M1 MacBook Air 4 month review | Mark Ellis Reviews
If you have, if you haven’t, just click the button, one of the most common questions i get asked on this channel are: should i buy the m1 macbook pro or the m1 macbook air it’s, a simple question with a simple answer: you’d think: not really. It seems to be really hard to differentiate between the two and i struggle to occasionally as well. If you look at it on the face of it, the biggest difference really with the pro is that it gets two hours extra battery life. It has a cpu fan and it has the touch bar, but is that enough to make it a better laptop for most people than the m1 macbook air and what a lot of people seem to be really confused and worried about is whether or not the m1 Macbook air will, for some reason, not be good enough for what they need to do and potentially have less of a resale value further down the line. This just isn’t true, unless you’re really going to push it with things like 8k video, editing and ridiculously intensive programming. I’Ve been using this computer now for about four months, and i can confidently say it will suit most users but there’s so much more to it than that. So if you’re, considering the m1 macbook air here are six things that you need to know, let’s cover one thing off straight away: the seven core gpu option. Now, if you go onto apple’s website, you’ll see two options for the base level: m1 macbook air.
The first one has the eight core cpu you get that as standard across the hole in one line, but it also has a seven core graphics processor, whereas the next one up has the eight core graphics processor, that one core makes no difference to anything. I can say that, because i have both, i have the seven core gpu in the m1 macbook air and i have a eight core gpu in the m1 mac mini now. I can’t tell a difference if i’m, using, if i’m doing graphics type works, whether it be video, editing or work in lightroom or photoshop, on either of those machines, it just doesn’t seem to be any different. Whether it’s got seven cores or eight cores of gpu. They perform identically, it just doesn’t matter, so just ignore that seven core thing: if you want to get the base level macbook air just get it. The second thing is that the bass spec m1 macbook air – is a brilliant computer. I’M, really glad that i went for that one. I think it’s worth mentioning this, because sometimes people are a little bit reluctant to buy the bass bec mac. I think again they worry that if they do that it’s going to be outdated within a couple of years that isn’t the case this m1 macbook air – that i have it’s the base level cheapest, one you can get – and i could use this for three – for probably Five years back in 2019, i bought the 16 inch macbook pro and i specked it up as much as i could afford back then, and it came in at about three and a half thousand pounds now.
If you fast forward a couple of years, i’ve replaced that machine with two macs, which combined the price of both of them, is still a thousand pounds cheaper than that 16 inch, macbook pro and they’re, both just as capable as that 16 inch. And yes, one of them, the macbook air is the base spec version that you can buy now, admittedly, i don’t use the m1 macbook air constantly for video editing. My m1 mac mini is that that’s my daily driver in terms of production, but if that machine died for some reason or for whatever reason, just didn’t turn on one day, i would not think twice about picking up this laptop and using it i’d use it. For video editing, audio production photo editing, i’ve done all these things on the bass, spec, m1 macbook air and it just breezes through them. The bass, spec version comes with eight gig of ram and there’s. A huge debate over this i’ve done a separate video on it, which i’ll link to above, but i still believe, the more and more i use this 8 gigabyte machine. I still think it is perfect. I i think for about 90, even 95 percent of users. I won’t go into the details of how it all works, because it’s it’s, pretty dull, but basically the m1 architecture, uses eight gig of ram in a very different way to the intel versions of these machines from the past. Unless you can get into really intensive video editing or lots of audio production, where you’ve got lots of tracks and plugins and things going or really deep development work, then eight gig of ram is just gon na work.
Fine and yes there’s this thing about ssd, where it basically relates to these eight gigabyte, m1 machines, and the theory is that, because they have less ram, the operating system macos is having to use the ssd. So the hard drive, if you like, as fake ram and the more it, does that the more wear your ssd encounters, but the reports of excessive ssd wear in these m1 macs come from people who are absolutely hammering them beyond any normal usage. You won’t encounter that problem. Trust me. So if you are thinking about the eight gigabyte of ram version of the m1 and you don’t want to spend any more than the base level just go for it, i worry that people are spending money on the 16 gig upgrade or even the m1 macbook pro. When they just don’t need to, i want to talk about the design very quickly like lots of apple products. They haven’t changed the design of the m1 macbook air at all, it’s as it was as it has been, for, i think about a decade, maybe longer and it’s a classic design. It’S got a cult following and it’s it’s, just lovely and what’s been interesting since i’ve owned this and been using it every single day of the week i haven’t ever looked at it and thought: oh it’s a bit outdated and yes, it’s got big. Bezels it’s got these great big bezels around the sides. Even they don’t bother me.
I think whatever apple did with the design for the macbook air, they absolutely nailed it. They were just streets ahead of themselves and the competition back then, and that still shows because the design is still modern, it’s still current and i just don’t think they need to do anything with it. I don’t think we’ll see a redesigned macbook air for quite a while, but that’s no bad thing. The absence of the touch bar on the m1 macbook air reveals for me personally, how utterly pointless it is, and if the rumors are to be believed, we are going to see the end of the touch bar in future macbook pros. Personally, i used to use it very very occasionally, on my 16 inch macbook pro, i used it for three things. One was to change the volume. The other one was to change the brightness of the screen. The third one, a bit niche, was to occasionally access the markdown tools on ulysses, which is the application i use for writing blogs and articles and things that’s it. It does a lot more than that, and i know you can get better touch tool and customizing all that sort of stuff which is pretty cool, and i i appreciate there is a probably a relatively small fan club out there for the touch bar. But for me it’s just pointless and the fact the m1 macbook air doesn’t have. It is not a deal breaker at all.
