We ran every test you could think of on the M1 Ultra

We’ve now tested every version of Apple’s M1 processor, from the first M1 chip in the 13-inch Macbook Pro all the way up to the M1 Ultra in the new Mac Studio, and the chip’s ability to scale performance is pretty incredible. The M1 Ultra fuses two M1 Max chips together to get you a processor with 20 CPU cores and 64 GPU cores, along with up to 128GB of RAM, and it’s one of the fastest processors we’ve ever tested.

We asked what tests you’d like to see run on the M1 Ultra and assembled quite a list, including Adobe Lightroom and Premiere Pro, Davinci Resolve and Fusion, 3D modeling in Blender, machine learning tests like TensorFlow and Pytorch, and even some gaming.

Amazingly, the M1 Ultra really does seem to be around twice as fast as the M1 Max in most applications. Whatever overhead is required to shuffle data around such a large chip, it rarely impacts CPU performance. The GPU scaling doesn’t fare quite so well. The M1 Ultra was typically 40-80% faster than the M1 Max, still speedy, but not quite as impressive in its scaling as the CPU.

The M1 Ultra does best when its hardware accelerators can kick in. These are the parts of the chip built to speed up specific tasks, namely video rendering and AI processing. In a test processing ten 8K video clips at once, the M1 Ultra did the job in just 29 seconds when its accelerators were able to help out. This was about twice as fast as the PC we were testing, despite it having a 16-core AMD 5950X processor and Nvidia RTX 3080 Ti graphics card.

Apple’s M1 ecosystem does at times feel unfinished. There were more strange bugs than I’d expected, and software compatibility can still be a problem, but it’s improving rapidly. The M1 Ultra wasn’t always faster than my PC, but in some tests it was two or three times quicker, and in only a few cases was it significantly slower. If you use Apple and need a high-end desktop, there’s really no decision, and for everyone else looking for a workstation, the M1 Ultra Mac Studio is a contender.

Check out the video above for the full details of our testing.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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Razer Announces All-White Pro Type Ultra and Pro Click Mini

Razer isn’t just a gaming brand anymore — the company is expanding its office and work-friendly peripherals with a series of new updates. Razer announced the new Pro Click Mini wireless mouse, Pro Type Ultra wireless keyboard, and Pro Glide XXL mouse mat as part of its new Razer Pro productivity suite, designed for the new work-from-home era.

The new keyboard and mouse come with features you’d expect from the best around, including long battery life and solid connections to your PC. However, it also features dampened switches to reduce noise while typing, which is a useful feature that’s becoming increasingly important as families have to work, study, and play together in confined spaces.

Even HP is marketing its latest Envy Inspire printers with noise reduction technology as a pandemic-borne necessity.

According to Razer, the new Pro Type Ultra wireless keyboard also comes with silent mechanical switches, which can minimize distraction if you’re sharing a working or gaming space with other family members.

“Refined and improved through community feedback, the Razer Pro Type Ultra is the next generation of Razer’s Pro series of keyboards, bringing a quieter, more luxurious typing experience to the office space,” the company said of its latest workspace inspired keyboard. “With silent mechanical switches, rated for up to 80 million presses, the keycaps feature a soft-touch coating for all-day typing comfort”

For added ergonomics, the keyboard comes with a plush leatherette wrist rest, which was one of our biggest complaints about the original Razer Pro Type keyboard. Other features include the ability to pair with and switch easily between four different devices, 200 hours of battery life, and compatibility with Razer’s 2.4GHz Productivity Dongle for lag-free use or for use in areas with congested wireless signals.

“The new Pro range features multi-device wireless connectivity, extended battery life, and a quieter sound profile,” Razer said of its new productivity products. “Coupled with Razer’s expertise in producing high-performance, durable, ergonomic hardware, the new Pro range delivers the ideal work, home office, or mobile peripherals for today’s flexible workspace locations.”

Razer's new Pro Type keyboard comes with dampened switches for silent typing.

The Pro Click Mouse is designed to complement the keyboard. Like its sibling, the mouse can be paired with multiple devices simultaneously — up to three via Bluetooth — and can also work with the USB Productivity Dongle. It has silent tactile switches, which are becoming a common theme for work from home peripherals these days, and uses Razer’s advanced 5G optical sensor for accurate tracking and precise control alongside programmable buttons and a large scroll wheel.

