Apple’s first showcase of 2022 saw the company address dormant devices with some clearly beefy upgrades while also laying out the next step in its chip development journey. After another successful iPhone launch with the iPhone 13, it was time for Apple to address other areas of its device family, though the iPhone still got some love.
The expected announcement of a new iPhone SE and iPad Air came to fruition, but Apple also unveiled a brand new processor, the M1 Ultra, that once again aims squarely at keeping it the go-to brand for creative professionals. Like the title of the presentation stated, Tuesday’s event was all about performance under the hood, so let’s pop it open and get into the details.
Perhaps the most impactful reveal of the event was Apple’s new M1 Ultra chip. The latest addition to the M1 processor family, the M1 Ultra is basically two M1 Max chips put together to produce the company’s most robust processor to date. It’s 20-core CPU and 64-core GPU allow it to support 128GB of unified memory, delivering blazing speeds for the heftiest of video, audio and 3D rendering projects without sacrificing battery life. According to Apple, the M1 Ultra’s CPU uses 100W less power and the GPU uses 200W less power as compared to the M1 chip.
When introducing such a meal of a chip, you better have something to showcase its power, and Apple didn’t disappoint. The new Mac Studio is the first Mac desktop to utilize the M1 Ultra capabilities. Positioned (and priced) with creative professionals in mind, this little square delivers Apple’s fastest-performing PC ever. It’s four Thunderbolt 4 ports allow for plenty of customization in building out your rig while nearly doubling the processing speed of the highest-spec Mac Pro PC. And that performance only dips slightly if you go with the cheaper M1 Max model (from $1,999). The Mac Studio is available for pre-order now and will ship on March 18.
A new desktop needs a new display, so Apple introduced its first new monitor in a number of years alongside the Mac Studio. The Studio Display features a 27-inch 5K screen that can reach 600 nits of brightness. Its six-speaker sound system supports Spatial Audio and its 12MP ultrawide camera is the first Mac camera to include Apple’s subject-framing Centerstage tech. The Studio Display also gets a boost in performance from the inclusion of an A13 Bionic chip, which was used in previous iPhones. The new display is available for pre-order now and will be released on March 18.
The budget iPhone is back. The iPhone SE’s first upgrade since 2020 packs in the A15 Bionic chip, the same chip powering the current iPhone 13. That means the cheaper iPhone still delivers impressive processing and camera performance in its 4.7-inch casing. It also includes 5G connectivity and Touch ID. The iPhone SE is available for pre-order on March 11 ahead of its March 18 release.
Every entry in the iPad series now runs on Apple’s M1 chip with the introduction of the first new iPad Air in nearly two years. The thin tablet includes all of the trappings expected from the iPad name: Apple Pencil support, a 12MP ultrawide front camera with Centerstage and 5G connectivity on cellular-equipped models. Its 10.9-inch Liquid Retina display can reach 500 nits of brightness and faster USB-C ports give a sizable bump to data transfer speeds. Both Wi-Fi and cellular models of the iPad Air will be open to pre-orders on March 11 and will ship on March 18.