2021 iPad Pro review roundup: Beautifully fast

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2021 iPad Pro with m1 processor
Reviewers shared their real-world experiences with the M1 processor and the mini-LED screen in the 2021 iPad Pro.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The 2021 iPad Pro successfully combines a gorgeous display with a blazing-fast M1 processor, according to the first wave of reviews published Wednesday.

Chris Velazco from Engadget said, “this might be the best portable computer Apple has ever made.”

Tantalizing 2021 iMac concepts get us ready for the real thing

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Tantalizing 2021 iMac concepts get us ready for the real thing
Apple might unveil on Tuesday a 2021 iMac that looks just like this concept design.
Screenshot: Amdix/ConceptsiPhone

A 2021 iMac is supposedly among the highlights of Apple “Spring Loaded” event on Tuesday. Concept artists have dreamed up proposals for what the upcoming all-in-one desktop might look like.

These vary as to details but are likely to please anyone tired of the very large screen bezels that have marked previous iMac models… and is looking forward to a speedy M-series processor.

Take a look at some of the eye-opening concepts before the big reveal on Tuesday.

Mood-lit musician isn’t grooving to M1 Mac mini’s sound [Setups]

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It's amazing what some light strips and display wallpaper can do for ambiance.
It's amazing what some light strips and display wallpaper can do for ambiance.
Photo: skylar_schutz@Reddit

Redditor skylar_schutz makes music on keyboard and guitar, but their Mac mini M1’s sound quality doesn’t do it for them. That’s not a huge shock. Many mini owners, past and present — if they’re even close to identifying as audiophiles — use AirPlay 2, Bluetooth or USB-wired speakers with their setups.

“The sound coming out from the M1 mac mini is just so-so … wouldn’t recommend it if you aim to enjoy listening to music from it, more so if you intend to do music production,” skylar_schutz wrote in reply to a question.

Why we might see first M1 iMacs at Apple’s April 20 event

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Apple plans the 2021 iMac redesign we’ve been dreaming of
The 2021 iMac could dump the huge screen bezels of the current version. And move to Apple Silicon.
Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Trusted tipster Mark Gurman says the 2021 iMac all-in-one desktop might be the next to get the M1 processor. The announcement could be only a few days away.

And that’s only the beginning. There’s plenty more evidence that an upgraded iMac will launch at Apple’s April 20 event.

Indie browser Opera runs twice as fast on M1 Macs

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Opera browser
Opera has been available on the Mac since the mid-1990s.
Photo: Opera

The indie Opera browser, one of the oldest browsers still operating today, has been updated with native support for Apple Silicon Macs. The update means that the Opera browser now runs 2x faster on M1 Macs.

Opera first debuted on Mac way back in 1996. That’s approaching a decade before Safari made its debut. One of Opera’s first big claims to fame was that it made it easier to browse several web pages at once. Today, its big appeal is its minimalist aesthetic, innovative sidebar design, and (now faster than ever) performance.

RodeCaster Pro powers Chicago trio’s Bums of Manarchy podcast [Setups]

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Rocky Lira works his day job and podcast production here.
Rocky Lira works his day job and podcast production here.
Photo: Rocky Lira

Rocky Lira, aka “Rocky Bandit,” and his “knucklehead” friends Eddie and Paddy went big into podcasting on a moderate budget recently. And they have the gear and the podcasts in circulation to show for it.

He and his Chicago pals started the weekly show Bums of Manarchy for fun, recording more than a dozen episodes so far. Lira got off to a fast start handling the podcast editing and production. He said he uses an M1 MacBook Pro and an older model, along with two iPad Pros and his iPhone 12 Pro — in concert with a Rode RodeCaster Pro Integrated Podcast Production Studio console.

Apple starts selling refurbished M1 MacBooks at big discounts

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MacBook Air M1 2020
A refurbished MacBook Air could be your key to a fresh computer without breaking your budget.
Photo: Leander Kahney/Cult of Mac

Apple began selling refurbished M1 MacBooks at well below their original prices. As they’re as much as $500 below the regular price, these are outstanding options for anyone who wants a laptop with Apple’s speedy M-series processor but don’t have the cash for a new one.

There’s a wide range of used MacBook Air and MacBook Pro units currently in stock at the online Apple Store.

Apple steps up fight against Silver Sparrow malware that targets M1 Macs

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Apple Silicon
Apple Silicon Macs aren't safe from malware.
Photo: Apple

The first wave of malware written specifically for Apple Silicon Macs is starting to appear. And Apple’s already playing Whac-A-Mole to try and stop it.

The malware in question, called “Silver Sparrow,” is reportedly a malicious package that can exploit a vulnerability in the macOS Installer JavaScript API as a way to execute dodgy commands. While it remains unclear how big of a threat Silver Sparrow poses, Apple nonetheless took steps to stop its spread.

Apple boosts trade-in value for Mac mini prototypes to soothe angry devs

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Mac mini with ARM chip
Apple more than doubled the trade-in on the early return of the Mac mini Developer Transition Kit.
Photo: Apple

Apple sweetened the deal offered to developers for the early return of the Mac mini that they used to test macOS Big Sur running on Apple Silicon. Friday, the company responded to complaints that it wasn’t offering enough for the Developer Transition Kits by more than doubling the amount of money previously offering for the units.