Laptops

Apple unveils new MacBook Air, MacBook Pro with M1 chip

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Today, Apple finally unveiled its first ARM-based chip, marking a new foray for the company’s laptop segment. But what would a laptops chipset launch be without accompanying laptops? To complement the new chip, Apple is also launching a MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, and a Mac mini.

Now, before you go any further down this article, you might want to read about the new M1 chip first. The new ARM-based processor underscores every new Mac on this list.

MacBook Air

First on their docket, Apple revealed the first MacBook Air with the new M1 chip. With the 5nm processor, the 13-inch notebook performs up to 3.5 times faster than the previous generation. It can also do graphics up to 5 times faster. This time around, the MacBook Air is taking a step towards graphic-intensive operations. The improvement is reportedly “the biggest leap ever for MacBook Air.”

It also features Apple’s new image signal processor. The ISP improves camera quality and reduces noise.

With a fanless design, the MacBook Air remains silent despite the massive upgrade in performance. Boasting efficiency, the notebook lasts up to 15 hours of web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback.

13-inch MacBook Pro

After the thinner of the MacBook siblings, Apple is also launching a new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip. This time, the powerful notebook can provide up to 2.8 times faster performance than the previous MacBook Pro. Further, it can reportedly perform up to 3 times faster than the “best-selling Windows laptop in its class.”

Machine learning on the MacBook Pro is up to 11 times faster, enabling an arsenal of AI-capable functions on the fly. Despite the improvement, the MacBook Pro can deliver up to 17 hours of web browsing and up to 20 hours of video playback.

Mac mini

Finally, Apple has revealed a new Mac mini with the M1 chip. With the new processor, the new Mac mini can perform up to 3 times faster than the previous generation. It can perform graphics-intensive tasks by up to 6 times faster. Machine learning is now absurdly fast on the Mac mini, amping it up to 15 times faster performance.

Compared to its PC counterparts, the Mac mini can reportedly edge out its competitors with 5 times faster performance.

Pricing and availability

Starting today, users can already preorder the new devices on apple.com. All three devices will start shipping next week.

The new MacBook Air will retail for US$ 999. Meanwhile, the new 13-inch MacBook Pro starts at US$ 1,299. Finally, the new Mac mini will sell for US$ 699.

Laptops

Samsung is making the world’s first 90Hz laptop screens

Coming to a notebook near you

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Smartphone screens are getting better every year. However, though a significant chunk of commuters can now watch their favorite shows in buttery smooth 120Hz on the train, laptop users care still stuck with the same old screens. It’s time to show some love to laptops. Samsung is already moving towards this new direction, promising the world’s first 90Hz laptop screens.

According to a statement from CEO Joo Sun Choi, Samsung Display will start mass manufacturing the new laptop displays in March. The 14-inch, 90Hz OLED screens will eventually make their way to laptops can notebooks soon. The company will help laptop makers around the world reach a new standard this year.

Besides the world’s first 90Hz laptop screens, Samsung Display is also working one of the world’s first under-display cameras for a laptop. The upcoming device, currently called the Blade Bezel, features a brilliant edge-to-edge display and a disappearing camera.

With the world slowly acclimating to perpetually working from home, laptop display technology is taking drastic steps forward to keep everyone online and up to speed. In fact, last year saw a dramatic jump in laptop and PC sales in preparation for a telecommuting lifestyle. As the world waits for their turn on the vaccine waitlist, telecommuting won’t go away just yet.

SEE ALSO: Samsung teases laptop with under-display camera debut

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Laptops

Report says MacBook Pro 2021 won’t have the Touch Bar

But MagSafe will make a comeback!

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Apple could be planning a major revamp of the MacBook Pro lineup, and it’s expected to go official in the third quarter of 2021. Interestingly, the redesign will include removing the Touch Bar and the return of the MagSafe charging port.

According to TF International Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo, this will be the first major redesign of the MacBook Pro since 2016. Furthermore, it’ll have square-off sides like the iPhone 12, flatter top and bottom panels, and brighter screens.

It’ll be available in two sizes — 14-inch and 16-inch. And yes, they’ll feature Apple’s in-house processors that leverage Arm architecture. There will not be an Intel option, and Apple’s next-generation chipsets will power it. They’re expected to feature more cores and enhanced graphics.

At the end of November 2020, a MacBook Pro 16-inch with 12-core Apple M1X processor was tipped to be even more powerful than the M1 processor. Earlier that month, a MacBook Pro 14-ich model with Apple’s M1 processor was also tipped.

A report by TechRadar suggested that the 16-inch MacBook Pro model looks a bit slimmer. This could be due to the processor’s efficiency since it doesn’t need aggressive cooling like Intel-powered options.

Most importantly, though, Apple is going old-school and bringing some of the features we’ve always loved. The pill-shaped MagSafe charging connector could make a comeback, and physical function keys could replace the digital Touch Bar. Kuo has also hinted that Apple could provide ports generously to reduce dependence on dongles.

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CES 2021

ASUS unveils its new ZenBook Duo 14

Improved design, powerful internals, and a dynamic ScreenPad Plus

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ASUS continues to push the boundaries of its innovative products. Last year, they introduced the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14, a one-of-a-kind laptop which introduced the ScreenPad Plus. Essentially, you get a laptop with two screens that allow you to multitask and have more creative control. This year, the company is launching its latest iteration of the device, with some changes.

In terms of the overall design, the new ZenBook Duo 14 comes in a magnesium aluminum alloy chassis for a more sophisticated look. As soon as you open the laptop, it will still come with the patented ScreenPad Plus but with a hinge change. This time, the hinges that the ScreenPad Plus rest on are much stronger and incorporate ASUS’s ErgoLift in the process. As a result, this allows more airflow while you run strenous tasks like photo and video editing.

Also, the ScreenPad Plus’ UI gets an upgrade in terms of functionality with ScreenXpert 2.0. With this new Control Center, you can customize the flow of the applications on the second screen with ease. Apart from ASUS utilities and a dedicated Launcher, it also comes with a Control Panel that supports Adobe products like Photoshop, Premiere, and After Effects. Basically, you have more tools and settings to tinker with, to your liking.

All of these comes with powerful hardware to suit the creative mind or the young professional. Inside, the ASUS ZenBook Duo 14 sports up to an 11th generation Intel Core i7 CPU and 32GB of RAM. With up to 1TB of SSD storage, you can keep all your work files and projects up and running in no time. Also, you can opt to get the device with a dedicated NVIDIA MX450 GPU.

Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.

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