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Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), or as journalists and industry experts like to call it, "Dub Dub," is typically the company's most influential event of the year. What's unveiled at WWDC often plays a significant role not only in Apple's future, but in shaping industry trends and how other manufacturers approach product design. And Monday's opening keynote lived up to the hype, with several major new products and software features announced.
Also: Apple just announced a ton of software features at WWDC. Here's everything new
During what was one of the longest keynotes we've seen at the company's Cupertino campus, Apple executives unveiled the latest experiences coming to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac, and more. And, perhaps more importantly, we got a glimpse at the shiny-new hardware that will power them all, including updates to the MacBook Air, Mac Studio, and a new AR headset by the name of Vision Pro.
Here's a complete breakdown of all the hardware products announced at WWDC.
Apple's worst-kept secret, an AR headset by the name of Vision Pro, made its much-anticipated debut at WWDC this year. And, as multiple reports and sources familiar with the matter suggested, the headset's design does in fact resemble a pair of ski goggles (yay?), with Apple leaning more towards comfort and ease of use than performance and battery life.
Vision Pro will run on an all-new platform called visionOS via spatial computing, and is driven by an M2 and R1 chip. Together, the headset offers floating interfaces of familiar apps and services like Safari, Disney Plus, FaceTime, iMessage, and more. The R1 chip is an especially important piece, working in tandem with the Vision Pro's external cameras and sensors for spatial rendering.
Also: Apple Vision Pro: Price, features, release date, more
Apple's Vision Pro headset relies solely on your eyes, fingers, and voice to work, from selecting elements on-screen by simply looking at them and pinching your index and thumb fingers to giving voice commands. There are no proprietary controllers or additional hardware required to operate the machine.
Apple says the headset will field a pair of 4K Micro OLED displays for each eye and several external cameras for passthrough and hand tracking, besting the resolution quality and sensors of existing AR/VR headsets. As expected, Mac users can seamlessly transition their workspaces from their computers to their Vision Pro, extending slideshows, Safari browsers, and more into the augmented reality view.
Naturally, high-density panels blasting at users' eyes call for some disclaimers, and Apple apparently has those ready, too. The company will ship Vision Pro with some very important warnings; ones that suggest users who have experienced conditions such as Meniere's Disease, past traumatic brain injuries, vertigo, and anxiety disorders not buy or use the reality-altering gadget.
Also: Will Apple's Reality Pro signal the beginning of the immersive internet?
On its own, Apple says the Vision Pro will last around two hours before needing to recharge. To help, the headset is bundled with a pocketable charging pack that can be tethered. This concoction, paired with the lightweight blend of cloth and aluminum alloy of the wearable, lends itself to a headset that is notably lighter than others.
Apple's Vision Pro headset will sell for $3,499, putting it in a tier well above would-be competitors like the $1,000 Meta Quest Pro and HTC Vive XR Elite, and the company says the headset will be available early next year.
Last year's MacBook Air was unquestionably a grand slam, touting an ultraportable form factor capable of running high-performance tasks thanks to the M2 chip within, and ultimately taking ZDNET's top spot for Product of the Year. So, where does Apple go next?
A larger display -- from 13.6 inches to 15.3 inches -- paired with more speakers (six, to be exact) is what Apple is banking on. This new 15-inch MacBook Air rounds out the rest of Apple's MacBook lineup, which includes the standard Air and 14 and 16-inch Pro models.
The new MacBook Air touts an 18-hour battery life, a 3.3-pound figure, an M2 chipset, up to 24GB of RAM, and up to 2TB of base storage, along with the usual MacBook fix-ins like TouchID in the keyboard, a 1080p camera, and a Liquid Retina display.
Also: This lightweight laptop is surprisingly powerful (and it's not the MacBook Air)
Apple will sell the new 15-inch MacBook Air in Starlight, Space Gray, Silver, and Midnight, at a starting price of $1,299 -- that's $100 more than the retail price of last year's 13-inch variant, which will be dropped to an official price of $1,099. The 2020 MacBook Air will also remain in Apple's store lineup at $999.
The Mac Studio is back, and its biggest upgrade comes in the form of new silicon processing the unit: the M2 Ultra and M2 Max. Like its predecessor, the new Mac Studio features a miniature desktop form factor, with polished aluminum surrounding all sides. But, again, the main story here is that M2 Ultra chip.
Apple says the new processor features a 24-core CPU and up to 76-core GPU that's 30 percent faster than last year's M1 Ultra variant, and up to six times faster than the Intel-based, 27-inch iMac. The M2 Ultra model is also capable of powering up to six Pro display XDRs and supports Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3, a higher-bandwidth HDMI port, and six USB-C ports -- four of which are Thunderbolt 4.
Also: Introducing my design for an Apple Silicon-based Mac Pro
In essence, the new Mac Studio serves as a mini-version of the Mac Pro, now with even more power to satisfy professionals, developers, and users who demand a pro-level workstation.
The Mac Studio is available today for preorders at a starting price of $1,999, and Apple says the model will start shipping next week.
After four years, the Mac Pro finally gets the Apple silicon treatment it deserves, with the latest model featuring the company's most competent chip, the M2 Ultra. Apple's also integrated more versatility with the new Mac Pro, giving users eight Thunderbolt ports on the back (twice as many as what was on its predecessor) and PCIe expansion (six of which support Gen 4) for when you want to customize the I/O cards, network accessories, and storage.
Also: All the Mac news from WWDC 2023: Mac Pro, Mac Studio, and M2 Ultra
Thanks to the new M2 Ultra processor and what Apple dubs "UltraFusion technology," the new Mac Pro supports a 24-core CPU and up to a 76-core GPU that's 30 percent faster than the M1 Ultra powering previous models like the Mac Studio and MacBook Pro. Some other useful additions include Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3 integration and support for monitors of up to 8K resolution and 240Hz refresh rates.
The Mac Pro will be available on June 13 for $6,999. And Apple will offer the desktop with an optional rack mount for horizontal orientation.