All treats, no tricks: Apple’s ‘scary fast’ MacBooks hit the market

New laptops are powered by M3 series of Apple-designed chips

Apple skipped the tricks in favour of high-tech treats this week at its late-night launch that showed off the latest MacBook Pro devices powered by the third generation of the company’s own chips.

At an all-digital event, Apple unveiled its new M3 chips, including the M3 and the M3 Pro.

But while the company had widely been expected to unveil its new silicon, Apple broke its convention of unveiling the most powerful Max chip at a later date. The company showed off a 14 and 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M3 and M3 Pro, and a 16 inch version of the laptop that was powered by the M3 Max.

The latter supports up to 128GB of unified memory, although you will pay a hefty premium for the privilege. The more powerful machine is aimed at users with higher power requirements - machine learning programmers, 3D artists, and video editors - while the M3 Pro powered machines are pitched at coders, creatives and researchers.


The new chips come with big promises, with a next generation GPU and dynamic caching, where only the exact amount of memory that is needed is used for each task, increasing performance for more demanding pro apps and games.

The M3 family also brings new rendering features, such as hardware-accelerated mesh shading and ray tracing, leading to more realistic graphics and environments.

The new chips are also significantly faster than their predecessors, offering a leap in performance over the previous M series chips and the Intel-powered MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Pro will also come in a new colour, with Apple adding a black version to the line up.

Prices start at €2,049 for the 14-inch MacBook Pro with M3, with the M3 Pro at €2,279 and the 16‑inch MacBook Pro costing from €3,099.

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien

Ciara O'Brien is an Irish Times business and technology journalist