Are The New Apple Silicon Powered Apple MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini Worth it? (2020)
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Are The New Apple Silicon Powered Apple MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini Worth it? (2020)

profileJoel Koh
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The last half of 2020 has been really busy for Apple Inc (NASDAQ: AAPL).

In August, Apple announced that it will be splitting its shares for the fifth time in its history.

In September, the company announced new Apple Watches and new Apple iPads.

In October, the company released the new Apple iPhone 12 lineup.

one more thing paradise hotel
Source: Paradise Hotel | Giphy

Just when I thought there was nothing left for the year, Apple announced shiny new hardware at today’s (11 Nov 2020) One More Thing event.

At the event, Apple finally unveiled the new Apple Silicon M1 chips specifically built for Macs, as well as the release of macOS Big Sur.

That’s not all.

Apple announced new M1-powered versions of the 13-inch MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro, and Mac mini; claiming that the new M1 chips will deliver about three times more power compared to the previous comparable Intel models.

But are these new Macs worth it?

Let’s find out!


TL;DR: New Apple M1 Apple MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini

 New 13-Inch MacBook Air 2020New 13-Inch MacBook Pro 2020Mac Mini 2020
PriceFrom $1,449.00From $1,849.00From $979
Education PriceFrom $1,299.00From $1,709.00From $949
Processor + GraphicsApple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU + 7-core GPU
Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU + GPU
Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU + GPUApple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU + GPU

6-core Intel Core i5 or Core i7 with Intel UHD Graphics 630
AI Chip16‑core Neural Engine-
Display13.3 inch Retina
2560x1600 (227 ppi)
400 nits
Wide Colour (P3) + True Tone
13.3 inch Retina
2560x1600 (227 ppi)
500 nits
Wide Colour (P3) + True Tone
-
Battery~15 hours
49.9Wh battery
~17 hours
58.2Wh battery
-
Ram8GB (up to 16GB)8GB (up to 16GB)8GB (up to 64GB)
Storage256GB (Up to 2TB)256GB (Up to 2TB)256GB (Up to 2TB)
PortsTwo Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports

Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
Supports charging + DisplayPort
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Two USB-A ports (up to 5 Gbps)
HDMI 2.0 port
Gigabit Ethernet port
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
InputsMagic Keyboard
Force Touch Trackpad
Touch ID
Magic Keyboard
Force Touch Trackpad
Touch ID
Touch Bar
-
AudioStereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
3.5mm headphone jack
Three-mic array
Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
3.5mm headphone jack
'Studio quality' three-mic array
3.5mm headphone jack
ColoursGold | Silver | Space GreySilver | Space GreySilver | Space Grey

Apple M1 Chips Launched

I know what you’re thinking. No, Apple’s new chips have nothing to do with Singapore’s orange telco M1.

Instead, the Apple Silicon M1 chips are the first time Apple is putting its own ARM-based custom chips into Macs.

Apple M1 Chips
Source: Apple

The new custom M1 chip shares similarities with the A14 Bionic chip found in the new iPhone 12 and iPad Air, as it is also built on an efficient 5nm process.

The company is claiming that the custom chips provide the best performance per watt of any CPU, as well as greater power efficiency with the new design.

Although the company has been designing its own custom chips for a good 10 years or so, its custom chips have only been used with its mobile and platform devices like iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, headphones, HomePods, and Apple TVs.

Thus, today’s launch is significant as not only is this the first Apple custom chip made for Macs, it is also the first 5nm chip used in a computer.

iOS Apps Running on Mac

In addition, Apple announced that iOS apps can now be used on devices running macOS, and showed it off by running the Among Us and HBO Max iOS apps on a Mac.

ios apps on mac

New 13-Inch MacBook Air 2020 With M1 Processor

You can find the M1 chip in the new fanless Apple MacBook Air.

Apple new macbook air gold
Source: Apple

The company claims that the new M1 powered MacBook Air is about 3.5x faster than the previous model, and thanks to its fanless design, runs almost silent.

New 13-Inch MacBook Air 2020 Price And Specs

To help you get an idea of what the new MacBook Air is like, here are its price and specs.

