M1 MB Air observations

Joined
May 3, 2007
Messages
6,884
Location
Colorado Springs, Colorado
My grandkids have spent the past 18 months at our house M-F doing "remote learning". Their mom is immunocompromised so brick-and-mortar school was not a real option. So, they enrolled in an online "academy". To fulfill their computer needs I "loaned" my 2015 vintage MBPro to one of my grandsons and bought refurbs for my other grandson and my granddaughter. School ended (mercifully) the last week of May. I gifted the laptops to them (including my old laptop). This left me without so I picked up a base model M1 MB Air at Costco ($949).

So far I am very happy with my new tool. Here are some observations:
1. It is faster than my old laptop.
2. It runs amazingly cool. I can use it on my actual lap and never feel even warmth.
3. Battery life is staggeringly good. It got its first full charge at my house three days ago. I have used it a lot each day since. As I type this the battery is at 43%. No other laptop from any vendor has ever given me more than a single day of use on a single charge.

Apple got this right. If they continue the goodness with their in-house silicon then I predict success.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
25,040
Location
SW Virginia
That's certainly an encouraging report, Doug. Please keep us posted as your experience accumulates.

I almost bought an M1 MBP last December when the Touch Bar on my 2018 MBP died. I was looking forward to it!

Then I developed a workaround and have gotten along fine with my current one since. Looks like it will be a while before I need to upgrade.
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
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7,191
Location
Sandpoint, Idaho
I have a 2015 MBP, this has me thinking about MB Air. I’ve been waiting fir the next iteration of the M1, the prices I’m seeing on the current models are very attractive.
 
Me, too, Allan. I am planning to replace my workhorse 2018 15" MBP with one when they finally become available. I have already experienced the joys of Apple's silicon chip technology with my 13" MBP and definitely the more advanced version with more specs is on my list..... Apple has hit a home run here and the new machines, the more advanced generation, are going to be even more spectacular -- at least, that is my guess.
 
Joined
Jun 1, 2005
Messages
3,626
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Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario
Agree with your observations. I’m currently having video calls with TEAMS 4-5 times per day about 90 minutes each and the fan has yet to turn on, and I can do most of the calls on battery, only plugging in overnight. Multi tasking is also much faster, although that perception is likely aided by the fact I was coming from a 2012 13” MBP. My wife has noticed the difference from her MacBook as well.
 
Joined
May 5, 2005
Messages
25,040
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SW Virginia
I know this is about laptops, but I read this in a WSJ column a couple of days ago:

"If you want a replacement to the current 27-inch iMac—something with a bigger screen and more power—hold off. Bloomberg and others report that Apple is working on a chip that’s even faster than Apple’s current M1, and that it will be in this new machine, possibly with an even larger display."

So apparently even faster chips are coming soon.
 
Joined
Oct 15, 2008
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2,537
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GA
So apparently even faster chips are coming soon.
Yes, the M1X (or M2, who knows what they'll call it) was rumored a while ago to be used in the more powerful machines. The M1 only went into their "consumer lines" like the air, 13" MBP, Mac Mini and iMac. The 15/16" MBPs, iMac Pro and the rumored updated MacPro are all awaiting their update and I highly doubt they'll put an M1 as is in it. Even if these machines don't need more than 8gb of ram, 16gb max won't sit well with most pros
 
Joined
Dec 3, 2012
Messages
7,191
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Sandpoint, Idaho
I surfed over to Apple.com tonight to see what these M1 machines cost. I couldn’t find much difference in the 13 inch Air and MBP, MBP was listed as having a couple more hours of battery life. Trading in my 2016 15 inch MBP lessons the wallet damage. I didn’t spring for one, I’m curious what they do with the rumored 14 inch MBP, reports are it will show up with the HDMI port, and I’m not sure how to run an external monitor on these current models.
 
I have the M1 MBP and really love it, and felt that it was worth the extra money to get the machine which has a fan (not that it seems to have needed it much!) and the somewhat better screen and of course the extra battery life, although most of the time I am near electrical outlets anyway if I did have to plug in somewhere. I have not plugged in an external monitor with it, as my LG 4k 24" Thunderbolt 3 display is plugged into my 2018 MBP, the machine which is my real workhorse and the one I use for image processing, etc.
 
Joined
Oct 25, 2007
Messages
4,347
Location
Potomac Falls, VA
I think I posted a review too after my M1 MBP arrived. It really has been a desktop replacement for LR/PS and work apps. Very speedy and rock steady reliable. I have a 25" 2.5K display + hub for Drobo, card readers and music streamer.

I have been thinking about getting an M1 Mini 1. So I can have two larger external displays and a more room on my desk. The but tho is will the M2/whatever be available soon. I see more video processing in my future along with larger raw files eventually.
 
Joined
Oct 5, 2008
Messages
935
Location
LA area
I've got a 2020 11" M1 MacBook Pro, 8 gigs RAM from work and it screams through Topaz apps which might otherwise present a challenge to older hardware.

Gigapixel crunches my images at 6X in literally seconds or a few minutes when a single treatment used to take an hour each on a 2017 MacBook Air.

Same with Handbrake, it roars through crunching videos.

I also tested this laptop against a 2013 Mac Pro (trashcan) doing Maya renders, and they were within seconds of each other despite the Pro having dual GPUs and 32 gigs of RAM.

I understand that in the fall or a bit later a new generation of M-chips will come along, so this experience can only get better.
 
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Joined
Jan 3, 2007
Messages
3,622
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Tacoma, WA
Real Name
Ken St John
I've had my M1 Air since December and I am still quite impressed with the performance. So much so, that I'd be surprised if the newer "M2" or whatever it will be called, could be any "faster" from a perceptive point of view. No doubt performance tests will point out an improvement, but in the real world it's about the clicks and the display, and mine's virtually instantaneous!! (FYI - I'm running 16GB and everything I work on is stored on a SSD, either internal or on a M.2 that's in my docking station.)

Ken
 

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