October 19, 2021
Apple event: Updated MacBook Pros, third-generation AirPods, plus HomePod Mini speakers unveiled
If you're a fan of Apple AirPods, Monday's announcement may be music to your ears.
The tech giant revealed during a virtual event the third generation of its popular AirPods wireless earbuds. They cost $179 and are available for preorder starting Monday. The new AirPods go on sale Oct. 26.
The updated AirPods feature a new contour design with a shorter stem and a force sensor for more intuitive control of music and phone calls. There is also support for spatial audio for fuller sound and adaptive EQ for a more accurate listening experience.
The earbuds also include a low-distortion driver for more powerful bass sounds and crisp, clean high frequencies.
Both the AirPods and their charging case are also water and sweat-resistant with an IPX4 rating.
The AirPods boast six hours of listening time and up to 30 hours when you include the case that recharges the earbuds. The case will also support wireless charging.
Along with AirPods, Apple introduced new models of its HomePod Mini speakers in different colors: white, black, orange, yellow and blue.
New MacBook Pros start at $1,999
It wasn't just AirPods receiving a moment in the spotlight. Apple also revealed two new MacBook Pro models, one with a 16-inch display and another with a 14-inch display.
The 14-inch display will start at $1,999, while the 16-inch display starts at $2,499. Both are available to preorder Monday, and launch Oct. 26.
The Pros will run with two new chips, the M1 Pro and the M1 Max. Apple says the M1 Pro delivers up to 70% faster processing performance than M1, available on last year's MacBook Pro models, and the graphics processor performance is twice as fast.
However, upgrading to the Max chip is pricey. It's only available in the 16-inch model and starts at $3,499. The devices support up to 8 terabytes of storage, which also drives up the price of the new MacBook.
The upgraded MacBooks also feature an upgraded keyboard and physical function buttons to replace the touch bar. It's also bringing back more ports to attach external devices: three Thunderbolt ports, HDMI, an SDXC card slot, and a headphone jack.
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