Apple's new MacBook Pro range releasing in New Zealand on October 26

Apple has unveiled its new MacBook Pro range of notebooks, set to release in Aotearoa next week starting at NZ$3399 for the 14-inch model and NZ$4299 for the 16-inch.

The updated MacBook Pros were revealed during the company's 'Unleashed' livestream that also confirmed the laptops will be powered by new M1 Pro and M1 Max chips.

The long-expected next iteration of the company's basic headphone set was also announced, with the AirPods 3 set to offer Spatial Audio support and wireless charging and launching with a price of NZ$329.

However speculation the Cupertino-based tech giant was revealing a new version of its compact desktop MacMini computer proved unfounded, with the focus largely on the new chip architecture and the MacBook Pros. 

One pre-event rumour did prove to be true, however, around the appearance of a camera notch on the new MacBook Pro displays.

The notch houses a new 1080P resolution webcam with a wider aperture to support better low-light video conferencing. The addition of the notch promises to be polarising, with plenty of debate about it on social media even before it was formally announced.

Apple will attempt to take any sting out of the criticism by moving the menu bar higher and wrapping it around the notch to ensure it doesn't intrude into apps.

One other polarising feature, the customisable Touch Bar, has been removed from the newest MacBook Pros, replaced by standard function keys.

The new models also have more ports than last year's version with an HDMI port, three Thunderbolt ports, a SD slot, a headphone jack and, in another nod to previous iterations, the return of the Magsafe charger.

The 16-inch model offers a maximum resolution of 3456x2234 pixels while the 14-inch tops out at 3024x1964.

AirPods 3
Photo credit: Apple

The screens themselves are Liquid Retina XDR displays, featuring the same mini-LED technology used in the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. That will offer a standard 1000 nits of brightness while operating, with a peak of up to 1600 nits.

For the first time the screens will also offer ProMotion, which automatically adjusts the refresh rate up to a maximum of 120Hz. It's the same technology that was added to the iPhone 13 Pro models this year, finally bringing the smoother transitions and scrolling that phones from rivals like Samsung, Oppo and Xiaomi have offered for some time.

Apple is also promising its latest laptops will feature a massive jump in battery life over previous generations. The company says the 14-inch model will offer up to 17 hours of video playback on battery - 7 hours more than previously - while the 16-inch promises 10 more for a total of 21 hours of video playback without charging.

The new Magsafe 3 offers a fast charge system that will give 50 percent battery life in 30 minutes.

The M1 Pro and M1 Max chips powering the new MacBook Pros are the latest iterations of Apple's own chips, offering faster CPU and GPU performance over the current M1 chip.

HomePod Mini
Photo credit: Apple

The Pro supports up to 32GB of memory and has a 10-core CPU, making it 70 percent faster than the M1, Apple says. Its 16-core GPU is twice as fast as its predecessor.

The Max supports up to 64GB of memory to support the 10-core CPU and 32-core GPU.

Apple also announced its HomePod Mini smart speaker system is getting a splash of colour for the first time with new yellow, orange and blue colours to go along with the existing space grey and white.

And, while it wasn't announced during the event, the company later confirmed the latest version of its MacOS software, Monterey, will be available as a free upgrade from October 25.

Apple MacBook Pro NZ price and release date:

  • The MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch will be available in multiple configurations, starting at NZ$3399 and NZ$4299 respectively.
  • At the top end of the available configurations: A 16-inch MacBook Pro with M1 Max chip, 64GB unified memory and 8TB of SSD storage will set you back NZ$10,599.

The new range, including the AirPods 3, is available to pre-order from today and will begin arriving to customers starting October 26.

The coloured HomePod Mini range will be available in November.