives to the software I suggested - and, incidentally, nothing on Windows works as well as BBEdit in the text editor field, and I’ve tried many. I’m very particular.)

              As to a killer application for the Mac, ever since the rise of the web that’s become a bit of a non argument - web based software can do what most people need from a computer.

              The killer application therefore becomes the OS itself. What works best for you? Where are you most comfortable? For me, Windows doesn’t do it for me for day to day use because the UI is janky and *nix is just a thin veneer on top. Linux I love and run on all my servers, but the (many) UIs are janky and inconsistent - so it’s not a good daily driver for me. ChromeOS is too Googley for me. MacOS is Unix through and through, with a UI that I find to be consistent and familiar.

              Don’t misunderstand me though. I’m not saying that Windows is rubbish. It it works for you that’s great. It just isn’t right for me. So isn’t it good that we have a choice?

              1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

                Re: Great but ...

                The lack of engineering software on the Mac is a feature.

                In a meeting/hot-desk office it allows you to immediately see who does any work and who is marketing/finance/management.

                Without the Mac in front of them you never know if the person in the scruffy black cartoon t-shirt is an engineer or just a hipster being ironically retro.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: Great but ...

                  Real engineering software does not run on any flavour of recent laptop.

                  (Call me when they are designing, simulating and verifying their silicon using their own compute products. )

              2. trevorde Silver badge

                Re: Great but ...

                I'm in the CAD/CAM/FEA industry, so it is my field, and believe me, there is nothing for the Mac.

                Nobody buys an OS just for the sake of it. People buy an OS to solve a problem, be it gaming, CAD/CAM/FEA or to run BBEdit. An OS is only useful as a platform for the apps you can run on it.

                If the killer app is a web browser, then the killer OS has to be Google Chrome. However, regarding *native* software, for every Mac app, there are acceptable Windows alternatives but the reverse is not true.

            2. Tessier-Ashpool

              Re: Great but ...

              Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro X are killer apps for the Mac. Great capabilities at a *very* reasonable price, and no software rental involved. Always in the top 5 of paid apps on the App Store.

            3. J. Cook Silver badge

              Re: Great but ...

              A killer app for mac? That would probably be where apple has traditionally sat: content creation i.e., video and image manipulation / editing tools, and desktop publishing.

          2. albaleo

            Re: Great but ...

            "BBEdit, Transmit, Nisus"

            So I'm not the only weirdo around. :-)

        2. Davegoody

          Re: Great but ...

          Perhaps buy a machine that actually runs those packages instead of bitching about a MacBook Pro, that's CLEARLY not aimed at your specific use. Willing to bet that many of these applications require a legacy port such as RS232 or similar to drive, which are notably missing from modern Winter PCs / laptops these days too. Nobody is forcing you to buy a Mac in the first place, if not suitable for your niche uses, perhaps look elsewhere.

        3. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Great but ...

          AutoCAD Fusion 360 has been on MacOS for years - last I looked, a year ago, Autodesk said that it ran blazing fast under Rosetta 2 on the M1 in their benchmarks.

          Solidworks has never been on MacOS, but its engine is used in an iOS solid modeller, oddly.

          Fusion is probably the better fit for many Mac users anyway- it is a blend of the parametric and the free-form paradigms, the latter having greater crossover with many a Mac user's workflow (i.e modelling a dragon before painting it in Photoshop, animating it in whatever, and compositing the results in something else).

          Apple are still releasing Intel machines, a la their stated two year transition roadmap.

          The real big CAD doesn't run on Windows anyway, but on servers. Any heavy simulation runs on render farms (typically Linux based) or on rented compute so the OS that the client application runs on is largely moot.

          Anyway, Apple's Mac Pro in last decade has been focused on stupid fast IO (for video)- not something that CAD really requires. One wouldn't pick a Mac for CAD work unless other parts of one's workflow benefitted from the hardware choice. i.e, creating video from a solid modeller and then colour-grading it to match some other video source.

  10. Binraider Silver badge

    …”No-one has created a pro SOC until now”.

