Apple's new, custom-designed M1 computer processors are what's next.
I picked up a M1 MacBook Air a few weeks ago, and, well, this computer is different.
It's fun to use
I feel more creative on this machine because I spend less time thinking about how I'm going to get the computer to do something — and that's invaluable. A huge part of that is because of just how damn fast this thing is.
So fast I don't have to think about it. So fast that it turns on the very instant that you open the lid. It really does feel more like an iPad than a MacBook. The Air doesn't have the touch bar, which is a good thing in my book.
Then there's the battery. It just... goes, and goes, and goes. The other day I spent three hours straight working with my brother, casting my laptop's screen to our TV through AirPlay while we edited his upcoming book in a shared Pages document. By the time we took a break, the battery on my laptop was still at 95%.
This computer feels invincible.
The M1 processor is a big deal because for the first time, Apple is designing its own computer processors. Intel had been designing their chips since the early 2000's.
Apple's new processors are extremely efficient, built using an architecture similar to the ones they use for the iPhone and iPad. The switch from Intel has huge implications for both companies.
Tech reviewers love these computers. The Verge almost gave the M1 MacBook Air a perfect 10/10 review score (then they turned on the webcam and gave it a 9.5).
Apple designing these chips in house enables them to vertically integrate and make their products more efficient — all the while saving money because Apple doesn't have to pay a premium to Intel anymore.
The question is: will Apple pass this savings down to customers or will they pocket the profit?
If you can hold out for another few months, there are some hot rumors on the horizon: a huge redesign for both the MacBook Pros that will ditch the awful touch bar, bring back the beloved MagSafe charger, and add a hotly-desired 14-inch version of the MacBook Pro with smaller bezels, like the 16-inch before it. If that's not enough, there's also rumors of that the first major redesign of the iMac in a decade will be coming soon, too.
The MacBook Air M1 starts at $999 from Apple
I got mine in silver (old-school, instead of space gray), and splurged a bit on the $1249 version with the 512GB SSD and the 8-core graphics card.
Consider getting 16GB of RAM instead if you don't need the storage space; I didn't and it hasn't been a problem yet.