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Apple Peek Performance Event: new Mac, new iPhone, and more

March 9, 2022

Apple Peek Performance Event highlights. Includes Mac Studio, the M1 Ultra, the new iPhone SE, the new iPad Air, and more.

Apple Peek Performance Event: new Mac, new iPhone, and more

Apple just held its first special event of 2022. Entitled “Peek Performance”, the March 8 event introduced a new Mac, a new iPhone, and more. Here are the highlights:

Mac Studio: a new high-performance Mac

For Mac fans, the biggest announcement at yesterday’s event was the all-new Mac Studio.

Mac Studio is a powerful desktop computer that does not come with a display, similar to the Mac mini.

Studio represents the next step in the Mac’s transition to Apple Silicon processors. The entry-level model of the new Mac runs on the powerful M1 Max chip. Apple has also introduced a new, even more powerful processor to supercharge the Mac Studio: the M1 Ultra.

The M1 Ultra appears to be two M1 Max chips glued together with some sort of Apple secret sauce. The company is calling this the “UltraFusion architecture”. But whatever it’s called, and however it’s done, the M1 Ultra is fast — very fast. Apple says that it outperforms even the Mac Pro. In tests, Studio was up to 60% faster than a Mac Pro with a 28-core CPU.

According to Apple’s press release, all of this power and speed will let users do things that previously would have required a high-end professional workstation:

With Mac Studio, users can do things that are not possible on any other desktop, such as rendering massive 3D environments and playing back 18 streams of ProRes video.

The complete tech specs for the Mac Studio can be found on Apple’s site.

The Mac Studio with an M1 Max starts at $1999; the Studio with an M1 Ultra starts at $3999.

  • Pre-order: now
  • Available: March 18

Studio Display sold separately

Like the Mac Mini, the Mac Studio doesn’t come with its own display: It’s basically just a “brain” without a monitor.

If you’re buying a Mac Studio, you’ll have the option to purchase Apple’s Studio Display to go along with it.

Studio Display is a 27-inch 5K Retina display. As you might expect, resolution, brightness, and color support are all excellent. It also has some nice bells and whistles around audio, including a six-speaker sound system and studio-quality mics. For the full Studio Display tech specs, see Apple’s website.

The base model of Studio Display starts at $1599. You can also get Studio Display with Nano-texture glass for $1899. The more expensive glass provides an anti-glare surface for people who work in very bright light.

  • Pre-order: now
  • Available: March 18

A new “budget” iPhone

Apple also introduced a new iPhone SE at the Peek Performance event, building on the previous version of Apple’s compact iPhone model released in 2020.

The latest iPhone SE brings some nice upgrades. It’s powered by the A15 Bionic chip (the same processor used in Apple’s state-of-the-art iPhone 13 line). That means greater speed, obviously, but Apple says that it will also result in better battery life, since the A15 is more efficient than older chips. The iPhone SE also introduces support for 5G wireless networks.

See Apple’s site for full iPhone SE tech specs.

The only drawback appears to be the price: the new iPhone SE starts at $429, which is a bit more expensive than the previous version (that one began at $399).

  • Pre-order: March 11
  • Available: March 18

An upgraded iPad Air

Apple also introduced some changes to the iPad Air.

Cuptertino announced a new model that will run on the same powerful M1 chip as the Mac and the iPad Pro. Apple says that the change will offer iPad Air users “a massive leap in performance”.

The new version of the iPad Air features an Ultra Wide 12MP front camera with Center Stage, and will also support 5G.

To see the full tech specs of the updated iPad Air, check out Apple’s site.

The iPad Air starts at $599 (that’s for the base model with Wi-Fi only).

Pre-order: March 11

Available: March 18

A few more things

Apple made some other cool announcements at their Peek Performance event, including Friday Night Baseball on Apple TV+, a green iPhone 13, and more. You can watch the full event on Apple’s YouTube channel.

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