M1 MacBook Air Review
When I first heard about the new lineup of M1 Macs, I was intrigued to see what they were going to offer as the project as a whole seemed very ambitious. Looking at Microsoft, they made many attempts to make an ARM system and ultimately failed due to incompatible software or due to stability or speed that really isn’t where it should be. I was almost certain that the Apple Silicon wasn’t really gonna be the best choice for anyone other than people that exclusively use the App Store for all software on the computer and even then it would still be a “Hard Sell”. I never thought that the M1 or MacOS was ready for such a transition and was certain that I wasn’t gonna be an early adopter.
However the more research I did on it the more impressed I was with not only the M1 CPU as a whole but with the way Rosetta worked to translate the Intel x86 application from the Mac. Taking a look at my old MacBook Pro (2016 Non touch bar), I decided that this would be a good time to investigate investing in a new one. And on January 2nd I decided to go and buy the new M1 MacBook Air and that’s what I’m here to talk about today.
Returning from Best Buy, I was looking at the box for the new MacBook Air and I couldn’t help but realize how similar this was to the old MacBook Air (Intel version). However, I suspect that this has more to do with easing the most hesitant users into becoming familiar with the M1 Air as they wanted very little difference. But personally, I am fine with the design. The only differences between the design of my 2016 MacBook Pro and this is that the Air is wedge shaped and has a Touch ID button as the power button. Nice touch! The Touch ID button is fast and responsive as well as being able to wake or put the computer to sleep almost instantly. However, there are some different function keys as well as the emoji key on the Fn key of the laptop.
Anyways, booting the laptop up for the first time the first thing I noticed how quickly it boots up. Going through the setup, I was able to have Migration Assistant move all my files, apps setting and programs to my new laptop in a timely manner. The most shocking part was that nearly every program from my old laptop (Intel) worked perfectly and most of them even better on the M1 Air which was shocking for such a new and experimental architecture.
This has shown itself to be a theme throughout where the new laptop showed no sign of using the foreign SOC. It feels like a really fast version of what I’m used to. I am often shocked by how quick the laptop is often thinking applying effects were not applied in Adobe Photoshop as I don’t see the loading bar to show progress as it happens too quick for me to notice.
Another very positive point of the new MacBook Air/Pro (M1), is the fact that the batteries are amazing compared with my old laptop. I’d be lucky if it got me through the day and with my old Windows laptop. I’d be lucky if it got me through a movie or at least whatever i was working on. In reality, my M1 Air has never left me stranded nor has it died when I needed it most. I often can get a few days out of it. The record battery length with the M1, with only a few hours a day, was a shocking three weeks which blew me away. If I am going on a trip, this 100% is the laptop I will be bringing. The battery alone makes it worth it. Another great advantage of the M1 Air, is the Instant On. I often would have my old laptops hang after I opened them whereas with this I never have to wait. It can unlock as quickly as I can tap the Touch ID key to the point I may miss the logon screen if I blink completely. Awesome!
Overall, this by far is the greatest addition to the Mac since Apple switched from PowerPC to Intel. However, with Rosetta II the transition was smoother than it has ever been before. Regardless, if you use it for school or photo and video editing, the M1 chip is almost magic. Did I mention it does this cool without a fan? This is the first laptop I’ve ever owned with literally “0” moving parts! This is cool Apple, you’ve nailed this! I look forward to seeing where you go with the M1.