Apple announced their new M1 SoC for Macs last night and have already made the chip available in their three most popular products, the MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini. The M1 chip is a huge leap towards Apple being a self-reliant company, how manufacturing both the hardware and software that powers the mac. If you’ve been eagerly waiting for the release of this new hardware, here’s what you can buy in India and when.
Kicking things off with the most popular thin and light laptop in the world, the MacBook Air is now powered by the M1 chip. The Apple India webstore currently lists the MacBook Air at a starting price of Rs 92,900. For this money, you get the M1 chip with 8-core CPU and only 7 of the 8 GPU cores enabled. Additionally, you get 8GB DDR4 memory and a 256GB storage module, all baked in. If you want more memory, a 16GB upgrade would cost you an additional Rs 20,000, and jumping from the 256GB storage to the 512GB tier would be another Rs 20,000. You can even choose 1TB or 2TB storage options, but each of those will cost you an additional Rs 40,000 and Rs 80,000 respectively. The new MacBook Air can be pre-ordered right now from Apple’s online store in India, with an estimated ship date being between November 25 and Dec 1. If you’re a student, then the pricing on the base mode of the MacBook Air is a little lower.
The “barely there” desktop from Apple is now infused with the company’s own silicon, the M1 chip. The base variant which starts at Rs 64,900 comes with all 8 GPU cores enabled, along with 8GB DDR4 memory baked in. the storage on this unit is 256GB and bumping it up to 512GB will cost you another Rs 20,000, as would the 16GB RAM upgrade. The Mac Mini is currently listed with three configurations, two running on the M1 chip and one running on an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor. If you order the Mac Mini today from Apple’s India store, the ship time is mentioned to be 2-3 weeks, putting the delivery between November 25 and December 1.
In the days leading up to the announcement of the Apple Silicon, there were rumours around whether Apple will announce a Pro machine with the new chip, and if they did, which one would it be. Turns out, the 13-inch MacBook Pro is now M1 powered, with the base variant with all 8 CPU and GPU cores enabled, coming in at Rs 1,22,900. This gets you the same 8GB DDR4 memory and 256GB storage, with a bump up to the next spec costing you Rs 20,000. The ship date for the MacBook Pro 13-inch is also set within the same November 25-December 1. The new MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM could go toe-to-toe with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, if Apple's claims are to be believed.
What is interesting is that Apple has packed the same chip with the same performance capabilities, same 8GB DDR4 memory and the same 256GB storage module. This prompts the question, why may more for a MacBook Pro in comparison to the Air? Well for starters, the MacBook Air has a fanless design while the MacBook Pro features an active cooling system to keep things cool and running at full power while you’re editing your 4K video in FCP. Reviews of the new Apple Silicon Macs are still awaited, but given the kind of performance we’ve seen on the iPhone and the iPad Pro and even the new iPad Air, it wouldn’t be too far-fetched to see Apple pull off something spectacular with the M1 chip as well.
Digit's resident camera nerd, (un)official product photographer and the Reviews Editor