I only use one computer, and I have been using my MacBook Air 2015 for ages now. I’ve squeezed out every last drop of juice, but it has become unbearable. It was just too slow.
Why did I wait so long? Apple had this huge keyboard mess, and also to be honest I wasn’t a huge fan of needing a USB hub for my old accessories.
I’ve now had the new M1 MacBook Air for two weeks, and have to say that I am very pleased with it.
Margin of Safety
Never expect your new computer to work flawlessly. That’s why my computer transfer checklist instructs me to wait at least 7 days before formatting and selling my old computer.
This served me very well, because the main software that I use for my YouTube channel had a critical bug, which forced me to use the old computer to record my videos until a fix was released.
Once I haven’t touched the old computer for a week or two, I’ll sell it.
The most important website for software capability is “Is Apple Silicon Ready?“. Most of the software is ready by now, but if you rely on a specific type of software, it is better to double check.
Even if apps don’t have a native version yet, they usually (but not in all cases) work well enough with Rosetta 2, which is a piece of software that bridges the gap between Intel chips and Apple chips.
Air vs. Pro
After watching some comparisons on YouTube, it became clear to me that I’m going with the Air. First, I don’t care about the Touch Bar, and second, the Air has no fans. So it’s always silent. This also will make it more durable, because it doesn’t suck in any dust or particles. The fans also can’t brake if you don’t have any.
The performance is similiar, but the Pro is a little bit more consistent. When the Air gets too warm, it slows down automatically. The Pro also has a better battery life, but that’s not something I particularly care about.
All in all, silence is more important than maximum performance for me. So I’ve been very happy with choosing the Air.
The M1 chip is a game changer. Everything is smooth. No matter what you do. My video editing got at least 50 percent faster, while exporting is at least twice as fast.
Things I Like
I love Touch ID for unlocking. It makes it really smooth to lock and unlock smoothly. I also love the uni USB-C hub with 4 ports. The transition to USB-C was smoother than expected. I now have 4 USB ports instead of just two on my old machine, which is a plus. Lugging around the hub is okay. You get used to it.
Things I Don’t Like
The only thing I don’t like is that the headphone jack was moved from the left to the right side. If you use corded headphones, and you belong to the 90 percent of right-handed people, it’s slightly annoying when using in combination with a corded mouse. The cords get in your way. Maybe I will use my AirPods more. For certain workflows like video editing I used to prefer the corded EarPods.
If you don’t need a new computer, then I recommend to wait another year or two. Apple Silicon will likely get much better over time. But if you desperatively need a new machine, like I did, then I can highly recommend the new line of M1 Macs, especially the Air.