Last month, Apple introduced the new M1 MacBook Air, the company’s most popular Mac — and the world’s best-selling 13-inch notebook. The reviews are outstanding, to say the least.
With the M1 chip, MacBook Air speeds through everything from editing family photos to exporting videos for the web. The powerful 8-core CPU performs up to 3.5x faster than the previous generation. With up to an 8-core GPU, graphics are up to 5x faster, the biggest leap ever for MacBook Air, so immersive, graphics-intensive games run at significantly higher frame rates. ML workloads are up to 9x faster, so apps that use ML-based features like face recognition or object detection can do so in a fraction of the time. The M1 chip’s storage controller and latest flash technology deliver up to 2x faster SSD performance, so previewing massive images or importing large files is faster than ever. And in MacBook Air, M1 is faster than the chips in 98 percent of PC laptops sold in the past year.
With the industry-leading power efficiency of M1, MacBook Air also delivers this performance in a fanless design, which means no matter what users are doing, it remains completely silent. And the new MacBook Air features extraordinary battery life, with up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of video playback — the longest battery life ever on a MacBook Air.
When compared to the previous generation, the M1-powered MacBook Air can:
• Export a project for the web with iMovie up to 3x faster.
• Integrate 3D effects into video in Final Cut Pro up to 5x faster.
• For the first time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cut Pro without dropping a frame.
• Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
• Use ML-based features like Smart Conform in Final Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.
• Watch more movies and TV shows with up to 18 hours of battery life, the longest ever on MacBook Air.
• Extend FaceTime and other video calls for up to twice as long on a single charge.
The new M1-powered MacBook Air is hilariously fast, and the battery lasts a long-ass time.
[An aside]: Yes, I know I’m late to the discussion. I know MagSafe was deleted a few hardware revisions ago, but I’m going from a MacBook Air with it to a MacBook Air without it, and plugging in a USB-C cable feels like going back to the freaking dark ages. I’ve been happy with MagSafe plugs on my laptops for almost an entire decade—that quick one-handed snick into place, that easy no-fuss pull to disengage, and that friendly LED to tell you when you’re all charged up.
Having to shove a connector into a high-friction plug—often requiring two hands, depending on how you’re holding stuff—is stupid. It’s just stupid. This is a customer-hostile regression in functionality. I’m sure there are excellent reasons for it and that it saves Apple money on the MBA’s bill of materials and on warranty support, but I hate it and it’s terrible. This is not the premium Apple experience I feel like I’m paying for.
MacDailyNews Take: Yes, we’re in total agreement here. The good news is that until Apple comes to their senses and restores MagSafe to MacBooks, MacBook users can bring back “MagSafe” themselves with an inexpensive purchase with the iSkey USB C Magnetic Adapter with LED light ($15.99 at Amazon). (They’re excellent stocking stuffers, hint, hint!)
I used the M1 MacBook Air for work all day one day, filling up about 11 hours of on-the-clock time with Slack, emailing, Zoom conferencing, Messages, and Web browsing, and the Air still had 40 percent remaining on the battery meter when the day was done… The M1 Air laughs at my old MBA. It laughs at it, gives it noogies, and flushes its head down the toilet in the locker room…
It’s such an improvement over Intel-based MacBook Airs that you might find yourself spending a thousand unplanned dollars to join the Apple Silicon club.
MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s new M1 Macs really are a huge, very rare, leap forward!
Beloved intern, TTK! Prost, everyone! 🍻