Should musicians be goggle-eyed for Apple’s new 15-inch MacBook Air, Mac Studio and Mac Pro?

Apple 15-inch MacBook Air 2023
(Image credit: Apple)

Well, that was a lot. Apple’s WWDC23 keynote delivered a whole raft of new products, with the Apple Vision Pro ‘spatial computer’ inevitably garnering most of the headlines.

Take off the reality augmenting/distorting goggles, though, and there was plenty for Mac-based music makers to ponder, notably the arrival of the 15-inch MacBook Air and an upgraded Mac Studio.

There’s also the new Mac Pro, a computer so powerful that some kind of ‘do you really need this?’ licence should be required if you want to buy it.

The 15-inch MacBook Air is - you guessed it - a larger version of Apple’s entry-level laptop. Its Liquid Retina display actually measures 15.3 inches, and there’s an M2 processor inside. As with the smaller model, there’s no fan, which ensures silent operation, and we’re promised up to 18 hours of battery life. Prices start at $1,299/£1,399, and you can pre-order now for delivery on 13 June.

It’s also worth noting that prices for the 13-inch MacBook Air with M2 now start at $1,099/£1,149, which is $100/£100 less than before. The M1 model is still available, too, starting at $999/£999.

Apple Mac Studio and Mac Pro

(Image credit: Apple)

The upgraded Mac Studio, meanwhile, is now available with the new M2 Ultra chip, which Apple says is the largest and most capable it has ever created. This supports up to 192GB of RAM - 50 percent more than the M1 Ultra. You’ll also find this chip in the new Mac Pro, which becomes the final Mac to make the move to Apple Silicon.

Prices for the Mac Studio with M2 Ultra start at $3,999/£4,199, while the base price for the Mac Pro is $6,999/£7,199 (both available 13 June). In all honesty, though, this is far more computer than the vast majority of home studio owners will need; if you’re in the market for a Mac Studio, a better and more affordable bet would be the M2 Max model, which starts at $1,099/£2,099.

Apple also previewed new versions of all its operating systems, starting with macOS Sonoma. This promises more ways to personalise with widgets and new screen savers, updates to Safari and video conferencing, and an optimised gaming experience. It’ll be available later this year alongside iOS 17, iPadOS 17, watchOS 10 and tvOS 17.

You can find out more about all the new releases on the Apple website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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