    Acorn Computers did it in the 80s with the Archimedes on the forerunner of the very architecture being used in M1.

    Dubious marketing aside, this looks very good indeed and we are digging out a bunch of old intel Mac and iPhone devices to trade in.

    1. RPF

      ACORN also built the first RISC-chip home computer, which Apple also claimed they did first (and lost the subsequent court case).

      1. Chloe Cresswell

        Which was also really funny given when Acorn formed ARM, Apple was the other main investor in the company!

        (Apple also used the word "affordable" in the claim about the first risc home computer. Acorn's response was to point out the A3010 was selling for £199 at the time!

    2. Chloe Cresswell

      Not really true, the Archi isn't a SOC, you needed the ARM, VIDC1, MEMC1, etc to make a working system.

      You'd have to wait till 1992 and the A series that replaced the archimedes - the A3010/3020/4000 used an ARM250 which did integrate the support chips to the cpu package.

  11. Omnipresent Bronze badge

    Getting there

    They are getting there, but I will definitely be waiting for them to get it right before I buy in. I'm sure the next "miraculous" release will be just about 2 years away. By the time they get it right, they will probably have moved on to intel again, or quantum computing. Jobs would never have allowed a product that wasn't finished on the market, but he wasn't a slave to corporate investors either.

    1. Robin

      Re: Getting there

      Unfinished products like the original iPhone not having copy + paste?

      Out of interest, what are the features that make you consider it as not right?

  12. ZeroPete

    I'm out

    I just configured the 16" max with nothing but an SSD upgrade. It was over 4K Euro. I'm out.

    1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

      Re: I'm out

      It was over 4K Euro. I'm out.

      So about the same as similarly-specced Windows laptop then..

      (Hint - the hardware is premier top-notch stuff. I've got a 12-year old 17" MBP upstairs that still works quickly and reliably..)

      1. DavidYorkshire Silver badge

        Re: I'm out

        Apple kit up until 2012 used to be very well-made, and used standard components. Since then less so - lack of ports, awful keyboards, soldered RAM and SSDs. Some of these look to have been addressed, but not all of them. I assume that RAM and SSD are still soldered? That's a major minus point due to the likelihood of the flash chips especially failing after a number of years.

  13. teknopaul Silver badge

    Data xor design

    That performance graph, ahem, is so clearly drawn with bezier curves its crazy people take these guys seriously.

    We've made everything better by pointing upwards and telling you as little as possible.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Data xor design

      Apple's presentation of these new M1 Pro / Max chips is in keeping with how they presented the properties of the original M1 a year ago... claims that were later vindicated by independent benchmarks and performance reviews.

      So what if the graphs are fuzzy? There's no advange to Apple by making their presentation resemble an Anandtech article... those who really care about the nitty gritty numbers (or benchmarks of their specific choice of software tasks) are the sort who wouldn't buy *until* they'd read lots of independent reviews anyway.

      Heck, if you really want to be sure before buying, you wait six months or two years to see if any hardware issues are unearthed by real world users.

  14. deaglecat

    Looks tasty. But when I saw that Apple were charging an extra £19 nicker for a cleaning cloth then I started to wonder whether they were really being a tad greedy.

    (will wait for the MBP reviews... not the obvious You-tube shills... but the real world ones).

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      The £19 cleaning cloth is meant for the Apple XDR Display, the one with the fancy (yet apparently delicate) anti-reflective nano coating. The cloth is included with the pricey display.

      Yes, Apple will be putting a healthy mark-up on the cloth. However, they will have invested time and money in examining the supply chain to ensure that there is never a bad batch of cloths - a harder fibre than spec in the cloths might wreck the fancy coating on very expensive monitors. And Apple would be liable for replacements and endure bad press. Not good for Apple, worth their while avoiding)

      The gap between 'hardly ever goes wrong' and 'damn near never goes wrong!' can be as expensive as you want to go, engineering wise. How do you ensure the conveyor belt in the cloth factory can never sprinkle metal shavings from a damaged bolt onto a batch of cloths?

