Apple has just unveiled an updated lineup of MacBook Pro laptops, featuring M3 chips and an exciting new entry-level option. While the exterior design remains largely unchanged, there’s a notable addition in the form of a more affordable 14-inch MacBook Pro priced at $1,599. Let’s explore these new developments and also touch on Apple’s unique stance on Artificial Intelligence (AI).
1. The New MacBook Pro Lineup
Apple’s latest product event showcased the release of refreshed 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. These new laptops not only replace the previous generation but also signal the end of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The introduction of a $1,599 version of the 14-inch MacBook Pro with a regular M3 chip provides a more budget-friendly option.
Here are the key distinctions:
- It comes with 8GB of RAM and less storage.
- One less Thunderbolt port.
- Supports a single external display.
However, for its reduced price, the M3 MacBook Pro still offers several high-end features, including a ProMotion display, mini LED screen technology, MagSafe connector, a 1080p camera, 512GB of storage in the base model, a quality speaker system, and a full-sized HDMI port. It’s worth noting that the M3 model tends to offer slightly longer battery life compared to its more powerful counterparts.
The M3 and M3 Pro versions are available for pre-order, with shipping starting on November 7. The M3 Max versions will be available later in November. The 14-inch M3 Pro model starts at $1,999, while the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 Pro chip starts at $2,499.
2. A Closer Look at the M3 Chips
The M3 chip series is at the heart of these new MacBook Pros, and they come in different variants: M3, M3 Pro, and M3 Max. When comparing the M3 Pro to its predecessor, the M2 Pro, there are some notable differences. The M3 Pro features a slightly reduced number of cores (CPU and GPU) and supports a maximum of 36GB of RAM. However, its updated architecture and 3nm manufacturing process are expected to result in overall speed gains compared to the M2 Pro.
The M3 Max, on the other hand, is a significantly larger chip than the M2 Max. It boasts more performance cores, a higher GPU core count, and supports a maximum of 128GB of RAM. However, these enhancements come at a cost, with an additional $1,500 for the M3 Max and the required memory upgrade.
3. Apple’s Approach to A.I.
Apple’s approach to Artificial Intelligence (A.I.) stands out in the tech industry. Despite A.I. being a focal point for many other companies, Apple has maintained a unique silence on the subject. In all of its product announcements and public keynotes since November 2022, there’s no mention of “A.I.,” “Artificial Intelligence,” or “generative A.I.”
Instead, Apple refers to “machine learning,” “neural engine,” and “on-device learning.” Even in discussions of technologies like Core ML for Stable Diffusion, which involves generative A.I. for image creation, Apple avoids the term “A.I.”
This distinctive approach is also reflected in Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook’s statements. When asked about A.I., Cook emphasized the importance of being thoughtful and deliberate, indicating that Apple is cautious in approaching this technology.
In contrast, other major tech companies are keen to emphasize how A.I. features in their software can change lives. Microsoft, for instance, positions A.I. as the next significant computing platform, integrated into Windows and Microsoft 365.