“The new Razer HyperScroll wheel can switch between Free-Spin and Tactile scrolling modes for quick and easy navigation of large documents and webpages, while the 4-way tilt-click function allows for easy horizontal scrolling and movement,” the company said. “With an additional 7 fully programmable buttons for ease of use in multiple applications, the Pro Click Mini is a versatile, capable mouse, perfect for the demands of modern office work.”

If you need a mousepad to do work, the Razer Pro Glide XXL is a functional mouse mat — despite its unappealing name. With a surface area of 940 x 410mm and measuring 3mm thick, the Pro Glide XXL comes with features like “increased size for greater coverage,” a “textured micro-weave cloth surface” on top of “thick, high-density rubber foam” that’s cushioned “for long-term comfort,” and an “anti-slip rubber base.” These features make the mousepad even less safe for work than it already is.

Aside from the odd name, the good news is that all three productivity peripherals come in very neutral hues of white and silver, and Razer’s Chroma RGB backlight has been switched out for a more professionally-inspired white tone on the keyboard.

Both the wireless mouse and the mousepad are available starting today. The Pro Click Mini will sell for $79 while the Pro Glide XXL is listed at $29. The Razer Pro Type Ultra wireless keyboard will be arriving in the fourth quarter to select retailers and on Razer’s website and will be priced at $159 at launch.

Editors’ Choice

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Pokemon GO Ultra Unlock: Zacian and Zamazenta released

The last part of the Pokemon GO Ultra Unlock series for this year’s Pokemon GO Fest includes Zacian and Zamacenta. These Pokemon will be among the first released by Hoopa! Hoopa will likely play a significant part in the in-game story rolling through Pokemon GO from this point on, especially when it comes to Legendary releases. In this case, the first to Galarian Legandary Pokemon come from the hoops!

To be clear, here, Pokemon GO already released SOME Galarian Pokemon in the last few months. With the launch of Pokemon Sword and Shield, Niantic was onboard with launching Galarian versions of some Pokemon that were already in the game – like Galarian Slowpoke, Galarian Farfetch’d, and Galarian Zigzagoon. This event would appear to be the first big push for Pokemon entirely new to Pokemon GO from the Galar Region.

Included in NEW releases are Skwovet, Greedent, Wooloo, Dubwool, and Falinks! Shiny Pokemon that’ll be appearing either in raid battles or more commonly in the wild include Galarian Farfetch’d, Unown U, Galarian Zigzagoon, Galarian Weezing, Lapras, Mega Beedrill, Galarian Meowth, Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Stunfisk, Mega Pidgeot, and Snorlax!

Week 1, Ultra Unlock 3, Sword and Shield

Pokemon Go Ultra Unlock Part 3: Sword and Shield is about to go off. The first bit starts on August 20 and lasts until August 26. The second part starts on August 26 and lasts until September 1. Start and stop times are all 10AM local time.

For the first half of this event, we’ll see Raid Boss Zacian in its Hero of Many Battles form. This Pokemon will begin to appear at 10AM local time on August 20, and it’ll be the most powerful Pokemon of the bunch – unless you’re weak against the many stings of Mega Beedrill.

The first week of Sword and Shield Ultra Unlock action in Pokemon GO will include Mega Beedrill in Mega Raid battles. You’ll also see Falinks, Lapras, and Galarian Weezing as 3-star battles. This week will feature 1-star battles with Galarian Slowpoke, Galarian Farfetch’d, Unown U, and Galarian Zigzagoon.

There’ll also be a raid hour with Zician on August 25, 2021 from 6PM to 7PM local time. There’ll be so many Zacian out there in the world, you won’t know what to do with them!

Week 2, Ultra Unlock 3, Sword and Shield

In Week 2 we’ll see Zamazenta in its own Hero of Many Battles form. This Pokemon will appear first in four-star Raid Battles in Pokemon GO, and it seems likely there’ll be no Shiny version at launch. At the same time we will have quite a few other Shiny Pokemon in Raid Battles during this event.

Week 2 raids are just as excellent as those in week 1, including Galarian Meowth, Galarian Ponyta, Galarian Darumaka, and Unown U for 1-star raids. The 3-star raid crew includes Galarian Stunfisk, Falinks, and Snorlax! There’ll be a Mega Pidgeot available as a Mega Raid, too.

