Cheapest Apple laptop: MacBook Pro M1
If you are looking for the perfect small laptop that will accompany your entire working day, which will provide you with everything you expect from a notebook without gaming. The MacBook Pro M1 is a perfect choice. After being evacuated and finally breathing fresh air. The MacBook Pro could hardly wait for the opportunity to show us why it is considered an almost cult device among creative content creators.
The question is: What makes this MacBook Pro version so special? Even though they share a lot of common features, where we primarily mean the excellent Apple M1 processor and great Retina screens. There are differences. The MacBook Pro has gone into those fine details that turn everyday work into pure hedonism and enjoyment of every moment of using this computer.
At the same time, it is extremely simple and concrete to use. So we can’t help but get the impression that it is a real technological feat to design and make a computer like this. Which is in every detail the embodiment of a perfect laptop. Technologically ahead of the competition, and still so easy to use by the common man.
The design is exactly what you expect from a MacBook. The compact metal body of the 13 became thinner and more elegant compared to the first “unibody” models. A machined piece of light metal is a true masterpiece of industrial design, even when you see it in the Space Gray variant. You can’t help but fall in love with a device like this. With its 1.4kg. It is just under 100 grams heavier than the thinner Air model, so it is equally comfortable to hold and easy to carry. You can hardly tell them apart – the MacBook Pro in 13 ”is really fit and we really, really like it.
The 13 ”screen is incredibly readable, beautiful with brightly balanced color, contrast, and brightness that is extremely pleasing to the eye. There is no exaggerated feeling with that artificial sense of sharpness. The image is somehow “soft” for the eye but perfectly adjusted for everyday multi-hour work. Simply the perfect screen.
It is a Retina screen based on IPS technology with a display of 2560×1600 pixels and a brightness of 500 nits. Exactly 100 nits more than the “Air” model. Which allows it to be more productive in the field, more comfortable to work in any place. The quality is definitely similar to the Air model but a shade better – a detail that can’t be missed.
Perfect Design, isn’t it?
A display whose features you will love for many years and perhaps one of the key answers to why users find it difficult to separate from this computer. One very important detail of working on a laptop is the keyboard. It definitely got better on the new MacBook Pro model. One of the main reasons why some of the members of our editorial office use the first generation of this device, of course as a typewriter.
Butterfly has flown into history, and the Magic version has arrived. Much more concrete to the touch with a definitely better and more comfortable feeling under the fingers. No more than a hollow, insensitive touch of a plastic cap, but you have concrete resistance and information under your finger.
Although similar walking depths as on the Air, the keys are a shade better on the MacBook Pro. It may not be at the level of the first unibody models yet, but it is definitely “for the spear” better than the Butterfly solution. It is illuminated and has an ambient light sensor. So you can adjust the intensity of the backlight to a level that perfectly suits your sense of comfort.
Keyboard and Touchpad
The first detail that bought us “on the first” ball is definitely the Touch Bar. Although it is not a novelty, it does not stop putting a smile on your face, every time you reach for this handy and incredibly useful device. We’ve seen it before, of course, but we haven’t used it. And as we said, even some big Apple fans in our environment aren’t fascinated by the Touch Bar. It may seem like pure makeup at first glance. But according to us, the truth is far from it. This is a very practical and simple solution for everyday work.
Software that manages its operation is perfectly intuitive and sends you exactly what you need at your fingertips at all times. Without having to flick your eyes on the key labels and look for the necessary combination with the Function Keys. You want to increase, decrease, or mute the sound at once, increase the screen brightness, chat with Siri, select Favorites in the browser, call up the Search bar, or skip between several open tabs in the browser.
The already good stereo on the Air model is further enhanced by drivers with greater dynamics. So watching movies with sound effects has become a pleasure even without the use of headphones. Of course, it’s not sound at the level of some dedicated speakers or headphones. But the effects are again one detail better than on the Air model. The directional microphone system has also been improved, and Apple promises a studio level of sensitivity and quality.
Ports and Connectivity
And when it comes to connection availability, the MacBook Pro with an M1 processor offers identical options as the Air model. On the left side, we find two USB-C 4 ports with support for Thunderbolt devices. These ports also charge the computer battery. Some will say a few ports and with it the still insufficiently widespread USB-C standard.
Realistically, another one would certainly be nice, but the choice of USB-C standard definitely corresponds to the nature of such a sophisticated portable device. On the opposite side, we find one 3.5mm headphone jack and that’s it. The good thing is that the computer initially comes with a fast generation 6th WiFi connection for faster internet. And a better connection to the new generation wireless routers.
