How Apple’s Newest Products Measure Up
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How Apple’s Newest Products Measure Up

Apple aims its newest computer and display at creative professionals.

By Nicole Ngyuen
Wed, Mar 9, 2022 4:03pmGrey Clock 4 min

Upgrades to a popular iPhone and iPad, plus a brand-new Mac with matching monitor: Apple had a busy Tuesday, or at least a busy virtual event.

The focus of the news was speed. Apple is bringing fast 5G cellular connectivity to the new iPhone SE and the new iPad Air. Both of those devices and the all-new Mac Studio desktop computer have faster chips. And the company showed off the Studio Display, aimed at professionals, with a built-in camera and a whopping price starting at $2499.

All will hit stores on March 18.

Apple managed to tack on a few other announcements, including new green iPhone 13 options and the arrival of Major League Baseball to Apple TV+.

While most of the mainstream product updates are incremental, there are a few new features I’m excited about, such as the smart-camera-focusing Center Stage tech for the iPad Air. There are some things I’m disappointed Apple didn’t announce, like an SE with multiple cameras on the back.

To find out if this new hardware is worth the money—in some cases, products are pricier than their predecessors—I dived into the specs. Here’s what you need to know.

iPhone SE (3rd generation)

The iPhone SE line is, as my colleague Joanna Stern calls it, iPhones for people who don’t like new iPhones. The new SE looks just like the previous one, which itself is a copy of 2017’s iPhone 8. It does, however, have upgraded parts.

The third-generation iPhone SE starts at $719. The big new feature is 5G connectivity, which can provide blazing-fast speeds if you’re in the right spot. Just note: Apple only built in the slower, more widely available version of 5G, and not the superfast flavour available on pricier iPhones.

The new version has improved battery life, Apple said, because of its new A15 Bionic processor, the same in iPhone 13 models. But 5G is a big drain on power, so we’ll have to see how it holds up. (My advice? Keep 5G off unless you really need the speed.)

There’s also tougher glass in the front and back. There’s a better camera, too, though only a single rear camera. No wide-angle or telephoto for the budget phone. For just $70 more, you can get the iPhone 11 with Face ID, a larger screen and two rear cameras—but no 5G.

The iPhone SE is an entry-level phone for people who make value a priority, don’t use their smartphone all that much but want to stay with Apple, or just really like the home button.

iPad Air (5th generation)

The new $929 iPad Air looks virtually identical to its predecessor—Touch ID fingerprint-sensor in the power button, flat sides and a 10.9-inch display. Like the new SE, the cellular option now offers 5G connectivity.

Apple didn’t bump up the battery life from the previous Air either, promising as many as 10 hours of web surfing on Wi-Fi and nine hours on cellular.

Both cellular and Wi-Fi iPad Air models have a faster M1 processor, the same as in last year’s iPad Pro and Apple’s entry-level MacBooks. It powers new features such as Center Stage, which automatically pans and zooms to keep you in frame while video-chatting through the upgraded 12-megapixel ultrawide front-facing camera.

The storage options start at a disappointing 64 GB. There’s no Face ID. You’ll have to upgrade to the $1199 Pro for that. And unfortunately, the front-facing camera is still positioned on the short side of the iPad, which doesn’t fix the unflattering double-chin view.

The iPad Air is Apple’s Goldilocks option. It sits between the entry-level $929 basic iPad and the $1159 11-inch iPad Pro. (For people who want a smaller tablet, there’s just one option, the recently rebooted steno-notebook-size iPad Mini, which starts at $749.)

The iPad Air is best for someone who wants a tablet with a sizable screen to do cloud-based computing tasks or drawing. It’s compatible with the second-generation Apple Pencil ($129) and the Magic Keyboard with trackpad, as well as various USB-C accessories, such as external hard drives.

M1 Ultra and Mac Studio

Two years ago, Apple said it was going to transition its computers from Intel chips to its own. The M1-powered MacBook Air and Pro models hit the market in late 2020, followed by the even more powerful M1 Pro and M1 Max-fueled MacBook Pros last year.

The new M1 Ultra chip is the latest Apple-designed processor. It holds the power of two M1 Max chips fused together (literally). This thing has 114 billion transistors, 20 CPU cores and 64 GPU cores—but that’s not important. What you need to know is that it’s faster, more powerful and aimed largely at professionals who use computer-intensive software for tasks such as 3-D rendering or 8K video editing.

