Apple’s “Peek Performance” event was loaded with new stuff—a new iPhone SE and iPad Air, the Mac Studio and Studio Display, even a new iPhone 13 color—but not everything can fit into a condensed keynote. As always, there were a few little things that we noticed while digging around after the event. Here are 10 details that caught our eye.
The Intel Mac mini is still for sale
Apple might have announced the Mac Studio with an insane 20-core CPU to replace the high-end Mac mini, but it can’t quit the Intel model just yet. Despite declaring the Mac Pro is the last model left to transition to Apple silicon, you can still buy a space gray 3.0GHz Intel Core i5 Mac mini for $1,099 on Apple.com, but we can’t imagine why anyone would want to.
The iPhone SE and iPad Air don’t have the fastest 5G
Along with a new chip and camera improvements, Apple updated the iPhone SE and iPad Air with 5G, but not “full 5G” as some had reported. Like the iPad mini last year, the iPhone SE and iPad Air are missing support for the mmWave bands that give you the superfast 5G that the iPhone 13 has. Don’t worry, mmWave has an extremely short range and is only available in very limited areas right now.
The iPhone SE has an extra gig of RAM
Along with the A15 processor and 5G modem, Apple also found room inside the iPhone SE for extra RAM: 4GB instead of 3GB. That means everything will be snappier and speedier, but it’ll particularly great for keeping things humming for years to come.
The 27-inch iMac is dead
We were hoping to get a glimpse of a new 27-inch iMac during Tuesday’s event, but we got quite the opposite: Apple unceremoniously removed all traces of the high-end Intel model from its website and all but told us an Apple silicon replacement wouldn’t be arriving any time soon. The Studio Display is nice, but it’s no iMac. So it’s either the 24-inch or nothing.
The Apple silicon Mac Pro might not get an M1 chip
At the end of Tuesday’s presentation, Apple teased the final Mac in the Apple silicon transition, the Mac Pro, would be “for another day.” But earlier in the keynote, John Ternus said Apple was adding “one last chip” to the M1 family, the M1 Ultra. So either the Mac Pro is getting a variation of the Ultra chip (or more than one) or it’s getting something else that we haven’t seen before.
iPhone cases and Watch bands have new spring colors
While it didn’t get any stage time, Apple released new spring colors for its iPhone 13 cases (Lemon Zest, Blue Fog, Eucalyptus, and Nectarine) and Watch bands, including Starlight, Abyss Blue, Bright Green, and Flamingo.
Black is the new Space Gray
Speaking of colors, Apple showed off a new Magic Mouse, Keyboard, and Trackpad for the Mac Studio, but unlike the iMac keyboard and mouse colors, anyone can buy them. In fact, you can’t buy them in Space Gray anymore—the only options are black and white now. The keyboard is basically the same, but the mouse and trackpad are way cooler.
Live baseball won’t require a subscription at first
Apple kicked off its “Peek Performance” event with a surprise announcement: Major League Baseball games are coming to Apple TV+. Apple announced it will air two games every Friday night during the season and what’s more, you won’t need an Apple TV+ subscription to watch them, at least not at first. Apple says Friday Night Baseball will be free for everyone to watch for a limited time. And there’s a lot more to it than just two games on Friday nights: Apple says fans in the US and Canada will also have access to an all-day livestream with replays, news and analysis, highlights, classic games, and more.
The Studio Display works with Windows (mostly)
There probably isn’t a huge PC audience looking to spend $1,599 on an Apple display, but Mac users who keep a PC around for games will appreciate the fact that the Studio Display works just fine when connected to a PC, camera and all. However, you won’t get Center Stage, Siri, or Spatial Audio.
The height-adjustable Studio Display is an extra $400
We were pretty jazzed when Apple showed off a special extendable arm for the Studio Display that lets you adjust the height. We were less jazzed when we learned the price: $400 on top of the $1,599 base price. That’s about $100 per inch of height adjustment. And you can’t decide to get it later either—whatever option you choose at checkout is the one you’re stuck with, as the stands are not interchangeable. So choose wisely.
The Intel Mac Pro isn’t dead
At the end of its event, Apple teased an Apple silicon version of the Mac Pro, but that doesn’t mean it’s abandoning the current Intel version. Quite the opposite in fact. After the event, Apple added the Radeon Pro W6600X graphics card as a $300 upgrade option for new Mac Pro purchases. And it doubled the storage in the base model from 256GB (which was frankly, ridiculous) to 512GB to match the Mac Studio.
The M1 Ultra Mac Studio is a lot heavier than the M1 Max one
If you’re buying a Mac Studio for your desktop, you probably don’t care about portability, but here’s an interesting factoid: the M1 Ultra model is two pounds heavier than the M1 Max model (7.9 pounds vs. 5.9 pounds). The reason is due to cooling: the M1 Ultra has a larger copper thermal module while the M1 Max has a standard aluminum heatsink.
Update March 10:Added two new details about the Studio Display and iPhone SE.
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Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC—the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He's still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.