Apple recently released MacBook Air with M1 chip after months of speculation and rumors. With the new Mac release, the question marks come over to how the new chip performs when compared to non-ARM models. This is both good news and bad news. The good news is that the M1 MacBook Air performed far better than we’d imagined before laying our hands on it. The bad news is that if you just bought a new MacBook Air, you may feel a little annoyed that your shiny laptop is already outdated. Here is our MacBook Air with M1 review.

Battery Life

In fact, we spent up to ten hours a day on a single charge cycle with multiple windows browser tabs open and fairly demanding programs such as Adobe Premier running. The extended battery life means that forgetting your charger at home no longer means your MacBook will power off after half a day’s work. In fact, Apple claims that the battery is capable of delivering eighteen hours of constant video playback and fifteen hours on the web before requiring charging. So, we decided to put those claims to the test and found that they turned out to be true, with the average battery life lasting up to fifty percent longer than what we have seen in previous models.

Design

You would be forgiven for thinking that the new Apple MacBook Air looks strikingly similar to the intel-based previous model. Well, that’s because it practically is. From the 2560 x 1600 display screen right and the built-in speakers, right down to the Touch ID fingerprint login and the large trackpad. Perhaps the main difference you will notice from the outside is that Apple has made the decision to swap out several of the keys on the function row for new ones that are likely to see a bit more use (dictation, spotlight search, do not disturb, to name a few).

Hardware

Looks can be deceiving, and as we all know, it’s what’s inside that counts. The first thing you are likely to notice is how quiet the latest MacBook air is. Perhaps more impressive is the fact that you can use it on your lap and not once will it feel as though it is more than a little warm. Both of these are possible thanks to Apple’s decision to remove the cooling fan, and instead, replace it with an aluminum heat spreader.

Unfortunately, the webcam, which although a slight improvement over the ones we have seen before, is still not all that impressive. Running at 720p and using some of the real-time tracking technology as the iPhone, the webcam will do an okay job of getting the lighting right, but it comes at the cost of your face looking like it has a slight filter on it. 

MacBook Air with M1 review

Performance 

The base version of the MacBook Air M1 destroyed the previous high-end model, the 2019 MacBook Pro (which uses the Intel-core i9 processor chip), in both the single-core and the multi-core tests on Geekbench. The MacBook Air M1 delivered scores of 1687 in the single-core test and 7433 in the multi-core, and the 2019 MacBook Pro came in at 1096 in the single-core test and 6870 in the multi-core.  

The M1 chip has a structure width of just five nanometers. In comparison, Intel’s is ten nanometers, and AMD uses seven. This smaller structure width means that there are more transistors per unit of area, clocking in at a whopping 16 billion on the M1. For reference, that is essentially five billion more than the iPhone 12’s A14 Bionic.

Four of the M1’s eight cores are used for performance, while the other four are utilized as power savers, consuming roughly a tenth of the overall power when put under heavy demand. The way the cores are used is down to macOS.

The M1 chip is based on the ARM architecture, which is far more economical in terms of power usage in comparison to the Intel chip used in the previous MacBooks.

According to Apple, the new M1 chip delivers 3.5 x the CPU and 5 x the graphics performance in comparison to the Intel chip. If that wasn’t impressive enough, it is also is capable of 9 x faster processing power for machine learning.

The new MacBook is not only fast but also virtually silent. Even when pushed to its limits it barely breaks a sweat, and if you need to take a break and close the screen, it will wake up from sleep instantaneously on your return.

The adoption of M1 chip means that your Mac now can run iOS and iPad apps without any restrictions. It is worth noting, that although a great feature to include, it is down to the actual developers of the apps to make sure their app will be compatible for use on the MacBook Air, and what you may find at the moment is that not all that many of them are. We expect that this is likely to be rectified in future updates. 

That aside, running any app from the Mac app store is simply a dream, with load times kept to a minimum and smooth running without fail. The fluidity of it all will leave you speechless the first time you try it out for yourself. 

How much does the new Apple MacBook Air cost?

Impressively, the base model of the new Apple MacBook Air comes with the same starting price as the previous model: $999 / £999.This will score you 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage. It is worth noting that this model comes with one less core on the graphics processor than the slightly more powerful model, which is available for the price of $1649 and will get you 16GB of RAM and 1TB of internal storage. The effect of the base model having one less core on the graphics processor is negligible.

MacBook Air with M1 review
No 32GB RAM option

However, one major drawback is that you cannot upgrade RAM, as it is built right into the chip. Plus, there is no 32GB system RAM model as the maximum loadout stays at 16GB.

MacBook Air with M1 review

Release Date and Final Thoughts

The Apple MacBook Air M1 began shipping on November 16th, 2020, with the official release date being November 17th, 2020. So, if you like what you’ve heard, you will be able to go out and purchase one for yourself right now.

Also read: M1 MacBook Air vs Intel MacBook Air

Overall, the new Apple MacBook Air is an incredibly powerful, impressive piece of technology. We don’t blame Apple for immediately discontinuing the intel chip-based model in favor of this new, M1 model – they are simply in two different leagues. And if you were to use the M1 model, then return to the older Intel model, the difference in performance would be so startling that you would never want to go back to it again. 

We are recommending the new Apple MacBook Air M1 to Apple veterans and newcomers alike. It truly is the start of a new generation, and you do not want to miss out on it! 

That’s our MacBook Air with M1 review! what do you think? Let us know in the comments below.

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