DetailsNew 13-Inch MacBook Air 2020 (256GB)New 13-Inch MacBook Air 2020 (512GB)
Price$1,449.00$1,799.00
Education Price$1,299.00$1,649.00
Processor + GraphicsApple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
7‑core GPU
Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
8‑core GPU
AI Chip16‑core Neural Engine16‑core Neural Engine
Display13.3 inch Retina
2560x1600 (227 ppi)
400 nits
Wide Colour (P3) + True Tone
13.3 inch Retina
2560x1600 (227 ppi)
400 nits
Wide Colour (P3) + True Tone
Battery~15 hours according to Apple
49.9Wh battery
~15 hours according to Apple
49.9Wh battery
Ram8GB (up to 16GB)8GB (up to 16GB)
Storage256GB (Up to 2TB)512GB (Up to 2TB)
PortsTwo Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
Supports Charging + DisplayPort
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
Supports Charging + DisplayPort
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Touch ID
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Touch ID
Keyboard + TrackpadMagic Keyboard
Force Touch Trackpad
Magic Keyboard
Force Touch Trackpad
AudioStereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
3.5mm headphone jack
Three-mic array
Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
3.5mm headphone jack
Three-mic array
ColoursGold | Silver | Space GreyGold | Silver | Space Grey

In terms of design and weight, the new M1 powered MacBook Air and the previous Intel-powered MacBook Air are almost identical.

But, the new MacBook Air’s display is sharper and displays more colours due to support for the P3 colour gamut.

Apple Macbook Air 2020 specs
Source: Apple

You also get to choose between two variants of the new MacBook Air.

Both models have the M1 chip.

But, the base model with 256GB of storage has the M1 chip with a 7-core GPU, while the 512GB storage model has a more powerful 8-core GPU.

The base model starts is priced $1,449 ($1,299 education store price) while the upgraded model is priced at $1,799 ($1,649 education price).

P.S. Check out our guide to getting MacBooks for cheaper for more information about the education store price.

In terms of pricing, the new base model MacBook Air is priced the same as the previous generation i3 MacBook Air (2020) retailed for $1,499 at launch.

For the upgraded model, the new MacBook Air is $100 cheaper, as the i5 MacBook Air (2020) retailed for $1,899 at launch.

You can also upgrade the ram and storage for both models with up to 16GB of memory and up to 2TB of SSD.

Apple also claims that the battery will last for about 15 hours of web browsing, which is about four hours more than the previous generation Intel MacBook Air.

New 13-Inch Macbook Air 2020 Release Date Singapore

At the time of writing (10 November 2020), you can now order the new M1-powered MacBook Air 2020, with shipping starting next week.

New 13-Inch MacBook Pro 2020 With M1 Processor

If you need something more powerful, you can consider the M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro.

The major difference between the M1 powered New MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air is that the Pro has a fan for active cooling, which means that the Pro can perform better and for longer.

apple-new-macbook-pro-m1
Source: Apple

The Pro also has a touch bar, brighter screen, more powerful stereo speakers and upgraded ‘studio-quality’ mics for super clear recordings and calls.

You also get Apple’s latest camera image signal processor in the M1 chip enables sharper images and more detail in shadows and highlights on video calls.

New 13-Inch MacBook Pro 2020 Price And Specs

To help you get an idea of what the new MacBook Pro is like, here are its price and specs.

DetailsNew 13-Inch MacBook Pro 2020 (256GB)New 13-Inch MacBook Pro 2020 (512GB)
Price$1,849.00$2,149.00
Education Price$1,709.00$2,009.00
Processor + GraphicsApple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
8‑core GPU
AI Chip16‑core Neural Engine
Display13.3 inch Retina
2560x1600 (227 ppi)
500 nits
Wide Colour (P3) + True Tone
13.3 inch Retina
2560x1600 (227 ppi)
500 nits
Wide Colour (P3) + True Tone
Battery~17 hours according to Apple
58.2Wh battery
~17 hours according to Apple
58.2Wh battery
Ram8GB (up to 16GB)8GB (up to 16GB)
Storage256GB (Up to 2TB)512GB (Up to 2TB)
PortsTwo Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
Supports Charging + DisplayPort
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gbps)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps)
Supports Charging + DisplayPort
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Touch ID
Touch Bar
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Touch ID
Touch Bar
Keyboard + TrackpadMagic Keyboard
Force Touch Trackpad
Magic Keyboard
Force Touch Trackpad
AudioStereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
3.5mm headphone jack
'Studio quality' three-mic array
Stereo speakers with Dolby Atmos
3.5mm headphone jack
'Studio quality' three-mic array
ColoursSilver | Space GreySilver | Space Grey

In terms of design and weight, the new M1 powered MacBook Pro and the previous Intel-powered MacBook Air are almost identical.

The new MacBook Pro also retains the same retina display as the previous MacBook Pro as well.

apple macbook pro 2020 specs
Source: Apple

But unlike the new Apple MacBook Air, there is only one variant of the MacBook Pro with the powerful M1 chip with the 8-core CPU and GPU.

