New MacBook Pros sound absolutely mind-boggling [The CultCast]

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The CultCast 515: We can't stop gushing about the new M1 Max MacBook Pros.
Apple's new chips sound truly astonishing.
Image: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple Unleashed event bug This week on Cult of Mac’s podcast: Erfon can’t stop gushing about the new MacBook Pros! (What a shocker.) Plus, he reveals what it felt like to get Sherlocked during Apple’s “Unleashed” event this week. (Spoiler alert: CultCloth sales shot through the roof!) And none of us can stop raving about the astonishing power of Apple’s new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

Also on The CultCast:

  • Awesome new third-gen AirPods.
  • Underwhelming new HomePod mini colors.
  • And a surprising Siri-only Apple Music Voice Plan.

Listen to this week’s episode of The CultCast in the Podcasts app or your favorite podcast app. (Be sure to subscribe and leave us a review if you like it!) Or watch the video livestream, embedded below.

Apple’s new 140W USB-C Mac Power Adapter remains offensively huge

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Apple's very thick 140W Charging block
Apple's solution to fast-charging your new MacBook Pro is a Fiat-sized charging block.
Graphic: Apple / Ian Fuchs

Apple Unleashed event bug Along with the reintroduction of MagSafe in the new MacBook Pro lineup, Apple released a new 140W (!!!) charger Monday to enable faster charging. And while getting 50% battery in a mere 30 minutes sounds impressive, the charging block that enables it looks comically large.

The 140W charger, which comes with all the new 16-inch MacBook Pros rolled out Monday during Apple’s “Unleashed” event, continues that trend.

I got Sherlocked at Apple’s ‘Unleashed’ event!

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Apple Polishing Cloth sherlocks CultCloth. I did not expect to see this new product in Apple's online store.
I did not expect to see this new product in Apple's online store.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple Unleashed event bug Like most of you, I sat glued to my screen Monday during Apple’s “Unleashed” event. I was tickled to see the new MacBook Pros finally revealed — laptops that resurrect tons of useful ports, bring massive performance improvements, and benefit from great battery life (thanks in part to a slightly thicker design).

Excited, I fumbled my way through the preorder process in Apple’s online store. But as I got toward the end, something stopped me dead in my tracks. There, on the screen where Apple presents an array of accessories for the MacBooks, I saw a jaw-dropping product … Apple’s new Polishing Cloth.

You gotta be kidding me. There I sat there, stunned, mouth agape. Tim Cook just Sherlocked me!

Some MacBook Pro wait times stretch nearly to Christmas

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Some MacBook Pro wait times already stretch nearly to Christmas
You can still get the 16-inch MacBook Pro before Christmas, if you hurry.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bugYou might find yourself waiting months to get the just-announced MacBook Pro. Order one of the standard configurations and it’ll arrive in this month or November at the latest. But upgrade the configuration and the wait time slips back to mid-December.

Anyone hoping to get a redesigned 14-inch or 16-inch MacBook Pro with the powerful new M1 Pro or M1 Max processor with a minimal wait should get their order in soon. Those who want a top-of-the-line configuration before Christmas really ought to hurry.

HomePod mini breaks out in a burst of colors

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HomePod mini breaks out in a burst of colors
HomePod mini will soon debut in three new colors: orange, yellow, and blue. That’s in addition to white and space gray.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bugThere’s good news for those bored by the HomePod mini’s color options. Apple just announced at Monday’s “Unleashed” event that its smart speaker will soon be available in three additional hues.

The price isn’t going up. But there’ll be a wait to order the fresh options.

macOS Monterey will be available to all on October 25

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macOS Monterey turns a second Mac into an external display
It will be free for all compatible machines.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bug Apple today confirmed after its big “Unleashed” event that macOS Monterey will make its public debut on October 25. It will be free to download and install on all compatible machines.

The next major upgrade to macOS brings a revamped Safari interface, Focus mode, and some big enhancements to the Notes app. It also paves the way for Universal Control, which lets you seamlessly control both a Mac and iPad.

Apple unveils next-gen Apple Silicon: M1 Pro and M1 Max

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M1 Max chip
Apple's M1 Max is the biggest Apple has made with 57 billion transistors.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bug At Apple’s “Unleashed” event Monday, the company unveiled a pair of new “pro” Apple Silicon chips: the M1 Pro and M1 Max processors.

The two new chips were described by Apple executives as “breakthrough” and “groundbreaking.” The M1 Max “is by far the most powerful chip we’ve ever built,” said Johny Srouji, Apple’s senior vice president of hardware technologies, during the “Unleashed” presentation.

At first glance, they appear to be a pair of wicked-fast but battery-sipping beasts that blow Intel out of the water.

MacBook Pro gets insane M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, gorgeous new design

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2021 MacBook Pro with M1 Pro, M1 Max
Order yours today.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bug The lengthy wait for a major MacBook Pro refresh is over, and boy, was it worth it. Apple’s newest flagship notebook, unveiled Monday during the company’s big “Unleashed” event, features edge-to-edge Liquid Retina displays, insane M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets, and all-new designs that bring back some important ports and features — including MagSafe charging.

The 2021 MacBook Pro lineup also bids farewell to the controversial Touch Bar, replacing it with a slightly revamped Magic Keyboard that goes back to physical keys (now full-size) for the function row. You can order yours today, with prices starting at $1,999.

Upgraded AirPods gain spatial audio with Dolby Atmos and more

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The new AirPods 3 are $179.
The new AirPods 3 are $179.
Photo: Apple

Apple Unleashed event bug Apple used part of its “Unleashed” event on Monday to announce a major refresh of it signature earbuds. The new AirPods 3 feature spatial audio with Dolby Atmos and dynamic head tracking and come with a redesign that makes them look more like AirPods Pro (although without the silicone ear tips).

They won’t be Cupertino’s entry-level earbuds, though, as the company said AirPods 2 will remain in the lineup.