Mac Studio, a desktop computer that looks like a Mac Mini that just ate another Mac Mini, is the first to include the new chip. It’s an all-aluminium box that’s 7.7 inches square and 3.7 inches high. (Accessories such as a monitor and keyboard aren’t included.) The Studio has a lot of ports on the back, including four USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports, two USB-A ports, an HDMI port, an Ethernet port and an audio jack. It also has two more USB-C ports on the front, as well as an SD card reader.

The computer starts at $3099 in a configuration with the M1 Max chip, 32GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage. If, however, you want the M1 Ultra, you’ll have to opt for the Studio models that start at $6099 with 64GB of RAM and a terabyte of storage.

Apple will continue selling the 2019 Mac Pro for people who use Intel-based programs. It starts at $9,999.

Studio Display

Studio Display is a new stand-alone 27-inch monitor, starting at $2499, in an iMac-esque, all-aluminium enclosure. The 5K Retina display has 600nits of brightness. A 12-megapixel ultrawide camera on its front works with the auto-framing Center Stage feature, and there are six built-in speakers that support Apple’s surround-sound technology called Spatial Audio.

It’s not compatible with all Mac models, but it does support many going as far back as the 2016 MacBook Pro.



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Clocking out to Turn Back Time—Vacations That Will Help You Live Longer
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Booming demand for wellness tourism shows no slowing, with travel related to health and well-being projected to have reached $1 trillion last year and to hit $1.3 trillion by 2025, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a nonprofit based in Miami.

Curated wellness travel programs are especially sought-after, specifically holistic treatments focused on longevity. Affluent travellers not only are making time to hit the gym while gallivanting across the globe, they’re also seeking destinations that specifically cater to their wellness goals, including treatments aimed at living longer.

“I believe Covid did put a spotlight on self-care and well-being,” says Penny Kriel, corporate director of spa and wellness at Salamander Collection, a group of luxury properties in places like Washington, D.C., and Charleston, South Carolina. But Kriel says today’s spas are more holistic, encouraging folks to understand the wellness concept and incorporate it into their lifestyle more frequently.

“With the evolution of treatment products and technology, spas have been able to enhance their offerings and appeal to more travellers,” Kriel says.

While some growth is connected to the variety of treatments available, results and the digital world are also contributing to the wellness boom.

“The efficacy and benefits of these treatments continue to drive bookings and interest, especially with the support of social media, influencers, and celebrity endorsements,” Kriel says.

While genetics, environmental factors, and lifestyle choices such as regular exercise, a diet free of processed foods, sufficient sleep, and human connection play essential roles in living well and longer, experts believe in holistic therapies to help manage stress, boost immunity, and ultimately influence length and quality of life.

Anti Ageing and Beyond

“For years, people have been coming to spas, booking treatments, and gaining advice on how to turn the clock back with anti ageing and corrective skin treatments,” Kriel says. However, today’s treatments are far more innovative.

On Marinella Beach in Porto Rotondo, on the Italian island of Sardinia, guests at the five-star Abi d’Oru Hotel & Spa can experience the resort’s one-of-a-kind “longevity treatment,” a unique antiaging facial using one of the island’s native grapes: Cannonau. The world’s first declared “Blue Zone”—one of five designated areas where people live longer than average, some into their 100s—Sardinia produces this robust red wine varietal, the most widely planted on the island.

Known as Garnacha in Spain and Grenache in France, Cannonau supposedly contains two to three times more antioxidants than other red-wine grapes. By incorporating Cannonau, Abi Spa says its unique 50-minute longevity session increases collagen production for firmer, younger-looking skin.

Maintaining a youthful appearance is just one facet of longevity treatments, which range from stress-reduction sessions like massage to nutritional support and sleep programs, Kriel says. Some retreats also offer medical services such as IV infusions and joint injections.

Keeping with the trend, Kriel is expanding Salamander Collection’s existing spa services, such as detox wraps and lymphatic drainage, to include dedicated “Wellness Rooms,” new vegan and vegetarian menu items, and well-being workshops. “Sleep, nutrition, and mindfulness will be a big focus for integration in 2024,” she says.

