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Apple October event: 5 things you might have missed at Unleashed

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The Apple October event brought new MacBooks, AirPods, and more: here’s 5 things you might have missed at Unleashed.
Apple’s October event was all about computing with a decent amount of audio thrown in for good measure. While the reveals of the new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros took the spotlight, there was plenty of news if you weren’t paying close attention. There were revelations about the successor to Apple’s M1 chipset, its first in-house computer silicon. Or rather, successors – both the M1 Pro and the surprise M1 Max, which Apple claims are leaps and bounds more powerful than the M1, though we’ll have to do a lot of testing to find out exactly how much. Even beyond the chipset, it’s clear that both the new MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch have improved on their predecessors simply thanks to backtracking on some design ‘innovations’ of the last few years, like adding back in HDMI and MagSafe ports as well as a headphone jack. The oft-maligned Touch Bar is gone, replaced with basic function keys. At long last, we got new AirPods, which incorporate some of the best features of the AirPods Pro (but not noise-cancelling, sadly). And the HomePod mini now comes in more colors, great for those tired of the uniform black and gray hues of every other smart speaker on the market. Those were all the highlights that you probably got just from the headlines bouncing around after the event, but here’s five things you might have missed at Apple Unleashed. While nothing tops the Mac Pro M1 in terms of options that can extravagantly escalate the list price, the new MacBook Pro models have more selections at checkout than their predecessors that can rapidly raise the price. These include options for more RAM and storage, for instance, but also something new: the option to pick between up to five chipset configurations for the 14-inch and three for the 16-inch MacBook Pro. You won’t just be picking between the M1 Pro and the ultimate M1 Max, either. The 14-inch model starts at an Apple M1 Pro with an 8-core CPU and 14-core GPU, which can be boosted to a 10-core CPU and 16-core GPU for a little extra cost. The two higher upgrade tiers switch to an M1 Max chipset, which tops out at a 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU. The 16-inch model just has the top-tier M1 Pro model (10-core CPU and 16-core GPU) along with both M1 Max configurations.

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