The Morning After: Introducing Apple's new MacBook Pros and AirPods

With new pro-level M1 chips.


Did Apple just make its Macbook Pros interesting again? As expected, its high-end laptops were the star of its Unleashed event yesterday and are the first machines powered by Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips. (The company is borrowing iPhone nomenclature, it seems.)

It’s been hard for me to get too excited about the MacBook Pro’s slow, cautious evolution over the last few years. The OLED Touch Bar was a misstep, nixing function keys for a light-up bar with customizable touch panels. There were fewer ports than older models, including the SD card slot. This added another dongle to my bag, alongside a USB-C converter for any devices that hadn’t caught up with the MacBook’s own USB-C ports — which were few and far between. And don’t get me started on the "butterfly" style keyboard that appeared in 2015.

The Morning After

The 2021 MacBook Pro literally brushes away most of my problems. Yes, there’s an SD card reader, more ports, no more Touch Bar to accidentally hit and close internet tabs, more ports and a blast from the past.

Yep, MagSafe is back. While the term returned on recent iPhones, it’s been years since Apple offered the magnetic cable safety feature on its computers. It’s different from the old connector, and, in worst case scenarios, you can still charge through USB-C.

The screens have been expanded, featuring micro-LED display tech first used on iPad Pro and also marking the first appearance of a notch on MacBooks. Long live the notch!

These machines are for power users — and Apple is seriously talking up the capabilities of its new chips, more on that below. But that’s not what intrigues me. It’s the fact that Apple is walking back some of its pretty major missteps in recent MacBook Pro history and making it more usable in the process, tempting me to buy myself a new MacBook for the first time in a decade.

The 14-inch base model and 16-inch base model are set to start at $1,999 and $2,499 respectively. You can pre-order both today, with machines arriving on October 26th. Expect our reviews of both the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros very soon — I should start saving.

— Mat Smith

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The M1 Pro and M1 Max are Apple's high-end Mac chips

Finally, pro chips for the MacBook Pro.

It's been almost a year since Apple unveiled its first custom chip for Macs, the ARM-based M1. As we saw in our review of the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and colorful iMac, the M1 was a marvel, if not quite the pro-level of power many might have been expecting.

With the M1 Pro and M1 Max, the two chips underpinning the company's new 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, it’s making a renewed pitch for power users. Both chips have 5nm 10-core processors, with eight high-performance cores and two high-efficiency units. Apple says the chips offer up to 1.7X faster performance than competing eight-core PC chips, which makes them particularly compelling for people doing heavy-duty 3D and video rendering.

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Disney delays all of Marvel’s 2022 films

At least three major movies will all hit Disney+ later as a result.

Disney has shaken up its movie release calendar, with several Marvel Cinematic Universe flicks delayed. The revamped schedule, which Variety reports is due to a production-related snowball effect. Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness was penciled in for March 25th, but now it's taking Thor: Love and Thunder's old date of May 6th. The next Thor movie will arrive on July 8th, in turn pushing back Black Panther: Wakanda Forever to November 11th.

The schedule shifts mean there will only be three Marvel movies next year instead of the planned four.

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Apple's redesigned AirPods bring Spatial Audio and Adaptive EQ for $179

The entry-level AirPods finally get an updated design and new features.

The Morning After

Alongside all the Mac Stuff, Apple debuted the third-iteration AirPods with an updated design, Spatial Audio, Adaptive EQ and one-touch setup. Apple says the newest AirPods are safe for workouts thanks to IPX4 sweat and water resistance. Hands-free Siri is back, while a skin sensor detects when you're wearing the earbuds, automatically pausing when one is removed.

As for battery life, you can expect up to six hours of listening and 30 hours of total usage with the charging case. The third-generation AirPods are up for pre-order today for $179 and will begin shipping on October 26th.

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'Squid Game' documents may show how Netflix rates the success of its content

The show reportedly created $891 million in 'impact value.'

Netflix has always closely guarded the exact streaming metrics that may reveal why programs are considered a success... or cancelled. That black box has cracked open a bit with documents obtained by Bloomberg detailing the company's scores for "impact value" and "efficiency." One example was Squid Game, which generated $891.1 million in impact value on a budget of just $21.4 million. Other figures showed that around 132 million people watched at least two minutes of Squid Game in the first 23 days, beating a record set by Bridgerton.

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Fisher-Price launches a working Chatter telephone for adults

Pick up the phone.

The Morning After
Fisher Price

Fisher-Price has made a special edition of the iconic Chatter telephone for its 60th anniversary — one that's fully functional and can make and receive calls.

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PS5 overtook Switch as the best-selling console in the US last month

A Sony system claims the top spot for the first time since November 2018.

For the first time in nearly three years, the Nintendo Switch wasn’t the best-selling console in the US. In September, that distinction went to Sony’s PlayStation 5 instead. According to NPD’s Mat Piscatella, the PS5 outsold Nintendo’s portable last month both in unit volume and dollar amount, thereby ending the Switch’s impressive 33-month streak as the best-selling console in the US.

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