      Apple don't tell MacBook and iPad users to buy this cloth; for these devices Apple only recommends a generic 'soft, lint-free cloth'.

  15. Marty McFly Silver badge

    Grump, grump....Mac Mini

    Was hoping for an updated Mac Mini. My existing Mini's are getting long in the tooth, but I am hesitant to buy a M1 chip. First version new tech tends to get cut off earlier in the end-of-life cycle.

    Release a new Mini with the next generation M1 chips, and please take my money!

    1. Snapper

      Re: Grump, grump....Mac Mini

      Probably when the 30 -32-Inch iMac with M1 Pro and M1 Max (really don't like those names) is released sometime in 2022. There is always the rumoured 'mini' Mac Pro as well.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: Grump, grump....Mac Mini

        A model called the Mac Mini M1 Max has far too many Ms in it.

        Also, if Apple had gone with the rumoured name of M1 X, it could be read as 'MIX' - which might be too close to other consumer electronics branding, such as Mii Mix.

        These new chips are clearly too related to the M1 chip to deserve a version jump to M2, another rumoured name. Yes, version numbers can be arbitrary, but if so then it suits Apple to save the M2 moniker for when it can bring most attention to a new feature jump.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Grump, grump....Mac Mini

          Just call it an iM1niMacx and be done with it :-)

    2. Jason Hindle

      Re: Grump, grump....Mac Mini

      I'm happy enough with the M1 Air that I might just nab a refurb 16GB Mini for as little as I can. 8GB works surprisingly well but it would be nice to bring up a second Windows 11 (or third Linux) VM from time to time. Also, running more than one Adobe App at once can easily drive that memory pressure graph into the red (good grief Adobe are not exactly efficient).

      These new machines? Overkill for what I do. The base M1 is overkill for what I do.

  16. Plest Silver badge

    Nice boxes

    Love the sleek Apple kit but I also love gaming and they don't really go together as well as they should, now they've shifted platforms even less so. A real shame as these boxes are really nice but I need Windows on a laptop and after 35 years MS still haven't got a 100% stable version of Windows on x86/x64 platform let alone on a all new M1 platform!

  17. CCD

    Apple really is the new Microsoft

    10 years ago we launched a small software development company, and gave everyone a Mac desktop - developers, graphic artists, managers and all. It seemed a logical choice to those of us with Linux/UNIX expertise. It used the BSD kernel and the GNU toolchain. It had a proper GUI. Over at Redmond, Steve Ballmer thought Linux was a form of cancer. MacOS had credible commercial and free apps. Apple had contributed CUPS and other software to the open source world, and even supported Safari on Windows, to help save us from IE's proprietary extensions and disregard for standards. Macs looked nice, worked well, you could open them up and replace the memory and disks, and you could plug all the peripherals you had directly into them. Everybody was happy, and thought well of Apple.

    A decade later, we have migrated everybody back to PCs running Linux or Windows. Apple has thrown out as many GNU programs as it can. I need most of MacPorts to do anything useful. It has proprietary GPU hardware with closed specs. It has SSD and RAM soldered in. You need a Thunderbolt or USB-C hub to connect anything useful. Safari is now the bane of web developers - everything we write works in Chrome, Edge and Firefox - then we waste days producing workarounds for Safari. Microsoft has embraced open source. Linux desktops just work. I'm typing this in Edge on Debian, using a Dell PC that costs 40% what Apple charges for the same amount of RAM, SSD and screen size. Graphic designers - perfectly happy with the same Dell models but running Windows. Old Macs that Apple won't allow to run the latest macOS? We just install Debian on them. No special drivers required - It Just Works (and is faster and has security updates). Upgrading a Mac to a newer macOS? Even with our self-imposed 10-month delay after we touch a major release (so that at least some things we actually want to use might be compatible and work) it's a pig's ear. As an administrator, I'm not even allowed to mount a NFS filesystem at /foo/bar on a macOS client any more without either a spaghetti maze of symbolic links or disabling all the core system security protections. I don't waste my time watching Apple "Events" in which everything is "awesome" any more.

    But Tim Cook is very, very rich, so I guess you can't knock that.

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