Let me start by saying unless you are prepared or wanting to spend in the region of £1000 on a laptop this post is not for you. I am aware there are some great windows laptops and tablets out there for general web surfing and a like for under half the price which will suit the needs of the masses. With 3 colours to choose from (silver, grey and gold) there is something for everyone. The price Apple charge for storage is extortion! It is fast around 3000mb/s but at £250 for 250GB it is terrible value. A 1TB Samsung T5 Portable SSD can be had for around £100 but it is slightly slower at 1000mb/s but a worthy trade off in my opinion. I won’t get into the 8GB vs 16BG RAM debate nor the extra GPU core from the higher models as I’m talking about the base model which has none of those and I don’t think you need them as I don’t.
I haven’t owned or really used a MacBook since the Late 2011 MacBook Pro I loved and upgraded for many years and it served me well. I had it roughly 8 years and 8 trouble free years I had. The lack of software updates and advancements in programs meant it started to struggle in the latter years.
This M1 air is a beast! Make no mistake it has lived up to its hype and performs tasks really well with lightening speed to boot. Mac OS Big Sur is amazing. My last native software release was Snow Leopard I think and things have moved on a lot. If you own an iPhone with the latest software it links extremely well. For example if I am on safari on my phone an icon comes up on the MacBook and allows me to open that exact page, genius! The Touch ID for logging in and using Apple Pay is convenient and very fast. These are things I never had and coming from a windows desktop I don’t think I could live without them now.
One of the biggest pulls to this laptop was the ability to use DaVinci Resolve Studio 17 and be able to edit 4K video footage! This shouldn’t be possible on something so small and portable yet it handles it well with no lag at all. I don’t think there is a £1000 windows equivalent that could do this (in my opinion) and its down to two main reasons. App developers love Apple and almost all optomise their software in terms of OS but now also hardware as the M1 chip is apples own. Secondly Apple have been able to link the hardware and software so tightly that the performance is phenomenal. They aren’t relying on Intel for a CPU and having to slot it in and make it work. They created their own destiny for this chip from the ground up and it shows. There are no fans but that’s no issue. I have tried to run multiple programs, watching some cycling on GCN Plus and this thing only just starts to warm up. Recording a podcast would be perfect when you think about it.
I won’t go into benchmarking and all that good stuff but it is common knowledge that the M1 chip out performs all but the very highest apple intel chip builds. If you own an intel 16″ MacBook Pro and spent 5-6K on it unfortunately its days are numbered.
It was only a matter of time before Apple introduced their own architecture into their laptops. iPhones and iPads have had apple chips from the start I believe so how much harder could it have been to do it with laptops. Yes there will be the rumoured M1X or M2 chip but I look at it this way. I can’t get this laptop to bog down or get anywhere pushing it hard enough to warrant a power increase. I don’t believe they will discontinue the M1 chip line but add to it . Ultimately for most it will be screen size that could be the deciding factor but 13″ is more than enough for me and if needed at home I can plug into into a separate monitor for even more real estate.
In short this laptop is amazing. It’s a jack of all trades, master of all but a few and if video or audio production is your thing or you want something super fast that will last for many years or internet browsing and word processing, look no further.
Do you own one? Are you thinking of getting one? Let me know your thoughts?
Until the next time….