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Forget The New MacBook Pro, Apple Has Something Much Better – Forbes

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Apple’s new MacBook Pro laptops are gathering critical acclaim for the raw performance of the hardware – the jury is still out on the software’s quality control – and the reviews will be tempting many towards Tim Cook’s supercar of a laptop. These are, right now, objectively “the best” laptops from Apple if all you want is the biggest number. But you don’t want the biggest and best number, you want the best laptop for your needs.

Do you really need a digital supercar for your day to day computing?

Let’s face it, if there’s one thing you can expect from Apple with a new high-end product, it’s that the pricing is going to be high. That’s true with these new MacBook Pros. While Apple has worked hard to bring an entry-level model $1 under the psychological barrier of $2000, that model has been pared back; there’s no fast charging mains adaptor, the M1 Pro is pared back from a 10-core CPU to an 8-core, and from a 16-core GPU to a 14-core, presumably through chip binning. 

An equivalent starter 14-inch MacBook Pro to the 16-inch MacBook Pro comes in at $2300. That 16-inch Pro is $2500. while the differential of the display size at $200 feels fair, the Apple’s trimming of the package to get to the $2000 is severe. 

If you’re going to decide to make some compromises to get yourself a new MacBook, then this stripped back 14-inch MacBook Pro is the one that Apple clearly wants you to consider.

I’d suggest you look further into the portfolio as well as stopping to think exactly what you need your new laptop to do. Even though it is the first Apple Silicon chip for the Mac platform, Apple’s M1 processor currently shipping in the Mac Mini and MacBook Air offers a significant amount of power and capability, far more than you would have expected from the equivalent Intel-based MacBook Air and Mac Mini hardware.

There are computing tasks that need powerful CPUs and GPUs, and in previous years developers and media creators would naturally be looking at the top end of a company’s portfolio to find the laptops that would be portable enough and still have the power needed to be creative while travelling. Apple Silicon has brought that hurdle down the platform. The M1 can comfortably handle much of this workload – I doubt you’re going to edit a Hollywood blockbuster on a MacBook air, but a long-form 4K YouTube video? Not a problem.

Getting out of the frame of mind that you need to hit the top end of the portfolio to get the power you need? That bit of psychology hasn’t changed, even if the silicon has.

This doesn’t mean buy automatically buy the entry-level MacBook Air, but do give it serious consideration alongside a list of things you will do with the laptop.

One thing that has become clear from reading community forums and groupsis that the limiting factor on the first M1 enabled Macs – be they the MacBook Air, low-end MacBook Pro, or Mac Mini, is RAM.

For those looking for solid video editing, 8 GB of RAM is providing to be the actual limiting factor rather than the processing power. If you’re looking to work on your own YouTube channel, online projects, or other multimedia that don’t need an excess amount of professional power, then the M1 Macs are going to be more than sufficient… as long as you go for 16 GB of RAM when you order your laptops.

The easiest way to think about this is to go to The Rolling Stones. When you’re looking for a new MacBook, you can’t always get what you want.; but if you try sometime you find you get what you need. You might think you want the MacBook Pro with all the big numbers, shiny promises, and intoxicating benchmarks.

What you need is something that does what you need it to do, with enough headroom it can do that job for many years to come, at an affordable price.

For some, that means a supercar of a laptop. For everyone else, the MacBook Air is what you need.

Now read the latest Mac headlines in Forbes’ regular Apple Loop column…

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iPhone SE 3 on course for early 2022 release – TrustedReviews

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Apple will launch its affordable iPhone SE 3 in the first quarter of 2022, according to a new report.

It’s been more than 18 months since Apple released its current affordable smartphone option, the iPhone SE (2020). We could be set to see a replacement before we hit the two year mark.

That’s according to analyst firm TrendForce, at any rate. In a recent report, the company claimed that “Apple is staying with the plan to release its third-generation iPhone SE in 1Q22”.

This third-gen iPhone SE is predicted to be “a major instrument in helping Apple establish a presence in the market segment for mid-range 5G smartphones”, with a hefty production volume of 25-30 million units.

As that quote suggests, the big feature of Apple’s next affordable smartphone is heavily tipped to be 5G connectivity. To date, only the iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 ranges have featured such advanced network connectivity.

We’ve heard it claimed that the iPhone SE 3/iPhone SE (2022) will switch to a design that’s more reminiscent of the iPhone XR than the iPhone 8, with a larger 6.1-inch display and a full notch.

Other recent reports have claimed that the iPhone SE 3 will actually be an ‌iPhone SE‌ Plus, with a standard 4.7-inch display. Again, 5G is tipped as the big new feature here.

We were big fans of the iPhone SE 2. Our reviewer praised the dinky device for its flagship-like performance and great photos at a mid-market price.