Week 2 will feature a Zamacenta Raid Hour on August 30, 2021 starting at 6PM local time and lasting until 7PM.

Stay tuned as we learn more about the Pokemon that’ll appear during this event series. UPDATE: The NEW Shiny Pokemon for this event include Galarian Meowth, Galarian Farfetch’d, Galarian Weezing, and Galarian Stunfisk. As it generally is with new releases of Shiny Pokemon, these Pokemon should be far more common in shiny form than they ever will be in the game again after this event is done.

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Pokemon GO Fest 2021 Ultra Unlock: Time, Space, and more

This week the folks at Niantic released new information on Pokemon GO Fest 2021, including the Ultra Unlock. This system of unlocking bonuses will take place in what the company calls the “Global Challenge Arena”, and only for “ticket holders” as such. It’ll happen with a new collaborative challenge each hour during the event – if trainers complete each challenge, they’ll get a bonus for the remainder of said hour.

Once all of the Global Challenge Arena Ultra Unlock challenges are unlocked, there’ll be “bonuses that will occur after Pokemon GO Fest 2021. It’s quite likely we’ll see bonuses for those that do not hold tickets, too – wouldn’t want to leave so very many people out of the party once they’re no longer able to buy a ticket, after all.

Ultra Unlock Part 1: Time

Trainers will need to complete “a total of eight global challenges” in order to take part in Ultra Unlock Part 1: Time. Given the way these sorts of challenges have gone in the past, this shouldn’t be an issue. Once Time is unlocked, “the flow of time till be disrupted!”

The bonus for this unlock will start on Friday, July 23, 2021, at 10AM local time. It’ll run until Tuesday, August 3, at 8PM local time. The reward is that “Pokemon from various eras will be appearing more often.”

Ultra Unlock Part 2: Space

If trainers move on to completing 16 global challenges, the Ultra Unlock Part 2: Space reward will be unlocked. This reward will start on Friday, August 6, 2021 at 10AM local time to Tuesday, August 17 at 8PM local time. During this bonus, “Space itself will be distorted as Pokemon from various places appear!”

Ultra Unlock Part 3: ???

The third part of the challenge series has not yet been revealed. Niantic is being mysterious about this one, safe the requirements – trainers will need to complete a total of 24 global challenges during Pokemon GO Fest 2021. Part 3 of the series will start on Friday, August 20, 2021 at 10AM and will last until Tuesday, August 31, at 8PM local time, assuming it’s achieved and unlocked.

We’re thinking we’re going to see our fair share of newly-released Pokemon, Pokemon that’ve not yet been available in Pokemon GO, and weird oddities. All the Unown and unknown Pokemon we can handle!

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Tech News

ZTE Axon 30 Under Display Camera and new Axon 30 Ultra model confirmed

Luckily avoiding the fate that befell Huawei, ZTE has been left free to continue its smartphone business unobstructed and even sell some of those in the US. More than that, however, the company was even brave enough to push forward one of the holy grails in smartphone design. The ZTE Axon 20 5G’s under-display camera or UDC, however, didn’t really live up to expectations, but the company has now confirmed that a next-gen version is coming soon under the Axon 30 flagship name.

When it revealed what would be the world’s first phone with UDC last year, ZTE was quite forthcoming with the innovations it made in that arena. In contrast, it has been pretty silent this year aside from the fact that it was indeed working on a second-gen UDC when everybody thought it abandoned that venture. There has been a recent rumor that its second attempt will be arriving soon and ZTE has just confirmed and teased that it will indeed happen this year.

It simply said that a new generation of camera phones with UDC technology is coming soon and that it will bear the Axon 30 name. It also teased a render of what the phone would look like, which is unsurprisingly almost 100% screen on the front. That said, it is just a marketing render so the absence of a visible “patch” above the UDC sensor should be taken with a grain of salt.

The teaser doesn’t give an exact date for the Axon 30 5G with UDC’s announcement, but ZTE does put a timestamp on another Axon 30 variant coming this week. On July 9 at 10 AM local time, ZTE will unveil a configuration of the Axon 30 Ultra with 16GB of RAM and a whopping 1TB of storage. Details are still thin on this new model, especially its global availability, but it won’t be too long a wait to get the official word.

