Apple is in a slow period between major product launches, but Tuesday marked the launch of a few peripherals and add-ons that may be of interest to certain Mac users. Products include a Touch ID-equipped Magic Keyboard (previously included only with the 24-inch iMac) and three new graphics card modules for the Mac Pro desktop.
You’ll also find updated versions of the Magic Mouse ($79) and Magic Trackpad ($129) in Apple’s store, but they aren’t dramatically different. For example, the Magic Trackpad is just subtly reshaped to better match the more significantly modified Magic Keyboard. Each of the updated accessories comes with a USB-C to Lightning cable for charging.
The keyboard has been given a completely new shape and additional features, including a Touch ID fingerprint reader. Touch ID is a biometric authentication feature previously only available on Apple laptops and mobile devices.
The new Magic Keyboard design was introduced exclusively for the M1-equipped, 24-inch iMac that debuted this spring. Since that all-in-one desktop was available in different colors, the keyboard is available in the same shades. But it looks like the standalone Magic Keyboard just comes in the standard silver-and-white motif seen in so many Apple accessories.
The Magic Keyboard with Touch ID costs $149, and a variant without Touch ID costs $99. There are also numeric keypad versions of both the non-Touch ID and Touch ID keyboards ($129 and $179, respectively). .
New Mac Pro MPX Modules
The Mac Pro is far from a mass-market consumer product; it is primarily intended for professional video editing stations and the like. But if you’re one of the few people who has one (or if you manage IT for a team that does), you now have some new upgrade options.
The Mac Pro has an expandable graphics card, but it uses preconfigured modules rather than out-of-the-box consumer GPUs. Three new graphics modules are available for purchase for the Mac Pro starting today.
Each bears the name Radeon Pro. Here are the names and prices:
They can be purchased individually or as part of a new Mac Pro setup.
We’ll have to wait for some benchmarks to get reliable performance insights, but each module has 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports and one HDMI 2.0 port. The Mac Pro accommodates two modules, so you could have as many as 4 GPUs if you use a Duo module as mentioned above.
With the introduction of these new modules, Apple will no longer offer the AMD Radeon Pro Vega II or AMD Radeon Pro Vega II Duo modules as configuration options for new Mac Pros at the time of purchase. However, they will still be available as standalone options for existing Apple customers.
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List image by Samuel Axon