Hands On - M1 MacBook Air

Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
3,408
Location
Tacoma, WA
Real Name
Ken St John
One of my clients needed a new laptop for his home. Both he and his spouse are really "technology challenged", so I always look for about the easiest solution I could find for them. His basic needs are: web browsing, email, and the ability to login to his PC at work remotely. So, we decided a new MacBook Air with the M1 processor would be a good solution. It was delivered, and he brought it to me to startup and configure. (Not that difficult, but you maybe get my drift about their tech-savvy level :)! Seriously, they can operate things OK, but it's still pretty much a mystery to them how it all works. Thus, they need me!!)

Anyway, the machine is Space Gray and the "bottom" line, 256GB model. I am SO impressed!!

Up and running ..
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How the size compares to my 9-year old 13" MacBook Air ...
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It is really fast!! Just about everything I tried is quick to load and seems glitch free. I tried the new iMovie (always one of the slowest apps to load for me) and it was ready to go in less than 4 seconds!! Most everything else popped up virtually instantly. I really didn't play much like trying to load LR or anything as it's not MY machine, but the Photos app certainly ran fast!! Safari was really snappy!!

Although my home office purchasing agent keeps asking why I would need a new laptop; IF I am able to answer her questions sufficiently, I will be getting one of these ASAP, especially since they are offering me $460 for the trade in of my 2015 MacBook Pro 15"!!

Cheers!!

Ken
 
Last edited:
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
23,797
Location
SW Virginia
The Wall Street Journal reviewer, Joanna Stern, says "...you’ve got the best Mac laptops ever—frankly, the best laptops ever, period. "

...especially since they are offering me $460 for the trade in of my 2015 MacBook Pro 15"!!
Apple's trade-ins are surprisingly good. They gave me $490 for a 2015 iMac this week.

In addition, you can get the 10% Veteran's discount.
 
I'd been wondering when someone would post about the new M1 Macs! I'd initially said to friends and to myself that I would not be an early adopter but now....oh yeah, I'm so, so tempted..... I would go for the MBP with 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage...... Waiting for the demo models to come into my local Apple store and also for the model in which I'm interested to become available right then and there off the shelf rather than having to order from the website. My 2017 12" MacBook, which is what the new machine would replace, is becoming more and more nervous by the day as she sees the writing on the wall (or, rather, on the computer screen as I keep reading reviews, user comments from new owners, the tech specs on the Apple.com site).....

In the meantime the 15" 2018 MBP is sitting here smugly, feeling safe..... She hasn't realized yet that one day the time will come when Apple announces the generation of Apple SOCs / M-whatever-the-number-might-be with the specs (four ports, perhaps a discrete GPU, etc.) on a machine that will pretty much take over the place and position she's had on my desktop since late fall of 2018.....
 
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
18,322
Location
Hong Kong
I'd been wondering when someone would post about the new M1 Macs! I'd initially said to friends and to myself that I would not be an early adopter but now....oh yeah, I'm so, so tempted..... I would go for the MBP with 16 GB RAM and 1 TB storage...... Waiting for the demo models to come into my local Apple store and also for the model in which I'm interested to become available right then and there off the shelf rather than having to order from the website. My 2017 12" MacBook, which is what the new machine would replace, is becoming more and more nervous by the day as she sees the writing on the wall (or, rather, on the computer screen as I keep reading reviews, user comments from new owners, the tech specs on the Apple.com site).....

In the meantime the 15" 2018 MBP is sitting here smugly, feeling safe..... She hasn't realized yet that one day the time will come when Apple announces the generation of Apple SOCs / M-whatever-the-number-might-be with the specs (four ports, perhaps a discrete GPU, etc.) on a machine that will pretty much take over the place and position she's had on my desktop since late fall of 2018.....
Why am I not surprised?
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2005
Messages
795
Location
MN, USA
The iMac is rumored to be refreshed sometime next year (earlier rather than later I'm hoping) and I'm just kind of muddling along with my 2013 MBP. One issue is that most applications are not yet running on native M1 code but basically run as kind of an Intel simulation on top of the M1. Even so, the reports I've read have pretty much said the M1 machines are still the fastest ones out there.

Adobe, Capture One and others have said they intend to recompile into native M1 code but that is going to take some time to sort out any glitches. The iMac rumors don't mention M1 architecture, but something else (A14 I think) that I suspect is also native Apple silicon. Next year, one way or another, I'll be getting a new machine . . . I'm just not sure what model it will be.
 
Joined
Mar 25, 2011
Messages
2,988
Location
London
YouTube is full of tests, reviews, comparisons of the M1 devices.
I recommend watching a few.
I am addicted and still have to find one reviewer who is not blown away by the performance and battery life.
There are a couple of drawbacks due to the design of the M1; it only has two USB buses to work with and is limited to one external monitor.
For some this is a deal breaker.
Expectations are that the next generation will address this.
But overall every one is saying that for most people it is a no brainer.
It is so good that many state that for most users, including heavy photo editors, the MacBook Air is more than enough.
The Pro offers a better screen, better microphones and speakers, a fan and longer battery life, in addition to the touchbar.
But during tests of LR, Photoshop and video editing the performance gains were minimal.
Great to have the choice between two excellent machines though.
 
Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
3,408
Location
Tacoma, WA
Real Name
Ken St John
Well, much to my surprise, my equipment manager/financial operations manager tells me that Santa will be delivering a white box sometime the week of Dec 21 and I'd best keep my hands off until Christmas!! :D

Ken
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
4,061
Location
Potomac Falls, VA
The specs are very intriguing. I've been waiting on this thread here...My current "desktop" is 2018 I7 16 MBP with 16GBs. It is perfectly fine with most LR tasks. The focus stacking jobs in PS took some time as does light video editing. I prefer 16 screen to pair with by 26" Dell 2.5k. I think the 13 while great for travel is too small for my eyes to edit photos. Not in too much of a hurry but as Jim said the trade in program is a pretty good option.
 

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