The base model with 256GB of storage retails for $1,849 ($1,709 education store price), while the upgraded model with 512GB of storage retails for $2,149 ($2,009 education price).

In terms of pricing, the new base model MacBook Pro retails for $50 less than the previous generation i5 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019) which retailed for $1,899 at launch.

For the upgraded model, the new MacBook Pro is $170 cheaper, as the previous generation i7 13-inch MacBook Pro (2019) retailed for $2,319 at launch.

You can also upgrade the ram and storage for both models with up to 16GB of memory and up to 2TB of SSD.

Apple also claims that the battery will last for about 17 hours of web browsing, which is about seven hours more than the previous generation Intel MacBook Pro.

New 13-Inch MacBook Pro 2020 Release Date Singapore

At the time of writing (10 November 2020), you can now order the new M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro 2020, with shipping next week.

New Mac Mini 2020 With M1 Processor

Last but not least, we have the new M1 powered Mac Mini.

Apple_new-mac-mini-m1
Source: Apple

The new Mac mini features an advanced thermal design to sustain its performance while staying cool and silent.

New Mac Mini 2020 Price And Specs

To help you get an idea of what the new Mac mini is like, here are its price and specs.

DetailsMac Mini M1 2020 (256GB)Mac Mini M1 2020 (512GB)Mac Mini Intel 2020 (512GB)
Price$979.00$1,279.00From $1,579
Education Price$949.001249$1,509.00
Processor + GraphicsApple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
8‑core GPU
Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU
8‑core GPU
3.0GHz 6-core Intel Core i5 or
3.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7
Intel UHD Graphics 630
AI Chip16‑core Neural Engine16‑core Neural Engine16‑core Neural Engine (For M1 model)
Ram8GB (up to 16GB)8GB (up to 16GB)8GB (up to 64GB)
Storage256GB (Up to 2TB)512GB (Up to 2TB)512GB (Up to 2TB)
PortsTwo Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Two USB-A ports (up to 5 Gbps)
HDMI 2.0 port
Gigabit Ethernet port
3.5mm headphone jack
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Two USB-A ports (up to 5 Gbps)
HDMI 2.0 port
Gigabit Ethernet port
3.5mm headphone jack
Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports
Two USB-A ports (up to 5 Gbps)
HDMI 2.0 port
Gigabit Ethernet port
3.5mm headphone jack
ConnectivityWi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
ColoursSilverSilverSpace Grey

This refresh is long overdue as the previous Mac Mini was launched in 2018.

apple mac mini 2020
Source: Apple

But unlike the new Apple MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, there are two variants of the Mac Mini: one with the M1 chip with the 8-core CPU and GPU.

The M1 powered base model with 256GB of storage retails for $979 ($949 education store price), while the upgraded model with 512GB of storage retails for $1,279 ($1,249 education price).

Whereas for the Intel-powered Mac mini, the prices start from $1,579 ($1,509 education price).

The price goes up from there if you want more memory or storage.

If you want more power and upgradability, the Intel-powered Mac mini offers more upgrades.

Apple also says that the new M1 chip inside gives it three times the performance of the previous Mac Mini.

It can run two monitors at once, though one has to be connected via the HDMI port, which maxes out at 4K resolution.

Mac Mini Prices Over The Years

Mac mini “Core i3” 3.6 (Late 2018) $1179 vs New M1 Mac mini (256GB) $979

Mac mini “Core i5” 3.0 (Late 2018) $1619 vs New M1 Mac mini (512GB) $1,279vs New M1 Mac mini (256GB) $979 1s New M1 Mac mini (256GB) $979 1

Mac mini “Core i7” 3.2 (Late 2018) $1619 New Intel Mac mini (512GB) $1,579

The new Mac mini is also cheaper than the previous generation Mac mini at launch as prices range anywhere from $40 – $340 less.

New Mac Mini 2020 Release Date Singapore

At the time of writing (10 November 2020), you can now order the new Mac Mini 2020, with shipping starting next week.

However, it is currently out of stock over on the Apple website.

mac mini stock singapore
Source: Apple

macOS Big Sur Release Date

These Macs will be powered by macOS 11 Big Sur, which according to Apple will be available on Thursday, 12 November 2020 as a free download for supported Macs.

However, there was no specific time mentioned, which means you might receive the update on Friday if you are in Singapore.

Can’t Get Enough Apples (Tech Company Not The Fruit)?

Why not head on over to our Seedly Community and discuss all things Apple there!apple seedly

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About Joel Koh
History student turned writer at Seedly. Before you ask, not a teacher. My time as a history student has equipped me with the skills to evaluate the impact societal development has on financial and nonfinancial events.
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