Apple’s ‘One more thing’ event preview: New MacBooks with Apple silicon and more

Apple’s third event of the fall promises to showcase the company’s biggest product shakeup this year. With the iPhone 12, Apple Watch Series 6, and iPad Air out of the way and on shelves, all that’s left is the Mac.

This year’s Mac event will not be like the usual fall refreshes, or even like the October 2018 event that brought a redesigned MacBook Air and souped-up Mac mini. This time, Apple is transitioning to a new Mac processor, moving away from Intel to homegrown Apple silicon. And we probably won’t see a move like this again.

This is the start of a monumental product-line transition for Apple. For the first time, Apple will be controlling the brains of its Mac and won’t need to rely on another company to deliver the speed, efficiency, and innovation it craves. Here’s everything we expect and hope to see at what could be Apple’s biggest event in years.

New processors

Just as we were certain to see iPhone’s at last month’s “Hi, Speed” event, Tuesday’s “One more thing” event is certain to bring a new Apple processor. It’s not a complete surprise, as Apple already teased the new chips during WWDC this past summer, but there’s a lot we don’t know. Developers have been testing Mac minis with the A12Z Bionic chip that’s in the latest iPad Pro, but even that’s already outdated. Apple has since launched the A14 Bionic in the iPhone 12 and iPad Air.

While we don’t exactly what the new Mac processors will be like, we do have some clues. As a variant of the A14, they will be built using an incredibly efficient 5nm process, feature multiple high-performance CPU and GPU cores, and have a neural engine, all of which should go a long way toward making these Macs the fastest and most efficient Apple has ever shipped.

We’ll be looking out for Mac-specific tweaks over the A14 chip that’s inside the iPhone—much like the “X” and “Z” chips in the iPad Pro—but mostly we want to see how fast it is compared to the previous generation of Intel processors and how much longer the battery in MacBooks lasts.

mac apple chart Apple

New Macs

It wouldn’t be a new Mac event without new Macs, and we’re likely getting a few new ones on Tuesday. The latest rumors suggest that new laptops will be making an appearance, with desktop models waiting until next year.

According to Mark Gurman at Bloomberg, “Apple and overseas suppliers are ramping up production of three Mac laptops with Apple processors: new 13-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros and a new 13-inch MacBook Air.” That would represent a sweeping refresh of Apple’s entire laptop line and a chance to showcase a full lineup of processors.