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Photo: Apple

Apple on Monday announced an updated MacBook Pro lineup featuring higher-performance chips, faster screen refresh rates and the return of MagSafe magnetic charging cords. It also introduced redesigned AirPods wireless headphones that feature a new, water-resistant design and spatial audio.

Why it matters: The move is the latest step in shifting the Mac from Intel chips to Apple-designed processors.

Details:

  • The MacBook Pro comes in 14-inch and 16-inch models, featuring either the M1 Pro or M1 Max processors that Apple introduced on Monday.
  • Apple has brought back the physical row of function keys, dumping the Touch Bar, a small touchscreen that Apple had included on the MacBook Pro in recent years. There's an HDMI port to connect to displays and TVs as well as an SD card reader, the MagSafe charging port and a headphone jack.
  • The 14-inch model starts at $1,999, while the 16-inch version starts at $2,499. Pre-orders start today and the new laptops will be available next week.

Between the lines: Apple's new MacBooks bring together a variety of hardware features that Apple has added to other products in recent months, including a mini-LED display similar to the latest iPad Pro and the faster ProMotion screen refresh found on the latest iPhones.

Our thought bubble: The first crop of laptops with Apple-designed chips kept the prior designs but won praise for performance and battery life. With the new MacBook Pros, Apple adds a fresh design and aims to show its chips can also power the types of machines used by creative types doing intense photo and video work.

Meanwhile: As for the new AirPods, they will be available starting next week for $179, while the previous design remains in the lineup for $129.

  • Apple is also adding a cheaper $4.99-per-month Apple Music plan for those willing to exclusively use their voice to access their tunes.

Go deeper

Jul 27, 2020 - Technology

Big Tech's power, in 4 numbers

Data: FactSet; Chart: Naema Ahmed/Axios

The four Big Tech CEOs who will testify before Congress Wednesday command global empires with power and wealth that make them more like countries than companies.

By the numbers: Here are four very large stats for Facebook, Apple, Google/Alphabet and Amazon that tell the story of their value, scale and influence.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: Coronavirus variant surveillance varies widely by state — Omicron cases confirmed in 5 U.S. states America probably won't lead the effort to understand Omicron.
  2. Vaccines: Omicron adds urgency to vaccinating world — Omicron fuels the case for COVID boosters — Moderna loses patent battles tied to COVID vaccine.
  3. Politics: Nevada to impose insurance surcharge on unvaccinated state workers — New Jersey GOP lawmakers defy statehouse COVID policy — Oklahoma sues Biden administration over Pentagon vaccine mandate — Omicron travel bans are sign of what's to come.
  4. World: WHO: Delta health measures help fight Omicron — COVID cases surge in South Africa in sign Omicron wave is coming — Germany approves new restrictions for unvaccinated people.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

Prosecutors charge parents of Michigan school shooting suspect

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

The parents of a 15-year-old accused of killing four students and wounding seven other people at a Michigan high school have been charged with involuntary manslaughter, according to court documents.

Driving the news: James and Jennifer Crumbley were each charged with four counts of involuntary manslaughter.

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