There weren't too many surprises at yesterday's Scary Fast event. The event was entirely Mac-centric; all three M3 chips are available simultaneously; The M3-based 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models were the stars of the show; and the 24-inch iMac was upgraded from the M1 chip to the M3.
But there were still a few unexpected developments – and it's also worth noting what Apple did’ t announce …
Everything Apple announced at Scary Fast
It won't take long, because there weren't many of them!
M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max
It was expected that – for the first time – Apple would simultaneously release three main variants of the M3 Chip, and this was indeed the case. The company announced Macs using all three variants: M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max. Only the M3 Ultra held up.
In terms of performance, the M3 line is 15% faster than the equivalent M2 and 30% faster than the M1. The main efficiency improvements are 30% and 50% respectively. Notably, Apple emphasized that the M3 matches the performance of the M1 with literally half the power.
MacBook Pro models
As expected, we didn't see any changes to the design – other than a new, nicer shade of gray (sorry, Space Black) that Apple says is more resistant to fingerprints.
One of the surprises is that for the first time a MacBook Pro model has been introduced with a base chip, in this case the base M3. The M1 and M2 models were only available with Pro and Max chips. This also results in a new low price for the Apple Silicon MacBook Pro line.
The reason for this is that Apple has finally abandoned the old 13-inch MacBook Pro. With a Touch Bar and no notch, it looked like an increasingly anomalous part of the lineup, but Apple wanted an affordable replacement, and the M3-based 14-inch MacBook Pro is it.
There are other compromises on the entry-level model: 8GB of memory instead of 16GB, two USB-C ports instead of three, and one fan instead of two. But it's still a big step up from the old 13-inch model.
So here's the new lineup:
- M3 14-inch MacBook Pro starting at $1,599.
- M3 Pro 14-inch MacBook Pro starting at $1,999
- M3 Max 14-inch MacBook Pro starting at $3,199
- M3 Pro 16 MacBook Pro – inch, starting at $2,499
- M3 Max, 16-inch MacBook Pro, starting at $3,499
The iMac featured an updated version of the processor, but the design and colors remained unchanged.
The Apple Silicon version of the 24-inch iMac debuted with The M1 chip has not been upgraded to the M2 and is now installed directly on the base M3.
As you'd expect from this machine, there are no M3 Pro or M3 Max variants.
- 24-inch iMac M3 from $1,299
What Apple not announced
Although it was clear that the event would be Mac-centric, there were vague rumors about an updated iPad mini – but no.
The release of a new iMac we hoped would mean new versions Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad, all of which have a USB-C charging port instead of a Lightning port. Some even dared to hope that Apple could finally move the Magic Mouse's charging port to a reasonable location. But none of that happened.
Others were hoping for a 32-inch iMac to replace the much-missed 27-inch model, but they, too, were disappointed.
In general, the event went as expected. The base model MacBook Pro variant with the M3 chip and some compromises was a surprise and mostly positive, as it represents a significant step up from the discontinued 13-inch Touch Bar model.
One minor disappointment was the lack of accessories USB-C, so even if you have Apple's latest iPhone, iPad, and Mac, if you use an external keyboard and pointing devices, you can't ditch Lightning cables just yet.
That 32-inch iMac will undoubtedly arrive someday, but for now your wallet is safe.
What do you think? Are you planning to buy any of the new models announced? Share your opinion in the comments.