SAN RAMON, Calif. — Apple is rolling out new Mac computers powered by the same kind of chips that run iPhones and iPads, a move aimed at making it easier for its most popular products to work together.
For instance, Macs using the new chips will be able to run the same apps designed for the iPhone's mobile operating system, although it appears some developers aren't immediately keen on making those apps available for Macs. Apple didn't demonstrate any other interoperability features based on the new chips, although analysts expect more cross-pollination.
The new Mac lineup unveiled Tuesday will be in stores five months after Apple announced it would abandon its longtime partner Intel in favor of using its own processors for Mac computers. Apple said its new Mac chips make possible faster processing speeds, sleeker designs and longer running times on a single battery charge.
For instance, some Macs have eliminated a cooling fan inside the machines, helping slim down their design.
The transition to the new in-house chips could also create stumbling blocks for Apple and other software makers aiming to adapt existing Mac software so it will also run smoothly on the new models.
Initially, Apple will only be putting its chips in smaller computers — the 13-inch MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro, as well as the Mac Mini desktop. The company expects it will take another two years before all its Macs are running on the in-house chips.
All three new computers are supposed to be available in stores next week, with prices starting at almost $700 for the Mac Mini to $1,200 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro.
How to find bargains on all types of devices
If you're looking to upgrade or replace some equipment, here are some recommendations from Louis Ramirez, deals editor for product review website Tom’s Guide.
“Tablet deals, particularly for the iPad, have been sporadic,” Ramirez said. But if you’re interested in an iPad Pro, you can find price cuts of about $100 to $150 on previous-generation models that came out in 2018.
Check Amazon, Best Buy, Target and B&H Photo Video for deals. B&H, for example, recently sold an 11-inch, 256GB, Wi-Fi-only 2018 model for $800, a $150 savings.
You may find the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 selling for up to $350 off at Amazon, Best Buy and the Microsoft Store.
We make recommendations independently, but participate in affiliate advertising programs that may pay us commission if you make purchases at Amazon.com and other linked retailer sites.
Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart usually offer the best deals on headphones.
And keep an eye on AT&T and Verizon too. AT&T recently sold Apple Airpods Pro earbuds for $224 ($250 regular price) and you don’t have to be a customer of AT&T’s services to buy them.
For less than $600, stores such as Amazon, Best Buy, the Microsoft Store and Walmart are selling laptops with up-to-date hardware — look for one with a current, 10th-generation Intel processor, at least 8 gigabytes of RAM, and a minimum 256GB solid state drive (SSD).
Amazon was recently selling an Acer Aspire 5 Slim laptop that fills the bill for $580 — and sometimes the price drops to near $540, Ramirez said.
If you want something simpler — say, for your child’s schoolwork — check out Chromebooks. You can usually find the Samsung Chromebook 3 for $199 or less, Ramirez said.
Apple’s new iPhone SE has a standard starting price of $399 — far lower than other current-generation iPhone models. It’s hard to take good photos at night with the phone, but “that’s really the only drawback” for most people, Ramirez said. And recently, you could buy it from Walmart for as little as $199 if you activated it with AT&T or Verizon Wireless.
Android devotees should check out the OnePlus 8, which has a starting price of $699. “You get a top-of-the-line processor, a gorgeous display, 128GB of storage and 5G capability,” Ramirez said.
Amazon, Best Buy and Walmart have been selling smart speakers at prices near the lows they hit on Black Friday last year. The Amazon Echo Dot and Google Nest Mini have both dipped to $29 (regular price $50). “I think those prices will easily last through the summer,” Ramirez said.