Apple pleasantly surprised us by announcing all of the rumoured new Macs at WWDC23, the 15 inch MacBook Air with M2, Mac Studio with M2 Max and M2 Ultra and even the long awaited Apple Silicon Mac Pro with M2 Ultra. The rumoured Vision Pro AR glasses were previewed too.
15 inch MacBook Air with M2
The 15 inch M2 MacBook Air is a brand new model. In most respects, it’s identical to its little brother, apart from its 15.3 inch 2,880 by 1,564 pixel display, bigger battery and slightly upgraded speakers.
This is an interesting option for those who might have bought a 16 inch MacBook pro in the past, largely because they wanted a bigger screen. The 15 inch M2 MacBook Air will give you a 15 inch screen, but in a thin and light laptop with 18 hours of battery life. And at a substantially lower price. It’s available in the same colours as the 13 inch MacBook Air: Midnight, Space Grey, Silver and Champagne.
You can also choose from a 70 watt charger for fast charging, or a smaller 35 watt charger with two USB-C ports. If you spend a lot of time on the road, this means you can charge your MacBook Air and iPhone (or Apple Watch, or iPad) at the same time.
Our suggested spec for a 15 inch MacBook Air in most cases would be 16GB RAM and at least a 512GB SSD.
Mac Studios with M2 Max and M2 Ultra
It was great to see the Mac Studios updated to M2. This will give a nice performance boost to these potent little workhorses.
Those who have been holding off buying new Macs hoping for an Apple Silicon 27 inch or larger iMac should take note of the fact that Apple have updated Mac Studio, because it likely means that Apple don’t have plans for larger “pro” Apple Silicon iMacs in the near future. This is probably due to engineering issues around heat, given the extensive cooling that the M2 Ultra in particular needs. It’s easy to see that it just won’t work in a slim, 2023 style Apple iMac design.
Mac Studio with M2 Max is a great system for designers, architects, retouchers and video editors. For those still using a 2019 or earlier 27 inch iMac, this would be a very good upgrade option.
The standard spec for Mac Studio with M2 Max is a good starting point for most applications, with 32GB RAM and 512GB SSD. But your particular workflow might need additional RAM or SSD.
Mac Studio with M2 Ultra is a great fit for those with heftier workflow needs, like video editing, 3D rendering, animation, compositing or engineering workflows. Those needing a Mac Studio with M2 Ultra are going to have very specific requirements, so talk to Mac Aid about speccing one up to suit your workflow.
And don’t forget about the Mac mini with M2 Pro, which is a very compelling option for mid-level design and architectural workflows, if you are on a budget.
Mac Pro with M2 Ultra
Apple finally released the fabled Apple Silicon Mac Pro. It’s an odd beast in many ways, and most candidates for one of these will be just as well served by a well specced Mac Studio with M2 Ultra. But for those with a need for the expandability that the Mac Pro offers, it is now there as an option.
Vision Pro VR/AR goggles
As expected, Apple previewed their long rumoured VR/AR goggles. They are a very impressive bit of engineering, with a very impressive price to match at $US3,500 when they launch in the US early 2024. It’s far too early to tell whether they will take over the world and become a must have gadget, or be a toy with those who can afford them. But they seem very impressive as a media consumption device, or even for workflows that might suit them. The best place to find out more is the WWDC23 keynote on the Apple website.
Apple also announced the next version of macOS, Sonoma, as well as iOS 17, watchOS 10 and others. More about those in the coming months.