New Apple MacBook Pro review: It's a big beast

When Apple unveiled their newest laptops last week they came with a hefty price tag and a range of features previously removed by Apple from their portable computer lineup

New Apple MacBook Pro review: It's a big beast

When Apple unveiled their newest laptops last week, they came with a hefty price tag and a range of features previously removed from their portable computer lineup.

Having used the largest of the two for a week now, I can tell you it's great news if you are a true Pro user.

Apple supplied their 16-inch MacBook Pro on a short-term loan for this review. Knowing full well I'm not someone who works in the movie business doing colour grading of Hollywood blockbusters, nor am I a game developer working with advanced graphics, they opted for the M1 Pro chip inside.

The M1 Pro is the "lesser" of the two new Apple silicon chips, replacing Intel's Core processors which power such a huge number of computers around the world. The M1 Max has more capability, more power, but I'd struggle to push it past Pro levels.

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In fact, the reality is I barely pushed the new M1 Pro past the performance of the M1, which already sits in the Mac mini, the new iMac, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro.

However, the performance when I was doing video editing was noticeable. Snappy rendering and previews, a fast export — all due to the Pro level features at every part of this machine.

From the specifications of the SSD Hard Drive, to the wiring and circuitry between every component, it's made for speed.

The 14-inch model starts at $2,999.

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But I'll leave the true performance testing to someone who is much more capable than me.

What I can tell you with confidence is that the 16-inch is a big beast. Thick, heavy, large.  When compared to recent generations of MacBook Pros. This is a flashback to the design and build of the Powerbook G4 without the CD-ROM drive. There's not even a MacBook Pro branding under the screen, that's on the bottom of the device.

At 2.2kg it seems heavy, but for such a big device, it's actually not.

The 1.68cm thickness of the MacBook Pro is down to a bunch of important changes — which I'll call Pro-level changes. The battery, the cooling system and, after being dismissed from the MacBook lineup in 2016, the return of the HDMI Port, SD card slot and MagSafe power charger.

The M1 Pro is the

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This is the Pro computer the Pro users have been wanting for.

Moving data from camera cards is easy, no dongle required. Preview video edits on a 4K monitor at 60fps, done via HDMI. And charging at 140W via the MagSafe adaptor.

It seems simple, but those ports make all the difference here. 

Oh, and the fancy colour touch-screen "Touch Bar" that was innovatively introduced at the same time back in 2016 — gone.  

I have been getting 12-13 hours nonstop battery life from the machine, with 80 per cent charge achieved in just an hour and a half. Apple say 50 per cent in 30 minutes, but I never checked that early.

In your face is the new Liquid Retina XDR display. The 16-inch model tested has 7.7 million pixels on screen at a resolution of 3456 x 2234.

The 16-inch with 1TB of storage and 32GB of memory costs $4,649.

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Up top, the camera is upgraded to 1080 for your video conferencing, and it's housed within a "notch" on the screen. Yep, this MacBook has an iPhone-like interference with the screen.

You do not notice it. At all. In 90 per cent of your use, it's perfectly positioned in the middle of the menu bar. If menus need they will sit either side of it.

When you go full screen for Videos, Photos or any app, they go full screen underneath the "notch". Think of it this way: they've added a bit of screen at the top for the menu bar when needed.

Honestly, you'll not notice it other than when on a Zoom call and everyone's asking why you look so good.

The screen itself is bright, vibrant in fact, and it looks a treat.

Preview video edits on a 4K monitor at 60fps, done via HDMI.

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Starting at $2999 for the 14-inch, this 16-inch as tested with 1TB of storage and 32GB of memory will set you back $4649. If you've got even deeper pockets you could spend closer to $10,000.

Honestly, this is an amazing laptop. Every single ounce of power it has is available on battery. You don't NEED to plug it in to harness that power.

But it's not a back-to-school laptop folks, this is for people who know they need graphic capabilities and strong CPU performance.

It's the real Pro of the Apple lineup. The real question is when will they rename the current "Pro" models just as "MacBook" and save the Pro tag for the real pro laptops.

Source : 9 News More   

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Sudan's military takes power in coup, arrests prime minister

Sudan's military has seized power, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting prime minister and other officials.

Sudan's military takes power in coup, arrests prime minister

Sudan's military has seized power, dissolving the transitional government hours after troops arrested the acting prime minister and other officials. Thousands of people flooded into the streets to protest the coup that threatens the country's shaky progress toward democracy.

The takeover comes more than two years after protesters forced the ouster of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir and just weeks before the military was expected to hand the leadership of the council that runs the African country over to civilians.

After the early morning arrests of Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and other officials, thousands poured into the streets of the capital, Khartoum, and its twin city of Omdurman. Footage shared online appeared to show protesters blocking streets and setting fire to tires as security forces used tear gas to disperse them.