As for the ZTE Axon 30 5G with UDC, rumors claim it will debut on July 22. Whether it becomes available in global markets, particularly the US, is still a matter of debate. More importantly, it remains to be seen, literally, if it will indeed bring the promised improvements to the UDC technology co-developed with Visionox.

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Tech News

Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G gets a new color, but only as a retailer exclusive

If you’ve been thinking of picking up Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G lately, then you might like to know that the phone is now available in a new color. Samsung today announced that the phone will now be available in Navy Blue, adding to the black, gray, and white colors the phone was already available in. Unfortunately, the navy Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is only available at a specific retailer, so you’ll need to buy through them if you want it.

The navy version of the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is only available through Best Buy, but the good news is that you won’t necessarily need to go into a store to pick one up, as the navy model is also available on Best Buy’s website. The company is currently running a promotion that will shave $200 off the purchase price of the phone – bringing it down to $999.99 – but you’ll have to activate it when you buy it.

If you’d prefer not to activate the phone at the point of sale, you can still get a navy Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, but it’ll cost you the normal retail price of $1,199.99. That is quite a bit of money and since you wouldn’t be activating it on a carrier’s payment plan, Best Buy would require that amount all up front.

When it comes to the Galaxy S21 lineup, the S21 Ultra 5G was definitely the phone that needed a new color added to its list of options. While the standard S21 5G and the S21+ 5G are available in colors like Phantom Red, Phantom Violet, and Phantom Pink, the Galaxy S21 5Ultra 5G has only been available in Phantom Silver, Phantom Black, and Phantom Titanium colors since it launched earlier this year.

While the new Navy Blue color – as it’s officially called – may not be as loud as the red, pink, or purple colorways that are available with other models, it’s still nice to see a little color in the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G lineup. You can find the Navy Blue Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G today at Best Buy stores across the US and on Best Buy’s website.

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Tech News

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G launches globally

Unlike Huawei, ZTE seems to be back on its feet and is even doing just fine, at least in the smartphone market. Not only is it able to sell its smartphones in the US, it even has access to components and software that Huawei can’t even touch. Proof of that is the new ZTE Axon 30 Ultra 5G, a mouthful of a flagship that just launched globally, including in the US, with high-end specs that surprisingly don’t ask much when it comes to price.

The specs sheet for ZTE’s latest flagship looks almost typical at first glance. The Snapdragon 888 and 8GB of 12GB of RAM is what you’d expect from high-end phones these days while the 6.67-inch AMOLED screen boasts of a 144Hz refresh rate despite a slightly lower FHD+ resolution. Unlike the Axon 20 5G before it, however, it opts for a more traditional punch-hole cutout.

What makes the Axon 30 Ultra 5G stand out, however, are three of the four cameras on its back. On paper, having three 64MP cameras, one of which is a Sony IMX686, sounds pretty impressive. Those three cover portrait, wide-angle, and ultra-wide-angle shots while a separate 8MP camera with a periscope-style lens handles 5x zoom shots.

That said, the phone does sound almost normal in all other aspects, especially as we have yet to see the Axon 30 Ultra 5G in real-world tests. What makes it unique from other flagships this year is the price tag it carries. At least when it comes to US dollars, ZTE is selling it for $749 for the base 8GB RAM and 128GB storage model.

The ZTE Axon 30 Ultra is now available for purchase around the world directly from the company’s online store. It comes with ZTE’s own MyOS 11 based on Android 11 and, presumably, with Google Play apps and services pre-installed in international markets.

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Tech News

ZTE Axon 30 Ultra preorders kick off May 27

ZTE revealed its latest flagship device in China in April and recently offered up a preorder date and the date for the global rollout of the device. Preorders will begin for the Axon 30 Ultra on May 27, with global deliveries starting on June 4. Preorders will be accepted via the website, and those who preorder will get a special extra at no cost.

That extra is a free pair of ZTE TWS earbuds. The smartphone preorder price is $749/€749/£649 for the version with eight gigabytes of RAM and 128 gigabytes of storage. A version featuring 12 gigabytes RAM with 256 gigabytes of storage sells for $849/€849/£739. The smartphone will be available in the US, Canada, most of Asia, most of Europe, and most of the Middle East.

For those unfamiliar with the Axon 30 Ultra, some of its highlights include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, 144-hertz seamless display, Cinematic 64MP quad-camera array, NexGen Wi-Fi 6E + 5G Connectivity, a 4600 mAh battery, and support for 65 watt fast charging. The camera is one of the focal points for the smartphone.

