Apple Event March 2022 - all the announcements

So, today at about 7am New Zealand time, Apple announced their latest gadgets and services. Personally, I was hoping for the new 27″ iMac and a 14″ MacBook Air, so it was a bit of a disappointment to me.

They started talking about Apple TV’s new shows.

My opinion is “meh” – Nothing on Apple TV actually makes me want to subscribe to that.

Only time I subscribe is when I get a few months free when I purchase a new device.

iPhone SE, 3rd Gen

For those that like a compact phone without Face ID was the new iPhone SE 3rd generation. This phone has most of the innards of a much newer iPhone in an old form iPhone 8 shell. It sports the new A15 Bionic chip and is pretty much just a refresh with a bit of better battery life. It starts at NZ$799 for the 64Gb model, NZ$899 for the 128Gb version.

I love the iPhone 8’s shape and compactness as well as the home button and Touch ID. I think I’ll get a “red one, ’cause it’s faster!”

Next up was the iPad Air 5th Generation. It’s a 10.9″ screen, has an M1 Mac chip, 8Gb of RAM, so basically a MacBook Air in a tablet form (running the mobile O/S, not the desktop version, of course). It supports for Apple Pencil 2nd Generation. It starts at NZ$1049.

I recently bought an iPad 9th Gen with Apple 1st Generation pencil as a workhorse for Job Scheduling. It has a 10.2″ screen and an older CPU, but it still performs like a beast and is several hundred dollars less than the new iPad Air. I suppose if you’re not wanting to spend the money on an iPad Pro, but want to do some light video, image work on the tablet, it may be worth that extra money.

That said, the new iPad it does have a really, really nice front web-cam camera with centre-stage support (follows the active person in the frame), so for Video Chat, this may be a great upgrade.


Mac Studio, new M1 Ultra fusion chip option

For graphic designers, video editors and other heavy power-users, the Mac Studio with either the older M1 Max (itself, a beast of a CPU), and the new “spliced-CPU” M1 Ultra is a new massive upgrade on workstations in a small, discreet box that has quite a few USBC sockets as well as an SD card reader. This starts at NZ$3,599 for the M1 Max version and an eye-watering NZ$7,099 for the “fusion-spliced” M1 Ultra version. These are both very, very powerful and portable computers, not exactly intended for home desktop use.

It must be noted that since Apple M1 silicon has been release, it is an absolute delight to use these over Intel Computers. They are so much faster, quieter and more responsive, whether you’re using the Mac Mini, MacBook Air 13″, a 24″ iMac or the new 14″ and 16″ MacBook Pro’s.


Studio Display

One of the most puzzling announcements was the new Studio Display. which is a 27″ 5k Retina Display with an A13 Bionic CPU built into it with a high quality 12MP Ultra Wide webcam that also supports “Centre Stage” (the camera follows you), with amazing speakers and 

It is supposed to be an alternative for designers to the NZ$9,599 Display XDR.

Once again, I would love one of these units, but I personally think they went a bit too small at 27″ if they intend to have the Mac Studio crowd use these. 

Another thing – most graphic designers, editors, etc use more than one screen. Why on earth have all that extra hardware in each screen? Why not offer a screen without WebCam, without Speakers as well? Not very eco-conscious there, Apple.

At NZ$2,999 it’s not great value either. Yes, it’s compact and neat, sure it sounds and looks great, but wow… ouch!

Even if you buy this with an entry level M1 Mac Mini (a great little home machine) with 8Gb RAM, 250Gb SSD, that’s about NZ$4,200 when you add the NZ$1,199 to the screen!

I currently use a 31.5″ Samsung 4K screen and that is a really good-value screen – and it works with the Mac Mini! It’s 31.5″ Footprint is smaller than my 27″ iMac which has 1″ bezels around it and chin.

So, I’m holding out for the iMac 27″ with Apple Silicon at this point before I upgrade my iMac 27″ model (with SSD) from 2015 or maybe just going to get a Mac Mini with another 31.5″ Samsung Screen.

Watch the full Apple Event on YouTube below

Well, that’s all that was discussed in the video above with current NZ prices and links to the products.

I understand the Studio Display is meant to be bundled with the Mac Studio, but I would have expected a nice “dumb” monitor as well, and certainly a bit larger – at least 31.5″ – the rough edge-to-edge size of the iMac 27″.

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~ Craven Coetzee