Apple held its first event of 2022 last week, offering a range of updates across iPhone, iPad, and Mac hardware lines. Of all the updates, it was the new Mac Studio that drew the most attention, aimed at an audience that wants more performance and modularity than an iMac.

In the iPhone range, Apple revealed a new set of green coloured options for iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro buyers, while the entry-level iPhone SE received an upgrade.

The iPhone SE maintains the body of an iPhone 8, with its smaller size and keeping a Touch ID home button front and centre. But now the SE offers 5G connectivity and features the A15 processor, the same chip as the latest iPhone 13. For users who want the best performance but still love that traditional iPhone shape, this is the ideal phone for their needs.

“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,” Apple vice president of worldwide iPhone product marketing, Kaiann Drance said.

“This year we’ve built the most powerful and durable iPhone SE yet, with better battery life thanks to A15 Bionic, the same chip as our iPhone 13 line-up that also unlocks advanced camera features like Smart HDR 4, Photographic Styles and Deep Fusion.”

In iPad, the iPad Air was the focus, getting an upgrade to the Apple M1 processor used by iPad Pro and MacBook Air laptops. Like the iPhone SE, this gives the iPad Air a big performance boost in a size and style of iPad they like more than the Pro options.

While internal upgrades to existing products are often expected, the Mac Studio offered something entirely new. The hardware looks like a taller Mac mini computer, but it features Apple Silicon M1 chips faster than any seen before. The M1 Max has featured in the top of line MacBook Pro laptops, but the new M1 Ultra is Apple’s most powerful processor yet. The M1 Ultra is essentially two M1 Max chips ‘fused’ together using a new connectivity technology created by Apple called UltraFusion that allows for 10,000 connections across the chips at 2.5 Terabits per second of inter-processor bandwidth. Apple says this is four times the bandwidth of other multi-chip connection technologies.

Comparing the Mac Studio’s performance to past Apple hardware, the company says an M1 Max Mac Studio has 2.5x faster CPU performance than the fastest 27-inch iMac with 10-core processor and up to 50% faster CPU performance than the Mac Pro with a 16-core Intel Xeon processor.

“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,” Apple senior vice president of worldwide marketing, Greg Joswiak said.

While many were expecting a new larger iMac that could be an ‘iMac Pro’, the new Mac Studio is accompanied by a new Apple Studio Display that makes it act as a modular alternative. The Apple Studio Display is a 5K display and features a built-in 12MP Ultra Wide camera and a six-speaker sound system that supports Spatial Audio playback. It also includes an Apple A13 chip (the same as an iPhone 11) that powers the audio, video and on-board Siri support.

The Apple Studio Display is also designed to deliver power directly to a MacBook Air or MacBook Pro for a single cable desktop experience for Apple laptop users.

The iPhone SE, new iPad Air, Mac Studio and Apple Studio Display all begin shipping on Friday, 18 March.