Apple's newly introduced MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch are upper-midrange notebooks that use Apple Silicon processors. They replace the previous higher-end of the MacBook Pro 13-inch line (those with four Thunderbolt ports), along with the MacBook Pro 16-inch systems—both of which were based on Intel processors. The introduction of these two systems completes the transition of Apple's notebook model line to its own processors.

A Model Line In Transition

Apple released its newest version of the Macintosh operating system, macOS 12 Monterey, on October 26th, 2021. Monterey is compatible with most Macs made in 2015 or later with a few notable exceptions: Early 2015 iMacs and 2015 MacBooks (not MacBook Pros) are not compatible. 2013 or later Mac Pros, and 2014 and later Mac Minis are also compatible with Monterey. Monterey is currently pre-installed on most newly purchased Macintoshes and is required on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro systems announced in mid-October 2021.

With the turn of the fiscal year, macOS version 11.x Big Sur transitions from supported status (since December 2020 for Intel-based systems and January 2021 for Apple Silicon-based systems) to supported and recommended. It replaces macOS version 10.15.x Catalina as the recommended version of macOS. As of July 1st, 2021 the current version of Big Sur is 11.4.

Updated May 12, 2021

Following extensive testing by many Penn constituents, Information Systems & Computing (ISC) is approving Apple's M1-based Macs for general use. The current Mac mini (M1), iMac (M1), MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1) are now considered appropriate choices for the University's Mac users who are buying in those product classes.

Lenovo's ThinkPad T14s is an upper-midrange notebook currently available with either AMD or Intel processors. It replaces the T490s (Intel-based) and T495s (AMD-based) systems and marks a change in Lenovo's nomenclature for many ThinkPads. The T continues to mean thinnest mainstream system, while the 14 indicates screen size in inches, and the s means thin and light—at least compared to a normal T-series.

At the end of this month, December 31, 2020, Adobe will formally discontinue Flash Player. Adobe will provide no further security updates for it and will continue to encourage users to uninstall it. Simultaneously,  Information Systems & Computing (ISC) will remove the Flash Player entry from the University’s supported computing products list.

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