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  • Writer's pictureKevin Poindexter II

Peak Performance Indeed

Searching for a recap of Apple's March Keynote? Look no more...

In case you missed the announcement last Tuesday, March 8th I've got you covered. Let's go over all five of the latest Apple devices to make their debut and discover why this batch will be highest performing group of Apple devices yet.

The iPhone SE Is Back

Thanks to leaks this is one I knew was coming and if you watched the video I did on this years keynote (you can check it out here) my opinion on this phone is no different in this article than what I said earlier. It's a great thing this phone is out. The specs on it make it a decent entry level smartphone despite Apple raising the price from previous SE models of years past. With this refresh you're getting an updated rear camera, 5G connectivity, and the A15 Bionic chip included in the iPhone 13 lineup. Screen size is still 4.7 inches diagonal and Touch ID is still present, which isn't bad considering how fast the chip is. You won't have to sacrifice performance going with this phone.

More specs are as follows:

  • Retina HD display

  • 4.7-inch (diagonal) widescreen LCD Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology

  • 1334-by-750-pixel resolution at 326 ppi

  • 1400:1 contrast ratio (typical)

  • True Tone display

  • Wide color display (P3)

  • Haptic Touch

  • 625 nits max brightness (typical)

  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

  • Display Zoom

  • Reachability

  • A15 Bionic chip

  • 6-core CPU with 2 performance and 4 efficiency cores

  • 4-core GPU

  • 16-core Neural Engine

  • 12MP Wide camera

  • ƒ/1.8 aperture

  • Digital zoom up to 5x

  • Portrait mode with advanced bokeh and Depth Control

  • Portrait Lighting with six effects (Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, High-Key Mono)

  • Optical image stabilization

  • Six‑element lens

  • LED True Tone flash with Slow Sync

  • Panorama (up to 63MP)

  • Sapphire crystal lens cover

  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels

  • Wide color capture for photos and Live Photos

  • Deep Fusion

  • Smart HDR 4 for photos

  • Photographic Styles

  • Advanced red-eye correction

  • Auto image stabilization

  • Burst mode

  • Photo geotagging

  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

iPad Air Refresh

The 5th generation of the iPad Air is now an honorary member of the M1 family and with this bump in processing power comes an even bigger leap in features. As with the iPhone SE this new iPad Air also comes with 5G connectivity and Wi-Fi 6. The 10.9 inch diagonal display packs a resolution of 2360x1640 pixels placing it slightly higher than 2K so everything you do with this iPad is going to look crisp and full of accurate detail. Two more added benefits of the M1 chip this device has.

The front and rear cameras too have taken their vitamins in this refresh as both are 12MP. With the front camera it's been updated to an ultra-wide lens opening the door to it being able to use Center Stage while the rear camera can shoot in up to 4K 60 fps.

Here's a more detailed list of specs:

  • Liquid Retina display

  • 10.9-inch (diagonal) LED‑backlit Multi‑Touch display with IPS technology

  • 2360-by-1640-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch (ppi)

  • Wide color display (P3)

  • True Tone display

  • Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating

  • Fully laminated display

  • Antireflective coating

  • 1.8% reflectivity

  • 500 nits brightness

  • Supports Apple Pencil (2nd generation)

  • Apple M1 chip

  • 8-core CPU

  • 8-core graphics

  • Apple Neural Engine

  • 8GB RAM

  • 12MP Wide camera, ƒ/1.8 aperture

  • Digital zoom up to 5x

  • Five-element lens

  • Autofocus with Focus Pixels

  • Panorama (up to 63MP)

  • Smart HDR 3

  • Wide color capture for photos and Live Photos

  • Photo geotagging

  • Auto image stabilization

  • Burst mode

  • Image formats captured: HEIF and JPEG

M1 Ultra

As if the M1 Pro and M1 Max weren't already fast enough Apple is set to push the bar even higher with a "new" chip they're calling the M1 Ultra. And I use quotes for "new" as it's not exactly a new chip when compared to how Apple came about with the other M1 processors. The M1 Ultra is essentially two M1 Max chips fused together to create one massive chip. The M1 Max has a hidden dye-to-dye architecture allowing the fusion of two chips. This combination means one thing...speed. Lots of speed. To start there's a 20-core CPU and 64-core GPU, which in plain English mean this chip thinks at super sonic speeds. The amount of memory it has to process all that data is set to 128GB of unified memory with a bandwidth of 800GB/s. Yes eight HUNDRED. It's absolute overkill to say the least and I'm all for it.

