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March 2022 Keynote – everything you need to know

All the big reveals as Apple launches a new iPhone, new iPad, and a new Mac

Apple’s Spring event has officially sprung, with plenty of new and upgraded hardware to sink our teeth into. Here, in brief, is everything you need to know.

Next-gen iPhone SE

Apple’s budget iPhone, housed in a classic design that still has a Home button, just got a big update. The headline features are a new A15 Bionic chip and 5G capabilities, although Apple has also made notable improvements to battery life and durability too.

That A15 Bionic is the exact same chip used in last year’s iPhone 13, meaning iPhone SE can offer the same lightning-fast performance at a much lower cost. It also means this is a phone that should last a long time, with iOS software updates for at least five years into the future. Although the camera hardware isn’t notably different, the new processing chip unlocks Smart HDR, Photographic Styles, and Deep Fusion, which are all new to the iPhone SE range.

Apple says “iPhone SE has been an incredibly popular choice with our existing users and for new iPhone customers, thanks to its iconic design, exceptional performance, and affordable price.”

The new iPhone SE starts at $429 and is available in three colors. It’s available for preorder on Friday, March 11, and ships a week later.

M1 iPad Air

Apple also unveiled a new iPad Air, turning its mid-range tablet into something that can give iPad Pro a run for its money. Like iPhone SE, the flagship changes involve a new processor and the addition of a 5G model – but here, the new processor is Apple’s own M1 chip, which massively impressed in its latest Macs and iPad Pros.

That means a pretty huge bump in performance – up to 60% faster than the previous iPad Air with twice as fast graphics performance for gaming, video editing, and augmented reality.

There’s also a new Ultra Wide 12MP camera on the front, meaning iPad Air is now much better for conference calling. Crisper video with the addition of Center Stage for automatic tracking if you move around the room on a call.

Apple says “Whether it’s a college student taking elaborate notes, a content creator working on their latest project, or a gamer playing graphics-intensive titles, users love iPad Air for its amazing performance and versatility in such a portable design.”

The new iPad Air starts at $599 ($749 for the 5G cellular model) which means this extra power comes without a bump in price. It’s available in five colors, and like the iPhone SE, it’s available to preorder on March 11 and ships on March 18.

Mac Studio

A desktop Mac so powerful it has a new name! Mac Studio and the accompanying Studio Display are high-end machines clearly tailored towards professionals.

Mac Studio looks like a pimped-out Mac mini, a silver box with tons of ports that sits on your desk and connects to an external monitor. The base model rocks Apple’s impressive M1 Max, while a pricier version goes even further with the newly-announced M1 Ultra, which is literally made by joining two M1 Max chips together. It’ll be perfect for 3D rendering and can even play back a whopping 18 streams of ProRes video at once.

The Studio Display is a 27-inch 5K Retina display, with its own A13 Bionic chip to power an advanced camera and audio system.

Here’s what Apple had to say: “Mac Studio ushers in a new era for the desktop with unbelievable performance powered by M1 Max and M1 Ultra, an array of connectivity, and a compact design that puts everything users need within easy reach. And Studio Display — with its stunning 5K Retina screen, along with the best combination of camera and audio ever in a desktop display — is in a class of its own.”

Mac Studio starts at $1,999 (or twice that if you want M1 Ultra) while the Studio Display is $1,599. Accessories are not included so customers will need to buy a keyboard, trackpad, and/or mouse separately if they don’t already have them. Again, it goes up for preorder this Friday and ships the following Friday.