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As plumes of smoke filled the air, protesters could be heard chanting, "The people are stronger, stronger" and "Retreat is not an option!" Videos on social media showed large crowds crossing bridges over the Nile to the centre of the capital.

At least 12 protesters were wounded in demonstrations, according to the Sudanese Doctors Committee, which did not give details.

In the afternoon, the head of the military, Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, announced on national TV that he was dissolving the government and the Sovereign Council, a joint military and civilian body created four months after al-Bashir's ouster to run the country.

Burhan said quarrels among political factions prompted the military to intervene. Tensions have been rising for weeks between civilian and military leaders over Sudan's course and the pace of the transition to democracy.

The general declared a state of emergency and said the military will appoint a technocratic government to lead the country to elections, set for July 2023. But he made clear the military will remain in charge.

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"The Armed Forces will continue completing the democratic transition until the handover of the country's leadership to a civilian, elected government," he said. He added that the country's constitution would be rewritten and a legislative body would be formed with the participation of "young men and women who made this revolution."

The Information Ministry, still loyal to the dissolved government, called his speech an "announcement of a seizure of power by military coup."

The international community expressed concern over Monday's developments.

Jeffrey Feltman, the US special envoy to the Horn of Africa, said Washington was "deeply alarmed" by the reports. Feltman met with Sudanese officials over the weekend in an effort to resolve the growing dispute between civilian and military leaders. EU foreign affairs chief Joseph Borrell tweeted that he's following events with the "utmost concern". The UN political mission to Sudan called the detentions of government officials "unacceptable".

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The first reports about a possible military takeover began trickling out of Sudan before dawn Monday. The Information Ministry later confirmed Hamdok and several senior government figures had been arrested and their whereabouts were unknown.

Hamdok's office denounced the detentions on Facebook as a "complete coup." It said his wife was also arrested.

Internet access was widely disrupted and the country's state news channel played patriotic traditional music. At one point, military forces stormed the offices of Sudan's state-run television in Omdurman and detained a number of workers, the Information Ministry said.

There have been concerns for sometime that the military might try to take over, and in fact there was a failed coup attempt in September. Tensions only rose from there, as the country fractured along old lines, with more conservative Islamists who want a military government pitted against those who toppled al-Bashir in protests. In recent days, both camps have taken to the street in demonstrations.

The relationship between military generals and Sudanese pro-democracy groups has deteriorated in recent weeks over the country's future.

After the September coup attempt, the generals lashed out at civilian members of the transitional power structure and called for the dissolution of Hamdok's government. The Sovereign Council is the ultimate decision maker, though the Hamdok government is tasked with running Sudan's day-to-day affairs.

Burhan, who leads the council, warned in televised comments last month that the military would hand over power only to a government elected by the Sudanese people.

His comments suggested he might not stick to the previously agreed timetable, which called for the council to be led by a military figure for 21 months, followed by a civilian for the following 18 months. Under that plan, the handover was to take place sometime in November, with the new civilian leader to be chosen by an alliance of unions and political parties that led the uprising against al-Bashir.

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Sudanese demonstrators take to the streets of the capital Khartoum to demand the government's transition to civilian rule in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, Oct. 21, 2021. Sudanese protesters take part in a rally on Saturday, October. 16, 2021.

Since al-Bashir was forced from power, Sudan has worked to slowly rid itself the international pariah status it held under the autocrat. The country was removed from the United States' state supporter of terror list in 2020, opening the door for badly needed foreign loans and investment. But the country's economy has struggled with the shock of a number economic reforms called for by international lending institutions.

Sudan has suffered other coups since it gained its independence from Britain and Egypt in 1956. Al-Bashir came to power in 1989 in one such takeover, which removed the country's last elected government.

Among those detained Monday were senior government figures and political leaders, according to two officials who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to share information with the media.

They include Industry Minister Ibrahim al-Sheikh, Information Minister Hamza Baloul, Minister of Cabinet Affairs Khalid Omer, and Mohammed al-Fiky Suliman, a member of the Sovereign Council, as well as Faisal Mohammed Saleh, a media adviser to Hamdok. Ayman Khalid, governor of the state containing the capital, was also arrested, according to the official Facebook page of his office.

Sudanese demonstrators demand the government's transition to civilian rule in Khartoum, Sudan, Thursday, October 21, 2021.

After news of the arrests spread, the country's main pro-democracy group and two political parties issued appeals to the Sudanese to take to the streets.

One of the factions, the Communist Party called on workers to go on strike after what it described as a "full military coup" orchestrated by Burhan.

The African Union has called for the release of all Sudanese political leaders including Hamdok. "Dialogue and consensus is the only relevant path to save the country and its democratic transition," said Moussa Faki, the head of the AU commission.

Sudanese protesters demand the dissolution of the transitional government on Saturday, October 16.
Source : 9 News More   

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