Specs on the most powerful Apple silicon chip include:

Mac Studio

So with all that the M1 Ultra can do it would only make sense of Apple putting that in a Mac, right? I agree and to compliment their newest chip Apple created such a Mac desktop called the Mac Studio. This device looks like fat Mac mini yet it's not fat, nor big boned but a good way. The Mac Studio comes with either a M1 Max or M1 Ultra chip and depending on which configuration you want you get either two USB-C ports on the front for the M1 Max or two Thunderbolt 4 ports on the front with the M1 Ultra. Regardless of which chip you go with the rear setup remains the same with 4 Thunderbolt 4 ports, an Ethernet port, 2 USB-A ports, an HDMI port, and 3.5mm headphone jack because why not? Apple designed the Mac Studio with creators in mind so on the front there's also an SD card slot. Oh and those ports give buyers the options of powering up to 5 displays at any time where four of those can be up to 6K resolution with the last being up to 4K.

Specs on the M1 Max and M1 Ultra Mac Studios:

Apple M1 Max chip

  • 10-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 2 efficiency cores

  • 24-core GPU

  • 16-core Neural Engine

  • 400GB/s memory bandwidth

Media engine

  • Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW

  • Video decode engine

  • Two video encode engines

  • Two ProRes encode and decode engines

Configurable to: M1 Max with 10-core CPU, 32-core GPU, and 16-core Neural Engine

32GB unified memory / Configurable to: 64GB

512GB SSD / Configurable to: 1TB, 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB

Apple M1 Ultra chip

  • 20-core CPU with 16 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores

  • 48-core GPU

  • 32-core Neural Engine

  • 800GB/s memory bandwidth

Media engine

  • Hardware-accelerated H.264, HEVC, ProRes, and ProRes RAW

  • Two video decode engines

  • Four video encode engines

  • Four ProRes encode and decode engines

Configurable to: M1 Ultra with 20-core CPU, 64-core GPU, and 32-core Neural Engine

64GB unified memory / Configurable to: 128GB

1TB SSD / Configurable to: 2TB, 4TB, or 8TB

Studio Display

Because again when you make a new device you've got to have something to compliment it. The Mac Studio is, for those unaware, only the base of a computer. To make the setup complete you need a display and with that say hello to all new Studio Display. I know what some of you may be thinking - doesn't Apple already make a display that's bigger than this one? And your answer is yes, they do but when compared to this smaller display the larger is missing some well needed features. Let's start with the fact it has a front facing 12MP ultra-wide camera that, like the new iPad Air too has Center Stage. The Studio Display is sized at 27 inches diagonal with a pixel density of 5120x2880 and 218 ppi. Another thing the larger Pro Display XDR lacks is speakers, surprisingly so Apple but in a 6-speaker sound system and made it compatible with Spatial Audio. All of this powered by the A13 Bionic chip which made it's debut in the iPhone 11 lineup and reused with 9th generation iPad and 2nd generation iPhone SE. Pretty incredible that a chip launched almost 3 years ago is capable of something so big.

More specs on the Studio Display:

5K Retina display

  • 27-inch (diagonal) 5K Retina display

  • 5120-by-2880 resolution at 218 pixels per inch

  • 600 nits brightness

  • Support for 1 billion colors

  • Wide color (P3)

  • True Tone technology

Configurable with:

  • Nano-texture glass

  • 12MP Ultra Wide camera with 122° field of view

  • ƒ/2.4 aperture

  • Center Stage

  • High-fidelity six-speaker system with force-cancelling woofers

  • Wide stereo sound

  • Support for Spatial Audio when playing music or video with Dolby Atmos

  • Studio-quality three-mic array with high signal-to-noise ratio and directional beamforming

  • Support for “Hey Siri”

  • One upstream Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) port for host (with 96W host charging)

  • Three downstream USB-C ports (up to 10Gb/s) for connecting peripherals, storage, and networking

If you're feeling those wallpapers on the iPhone SE you can download them for free here.

*all photo credit to Apple, Inc.

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