It features an ultra-wide camera within f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree low-distortion lens. The camera array also has an additional 64MP portrait camera with an F/1.9 aperture and 35mm focal lens length. The wide-angle camera is also 64MP resolution with a Sony IMX686 image sensor, F/1.6 aperture, and optical image stabilization. The final camera in the array is an ultra-zoom lens featuring 8MP resolution, F/1.9 aperture, 5x optical zoom with optical image stabilization, and up to 60x hybrid zoom. ZTE also integrates laser detection autofocus and the ability to record 8K video.

The display is a large 6.67-inch full HD+ AMOLED with a 20:9 aspect ratio and 360Hz touch sampling rate. The screen covers 100 percent of the DCI-P3 color gamut with a 10-bit color depth. The operating system out of the box is Android 11 with MyOS11 over the top, and the phone has dual SIM cards and an optical in-display fingerprint sensor.

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Tech News

T-Mobile Galaxy Note 20 Ultra update brings eSIM milestone

eSIM, short for embedded (not electronic) SIM, is supposed to be the SIM technology of the future. More convenient than popping out SIM card trays or physically interacting with carriers, the technology has been ironically but unsurprisingly hampered by carriers who aren’t that keen on making it too easy for users to switch networks. Unfortunately, that also hampered even those phones with both physical and embedded SIMs so it’s actually a pleasant surprise to hear that T-Mobile is finally enabling it for last year’s Galaxy Note 20.

Almost like data storage, eSIM can be written to in order to change what network it connects to and this can even be done without the carrier physically touching the phone. While it is ironically more open that way, it is even more reliant on carriers enabling support for the technology compared to the older physical SIM standard. That is why even some phones with eSIM hardware don’t actually support it, particularly those sold by network operators.

eSIM hasn’t been around for years but its adoption in the US hasn’t exactly been fast nor consistent. Apple’s adoption of the technology may finally be turning things around but, as it stands only the iPhone and Google Pixel phones enjoy that support in North America.

That’s what makes this T-Mobile update for the Galaxy Note 21 Ultra an important chapter in Samsung’s history in that market, being the first of its phones to get eSIM support in the continent. Of course, since the phone also has a physical SIM slot, the update also adds Dual SIM Dual Standby to the phone to make the best use of the new feature.

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra isn’t the only eSIM-capable phone Samsung has now. The Galaxy S21 series also has the hardware but also didn’t launch with it enabled in the US. Hopefully, this update marks the beginning of carriers adding support for more Galaxy phones, including the early 2021 flagships.

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Tech News

Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is DxOMark’s new king

Xiaomi had a rather big day to day, announcing a handful of new devices, not all of them smartphones. The Mi 11 Ultra, of course, is the highlight of its night and it’s not really that surprising given all the specs and features it carries inside its unsurprisingly expensive package. As expected, the camera system, which is housed in what may be the largest bump we’ve laid eyes on a phone, is one of the core pillars of the Mi 11 Ultra and it may have paid off if DxOMark’s early evaluation is anything to go by.

Almost everything about the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra’s cameras, at least the ones on the back, are big. It has the 1/1.12-inch Samsung GN2 for its main camera, one of if not the largest in the smartphone market, and two 48MP Sony IMX586 sensors, one for the periscope style 5x optical zoom and the other for the 128-degree ultra-wide-angle camera. And thanks to the 1.1-inch touch screen beside the cameras, they make for great selfie shooters as well.

DxOMark hasn’t published its full analysis just yet but it already revealed the Mi 11 Ultra’s scores. Just by looking at the figures, you can already tell it gets the highest marks in most of the key aspects of the benchmark, like Exposure, Color, and Autofocus. Curiously, the phone doesn’t score as high when it comes to Night and Bokeh tests but it isn’t far from the leading contender.

That leading contender has, of course, traditionally been Huawei’s latest smartphones. But with an overall score of 143, the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra leaves the Huawei Mate 40 Pro+ eating its dust. Then again, unlike most Xiaomi phones, this one is also priced like an expensive high-end flagship.

Of course, not everyone subscribes to DxOMark’s testing methods and results and some will anxiously await other reviews. Needless to say, if the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra is anywhere close to what DxOMark has seen, Huawei definitely has reason to be worried.

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