Data-Driven Wellness

Skyler Stillings, an exercise physiologist at Sensei Lanai, a Four Seasons Resort—an adults-only wellness centre in Lanai, Hawaii—says guests were drawn to the social aspect when the spa opened in November 2021.

“We saw a huge need for human connection,” she recalls. But over the past few years, what’s paramount has shifted. “Longevity is trending much more right now.”

Human connection is a central draw for guests at Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Billionaire co-founder of tech company Oracle Larry Ellison and physician and scientist Dr. David Angus co-founded Sensei. After the death of a mutual close friend, the duo teamed up to create longevity-based wellness retreats to nurture preventative care and a healthy lifestyle. In addition to the Lanai location, the brand established Sensei Porcupine Creek in Greater Palm Springs, California, in November 2022.

Sensei has a data-driven approach. The team performs a series of assessments to obtain a clearer picture of a guest’s health, making wellness recommendations based on the findings. While Sensei analyses that data to curate a personalised plan, Stillings says it’s up to the guests which path they choose.

Sensei’s core three-day retreat is a “Guided Wellness Experience.” For spa treatments, each guest checks into their own “Spa Hale,” a private 1,000-square-foot bungalow furnished with an infrared sauna, a steam shower, a soaking tub, and plunge pools. The latest therapies include Sarga Bodywalking—a barefoot myofascial release massage, and “Four Hands in Harmony,” a massage with two therapists working in tandem. Sensei Guides provide take-home plans so guests can continue their wellness journeys after the spa.

Sensei Lanai, an adults-only and wellness-focused Four Seasons Resort in Hawaii.
Sensei Lanai, A Four Seasons Resort

Sanctuaries for Longevity

Headquartered in Switzerland with hotels and on-site spas across the globe, Aman Resorts features an integrative approach, combining traditional remedies with modern medicine’s advanced technologies. Tucked behind the doors of the storied Crown Building in Midtown Manhattan, Banya Spa House at Aman New York—the brand’s flagship spa in the Western Hemisphere—is a 25,000-square-foot, three-floor urban oasis.

Yuki Kiyono, global head of health and wellness development at Aman, says the centre provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being. Aman’s customisable “Immersion Programs” consist of a three- or five-day immersion. “The programs encompass treatments and experiences that touch every significant aspect to create a path for longevity, from meditation and mindfulness to nutrition and movement,” Kiyono explains.

Banya Spa House at Aman New York.
Robert Rieger

The spa’s “Tei-An Wellness Solution” features 90- to 150-minute sessions using massage, cryotherapy, and Vitamin IV infusions. Acupuncture is also on offer.

“With its rich history of Chinese Medicine, modern research, and the introduction of sophisticated electro-acupuncture medicine, acupuncture has been proven to assist with problems and increase performance,” Kiyono says.

Resetting the Mind and Body

Beyond longevity, “healthspan”—the number of years a person can live in good health free of chronic disease—is the cornerstone of Mountain Trek Health Reset Retreat’s program in British Columbia, Canada.

Kirk Shave, president and program director, and his team employ a holistic approach, using lifestyles in long-living Blue Zones as a point of reference.

“We improve our daily lifestyle habits, so we live vitally as long as we’re meant to live,” Shave says of the retreat. He built the program from an anthropological stance, referencing humans as farmers, hunters, and gatherers based on their eating and sleeping patterns. Food includes vegetable-centric meals sans alcohol, sugar, bread, or dairy.

Guests wake at dawn each day and have access to sunrise yoga, several hours of “flow” or slow hiking, spa treatments, forest bathing, calming crystal singing-bowl and sound therapy sessions, and classes on stress reduction—one of Mountain Trek’s primary goals. The program motivates people to spend much of their time in nature because it’s been proven to reduce cortisol, the stress hormone that can lead to inflammation and disease when elevated for extended periods.

While most guests aren’t aware of how immersive Mountain Trek’s program is when they arrive, they leave the resort revitalized after the structured, one-week program. Set in the Kootenays overlooking its eponymous river, the resort and adventure promise what Shave calls a “visceral experience of transformation.”

“They’re interested in coming to be in nature,” Shave says of the guests. “They hit a wall in their life and slipped backwards, so they know they need a reset.”

Banya Spa House at Aman New York provides access to holistic and cutting-edge treatments benefiting physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, and social well-being.
Robert Rieger

This article first appeared in the Winter 2024 issue of Mansion Global Experience Luxury.

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