The heart of the new MacBook Pro is the same Apple M1 processor as in the better version of the Air model. That means in a concrete example: 4 fast high-performance cores, 4 economical for less demanding work scenarios, and an 8-core graphics accelerator. But with one important difference. The M1 processor on the MacBook Pro model is cooled by an active cooling system. This means that in addition to the classic heat pipe-based cooler. It also has a fan, so the processor cools better and releases heat faster.
The Apple M1 processor comes with 8GB of RAM and a 25.2GB M.2 PCIe SSD. Little? So get some fast external USB-C SSD. There is an option to order it with 16GB of system memory and SSD up to a maximum of 2TB of capacity. The surcharge for higher RAM is around 250 dollars, and for an SSD of, say, 512GB, approximately 200$, so you estimate whether the external SSD solution pays off more. While investing in more working memory is always the right decision. Here we must note that the effective use of RAM is better than on a similar Windows PC platform, due to more efficient optimization of the operating system.
For a shade thicker body of the MacBook Pro model, it provides much-needed space for a larger capacity battery. That is why the Pro version has better autonomy than the Air model. Which is provided by a lithium-polymer battery of 58.2 Wh, which in our test provided autonomous operation of the device of 10 hours and 23 minutes of continuous operation in the so-called. category “productivity” applications without a WiFi connection and almost the maximum intensity of the brightness of the screen for which you really do not need except to work outside in bright daylight.
That’s 2 and a half hours more than the Air model. It practically covers the entire working day, and even longer if you take a little account. And what we like to always emphasize is the fact that during battery life. The performance of the Pro model is identical in point to that when it works connected to the network. In this respect, the Apple M1 is really brilliant.
This is followed by the difference of a more powerful 61-watt charger that comes with the MacBook Pro model. Which takes less time to charge a battery with a higher capacity than the one on the Air model. It only takes 45-55 minutes to do that, since it supports the fast charging function. Far faster than the MacBook Air.
Performance and impressions in work
The presence of active cooling on the MacBook Pro model allows the M1 processor to achieve higher operating frequencies and thus achieve better performance. The difference may not be spectacular, but it allows the Pro model a shorter time to do the same jobs compared to the Air model, which, if nothing else, justifies its label.
And that in this case means the following: In Blender rendering, it is almost 7% or 25 seconds faster when processing a single frame. In Cinema 4D. The difference in Photoshop is also at the level of 10% advantage, while the Premiere Pro 2020 is even more in favor of the Pro model, sharing it with an 11.5% difference compared to the MacBook Air model.
In addition to better performance, the advantage of having a better cooling system is reflected in the slightly cooler feeling of touching the computer surface. The maximum temperature in the hottest central part is 38 degrees. While in the zone of contact with the ports in the part of the keyboard, 34 degrees were measured. The palms are also cold on a surface measuring 30 degrees. In normal random mode on the hottest part does not exceed 30 really great degrees.
Ah, the fan … so he makes a noise. It is not so natural, because you practically do not hear it during the entire period of operation. Since the noise does not exceed the level of ambient noise, staying below the value of 27dB. Which is practically silent for most users.
In the end, we wonder if a conclusion is needed? To convince you how good and versatile the MacBook Pro really is in its mission? We feel that this is not necessary this time. Would we blame him for something? Well, not really – we would rather want some new light and durable Hi-Tech material, some change of the already known metal case.
Because that is Apple for us, and when they fail on some plan and we know that they can and can. But they want to earn a little more. So they don’t put it in, it won’t be right for us. Some viewers, readers, know how to feel it, some draw their own conclusions, as they wish. There is no reason for animosity, probably these few tests are an example that when something is really worthwhile. It should be clearly pointed out, and even emphasized.
So we will emphasize that this time as well, for the needs of all those business daily activities and practically the entire scope of work of the average demanding user. The MacBook Pro in the M1 version is the perfect mobile computer. Although they are announcing a new generation of MacBook Pro computers in the fall. Which will come in a 14-inch version, which will be even better.
For and Against
We don’t see a better laptop for everyday work than this one either. It can only be a problem for someone who doesn’t want to adapt to something other than a Windows PC. Because it’s all essentially the same, just a little different. The better the screen, the faster, the Touch bar comes, the longer the battery lasts, the faster it charges, the better sound, just enough to say. Well, it’s better than the Air. It’s been a long time since we gave our laptop the most valuable prize. Without a doubt, the right device for your all-day routine in every sense!