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Everything Apple announced at Scary Fast – and the things it didn’t

There weren’t too many surprises in last night’s Scary Fast event. The event was entirely Mac-focused; all three M3 chips are available simultaneously; the M3-powered 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models were the stars of the show; and the 24-inch iMac got updated from the M1 chip to the M3 one.

But there were still a couple of somewhat unexpected developments – and it’s also worth noting what Apple didn’t announce …

Everything Apple announced at Scary Fast

This won’t take long, because there wasn’t much!

M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max

It had been expected that – for the first time – Apple would simultaneously launch the three main variants of the M3 chip, and that was indeed the case. The company announced Macs using all three variants: the M3, M3 Pro, M3 Max. Only an M3 Ultra was held back.

On the performance front, the M3 line-up is 15% faster than the equivalent M2, and 30% faster than the M1. The efficiency core improvements are 30% and 50% respectively. Notably, Apple highlighted that the M3 matches the performance of the M1 at literally half the power.

MacBook Pro models

Again as expected, we didn’t see any design changes – other than a new and prettier shade of gray (sorry, Space Black), which Apple says is more resistant to fingerprints.

The one surprise here is that, for the first time, there’s a MacBook Pro model with a base chip, in this case the base M3. The M1 and M2 models were only available with the Pro and Max chips. This also brings a new low price point to the Apple Silicon MacBook Pro line-up.

The reason for that is because Apple finally dropped the old 13-inch MacBook Pro. With Touch Bar and no notch, that was looking like an increasingly anomalous part of the line-up, but Apple wanted an affordable replacement, and the M3-powered 14-inch MacBook Pro is it.

There are a few other compromises on the entry-level model: 8GB memory instead of 16GB, two USB-C ports instead of three, and a single fan instead of two. But it’s still a big step up from the old 13-inch model.

Here, then, is the new line-up:

24-inch iMac

The iMac was a straight chip upgrade, the design and colors unchanged.

The Apple Silicon version of the 24-inch iMac debuted with the M1 chip, didn’t get an upgrade to the M2, and has now been bumped directly to the base M3.

As you’d expect for this machine, there’s no M3 Pro or M3 Max option.

The things Apple didn’t announce

While it was clear the event would be Mac-focused, here had been vague murmurs about an updated iPad mini – but nope.

With a new iMac launched, we had hoped that would mean new versions of the Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse, and Magic Trackpad, each with a USB-C charging port in place of the Lightning one. Some had even dared to hope that Apple might finally move the charging port on the Magic Mouse to a sensible place. But none of that happened.

Others had hoped for the launch of a 32-inch iMac to replace the much-missed 27-inch model, but they too were disappointed.


Mostly, then, the event was as expected. The option of a base-model MacBook Pro with an M3 chip and a few compromises was a surprise, and a mostly positive one, representing a significant step up on the discontinued 13-inch Touch Bar model.

One small disappointment was no USB-C accessories, so even if you own the latest Apple models across iPhone, iPad, and Mac, if you use external keyboard and pointing devices, you can’t yet ditch your Lightning cables.

That 32-inch iMac will doubtless arrive at some point, but for now, your wallet is safe.

What are your thoughts? Are you planning on buying any of the new models announced? Please share your thoughts in the comments.

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Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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