Apple has unveiled its latest line of MacBooks, accessories and software at its ‘Unleashed’ event.
To onlookers’ surprise, not all the included features are fresh Apple out of the Genius lab.
In fact, some features seem to have gone back in time – reverting to their previous design.
Apple has previously shocked the world at its mammoth events with new, daring inclusions.
Remember the hysteria when Apple announced iPhones would adopt lightning chargers, instead of their 30-pin dock connector predecessors?
Or when Apple removed USB ports from their MacBooks, all replaced with USB-C connectors?
Well, it seems that Apple has since listened to its consumers and come to the conclusion that, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Here are some of the surprising changes and new additions to the Apple family:
All the ports you need
Apple announced it will restore key ports on the side of its MacBooks.
Both the 14-inch and 16-inch models will once again have an SD card reader, HDMI port and a MagSafe charging port.
In 2016, Apple removed all of the above – as well as traditional USB ports and Thunderbolt ports – in its endless endeavour to make its products slimmer and simpler.
Instead, everything was replaced with USB-C ports, meaning to plug anything in that wasn’t USB-C friendly, you would need to use a converter.
It’s a change many users resented, claiming Apple was compromising the functionality of products.
Finally, users can throw away all of those clunky SD-card reader and HDMI cord converters and plug their accessories directly into their MacBooks. Phew.
It’s a stunning admission from Apple that, perhaps, slimmest isn’t always best.
Farewell, touch bar
Apple has bid adieu to the highly-controversial TouchBar, and has favoured the traditional ‘Fn’ keys for its latest models.
2016 was the year of radical change for the company, as the TouchBar was also introduced that same year.
Apple claimed that the TouchBar would revolutionise the keyboard ‘experience’, offering dynamic controls depending on what content you were interacting with on screen.
However, users had varied negative experiences with the TouchBar, ranging from it being a distraction from what was on screen, to simply missing the simplicity of normal Fn keys.
Now, TouchBars are a concern of the past – at least for those who cash in on the newer models.
Bag of chips
As well as promised higher-quality retina display, increased battery life and a flash 1080p camera, the new MacBooks are set to be faster than ever.
At the event, Apple unveiled new versions of its computer chips called the M1 Pro and the M1 Max.
The chips are meant to have better performance than the company’s previous M1 chips but do so while using less power than rival chips from firms like Intel Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD).
Before Monday, Apple’s most powerful laptops relied on chips from Intel.
The company has already placed a first-generation, in house-designed M1 chip into some MacBooks as well as its Mac Mini and iMac desktop machines.
Don’t sweat it
Meanwhile, the new AirPods are sweat and water resistant for use with workouts and will have some sound features previously found in the higher-end AirPods Pro.
The appearance of the AirPods have been revamped, forgoing the silicone ear tips in favour of a sleeker appearance.
Planning your Christmas budget
Although Apple may have decided to embrace some of their past MacBooks’ features, the newest MacBooks will still cost you a pretty penny.
The 14-inch MacBook will start at $2999, while the 16-inch will start at $3749.
However, customers will have the option to customise their MacBooks by upgrading their chips to the M1 Pro, or even to the M1 Max.
The new-edition AirPods are currently retailing for $279, with all of the above shipping from next week.