If anything, it just reveals, like i say how pointless it was. I think, if you’re trying to decide between the m1 macbook air and the m1 macbook pro and you’re, basing some of that decision on the touch bar don’t stop right there, because one you might get that initial excitement of using the touch bar, but that wears off. Pretty quickly, two apple are clearly for what it sounds like can be: ditching it completely, and three it’s never really been developed beyond the original version of the touch bar apple have done nothing with it. Third party developers haven’t really made the most of it. I don’t think don’t base your buying decision on the touch bar there’s been a lot said about the battery life on these m1 map books and i’m. One of the people who originally said it was, i think i used the word biblical and since i’ve been using this laptop now for about four months, i have changed my opinion a little bit of the battery life. Now i have written an article about this, which i’ll put a link to in the description, but the long and short of it is that i think the battery life, the more you use the m1 macbook air, the less impressive it becomes it’s still a very, very, Very good battery life for a for a laptop and it’s, probably the best laptop i’ve owned in terms of battery life, but it’s, not as epic as i and other reviewers may have led you to believe originally, and the reason i can say that is because i Don’T use just stock apple apps, so i use things like trello and ulysses and all sorts of web apps and occasionally chrome, and what you find with these m1 laptops is that when you don’t, when you come straight outside of apple’s ecosystem, the battery life does come Down and it comes down noticeably if, for example, you use teams to communicate with your your fellow workers, you’ll, probably find if you leave that open all day on your m1 macbook air in one macbook pro the battery life will noticeably drain quicker.
Now, you might say: well close teams or don’t use chrome, you know, but i use these tools and i’m not prepared i’m, not willing, anyway, to change the apps i’m using to make the battery life better. That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. Now, if you only use apple apps, i think you’ll get the quoted battery life pretty easily. Just make sure you keep the screen brightness down. I made that mistake when i first got mine but yeah, if you, if you stick within the apple ecosystem, you’ll get very, very good battery life. But if you stray outside of that just bear in mind, it needs a bit of common sense. You’Re not going to get the kind of amazing battery life that we, some of us, quoted right from the start. However, there is one part of the m1 battery life, which i think is the unsung hero, and that is the standby time. Honestly, the standby time on this laptop is just epic. I can charge it at the start of the week. Use it every morning and basically, it doesn’t seem to use any battery life on standby mode at all. It’S really really impressive, and i think it is the best thing about the battery on the m1 macbook air. The way that i tend to use my macbook air is that i use it in the morning for writing stuff and replying to emails and replying to comments on this channel, and then i tend to leave it.
Like i say most of the day, perhaps use it in the evening again, but i never really have to think about charging it. That is genuinely useful and it’s, far more important than the the actual battery life you get from match using it, which, as i say, does just need a little bit of common sense. Lastly, if you use the 12.9 inch ipad pro and you have it in the magic keyboard case where you have some other form of case that has turned into a kind of semi laptop for you bear in mind that if you buy the m1 macbook air, it Might cannibalize and replace your 12.9 inch ipad pro that happened to me and it led to me buying a ipad air, because i just couldn’t justify carrying around this great big 12.9 inch ipad pro. This does take us into the kind of ios versus mac os debate, which i’m not going to get into in this video that’s. For for a future video for me personally, i found that as soon as i had this laptop the 12.9 inch ipad, just didn’t really get used. Much so bear that in mind. If you bought one of those big ipads recently and you use it as a laptop and you’re really hankering after one of these m1 macbook airs, you may have to concede that your ipad will turn into purely a consumption device. I find that fascinating because i i had got to the point before i bought the air, where the 12.
9 inch ipad with the magic keyboard had pretty much become a laptop replacement for me. I was doing all my writing on it. If i was heading out into town to coffee shops and things, i would take that ipad with me now: i’ve kind of gone full circle, so i’ve kind of gone from using a macbook to using the ipad back to using a macbook and it’s all because of This m1 macbook air. So, in summary, this m1 macbook air – i do not hesitate to say, is the best laptop i’ve ever bought and having used it for four months, i will always recommend it over the pro and i’m finding myself doing this more regularly to the replies to the comments In these videos, so, for example, if someone says to me, should i buy the 16 gigabyte m1 macbook air or the 8 gigabyte m1 macbook pro i’ll, nearly always recommend they go for the air they’re. Basically, the same computer bar that fan if the two hours of battery life are important to you, that’s, quite a good reason to get the the m1 macbook pro going back to what i was saying earlier about the battery life being very subjective it’s very hard to Look past this m1 macbook air and lastly, i’m. Always amazed by how many old macbook airs you see out in the wild and those ones are the intel versions. So you can imagine how long potentially, these m1 macbook airs could last.
So, if you’re bouncing between the m1 macbook air and the m1 macbook pro get the air trust me. However, if you need something more to go on than just this, video keep watching for a link to a further comparison. I did between the m1 macbook air and the m1 macbook pro. I go into a bit more detail about the exact differences between the two laptops until next time.