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Which upcoming phones will use the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1? – TechRadar

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The new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is official, and it’s set to power some of the very best smartphones of 2022.

Flights and accommodation for this launch event were funded by Qualcomm, but the views reflect the writer’s own independent opinion.

But which upcoming phones will be using the new chipset? We’ve now had the first manufacturers confirm compatbility, and we expect to hear from more Android phone makers over the coming weeks.

Below we’ll reveal all the handsets that have been confirmed so far, and then we’ll talk you through some of the other phones we’re expecting to see that may also sport the latest chipset from Qualcomm.

Xiaomi 12

The first phone confirmed to feature the next-gen chipset is the Xiaomi 12, which the company’s CEO has announced will be “available soon”.

We expect the Xiaomi 12 to launch in China in the next couple of weeks. It’ll then likely come to other markets in early 2022.

While it may be that Xiaomi reveals this phone first, that doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be the first phone featuring the next-gen chip that will be available in Western markets.

Oppo Find X4

The Oppo Find X3 Pro (Image credit: Future)

Although the company has yet to confirm the name of its next flagship as the Find X4, we know that Oppo’s top-end phone for 2022 will feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1. 

Oppo also told us that it would be revealing its next flagship phone before the end of March 2022. The Find X3 was introduced in March 2021, so it would make sense if the Find X4 was introduced around a year later.

Realme GT 2 Pro

Realme teased its next smartphone over the last few days, and the company has now confirmed that the upcoming Realme GT 2 Pro will be one of the first phones to feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1.

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This is expected to be the brand’s first seriously top-end phone, designed to compete with flagships from the likes of Apple and Samsung, so it would come as no surprise if it used the new Qualcomm chipset.

We don’t yet know much about the Realme GT 2 Pro, or when it’ll be officially revealed, but with the company now starting to tease this handset we’d expect to see it sooner rather than later.

A new Motorola Edge

We don’t yet know the name of this phone, but during the launch event for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 we heard that a new Motorola Edge device is set to debut with the chipset on board.

Ruben Castano, Head of Customer Experiences at Motorola, said: “In just a few days, we will reveal one of the very first smartphones to launch on this new Snapdragon 8 platform in China.” That event has now been confirmed for December 9.

There have been leaks and rumors that suggest a new Motorola Edge X30 handset may be introduced in China in the coming weeks. That may be the handset that Castano was talking about, but that hasn’t been confirmed, and whatever the phone turns out to be, we don’t yet know whether it will launch in markets outside of China.

Rumored Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 handsets

The Samsung Galaxy S21 face down on a table.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 (Image credit: Future)

In addition to the confirmed phones above, we expect to see the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering many of the other top-end handsets that are launched over the next year or so.

Arguably the biggest phone that will feature the chipset is the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S22. Normally, Samsung’s flagship phones run on its own Exynos chipset in some regions, while models released in other parts of the world use the newest Qualcomm chip.

However, numerous leaks have suggested that all the Galaxy S22 handsets will use Qualcomm’s chipset, as Samsung has run into issues with the manufacturing of its Exynos processors.

Other leaks suggest the Huawei P60 may also feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, as the company has hit production problems with its own Kirin chipsets. Rumors suggest that this is due to the global silicon shortage that’s impacting the production of numerous devices.

We haven’t seen any credible leaks around other phones that could include the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, but we can speculate that the upcoming OnePlus 10, Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4, Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4, Sony Xperia 1 IV and others are likely to be powered by Qualcomm’s latest and greatest mobile chip. Watch this space.

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Apple iPhone SE 3 on track for March 2022, claims report – Pocket-lint.com

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(Pocket-lint) – The much-rumoured 3rd-gen iPhone SE will reportedly release in the first quarter of 2022 – most likely March.

That’s the opinion of TrendForce, a market research firm in Taiwan, which believes that Apple is keen to get a firmer grip on the “mid-range 5G smartphone” market.

“Apple is staying with the plan to release its 3rd-generation iPhone SE in 1Q22 and four models under a new series in 2H22,” it wrote in its latest report on smartphone production growth.

“The 3rd-generation iPhone SE is expected to be a major instrument in helping Apple establish a presence in the market segment for mid-range 5G smartphones.”

The last iPhone SE was released in April 2020 and is still available today. However, it is now somewhat an oddity in Apple’s line-up, being the only device with older design and a front-facing Touch ID button.

That might not change, as a rumour in October suggested the button could remain. The 4.7-inch Retina HD display was also said to be returning, although a beefier A15 Bionic chip could power the new device.

Another big change will be the addition of 5G, which will make it more attractive as networks rollout 5G coverage more widely. We’ll undoubtedly find out more as spring approaches.



Writing by Rik Henderson. Originally published on 1 December 2021.

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