A few days back, I posted an initial first impressions post for the new MacBook Air(M1), and by the looks of it and the initial benchmarks, it was looking to be an excellent choice. Still, the benchmarks were initially, no one had their own MacBook Air(M1) to check the benchmarks, but now as we have the MacBook Air(M1) in hand, I can easily say, its the best out there.
It can also be said to be the best Laptop under 100K/1 Lakh/100,000, in India, Check out this post to know why I think So.
Here is a Detailed Review of the MacBook Air(M1).
Apple MacBook Air(M1) Specifications
|Display||13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology|
2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
400 nits brightness
wide color (P3)
True Tone technology
|Operating System||macOS Big Sur|
|CPU||Apple M1 chip|
8-core CPU with 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores
16-core Neural Engine
|Memory||8GB Unified Memory(Integrated into the SoC)|
|Storage||256GB PCIe-based SSD|
Configurable to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD
|I/O Ports||Two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports with support for:|
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)
|Camera||720p FaceTime HD camera|
|Power||49.9‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery|
30W USB-C Power Adapter; USB-C power port
Design and Build Quality
On the Design Front, there is nothing different from the old MacBook Air’s it is that same good old design, the clean-looking back with the Apple Logo at the center, and Two Thunderbolt 3 ports at the side, and a headphone jack on the other side.
As Said previously, the design is simple with just the Apple logo at the center, the display can still be opened by one thumb, if that matters to you, the build quality is top of the line with aluminum chassis, the bezels are a bit on the chunkier side, but that’s ok.
Opening the Lid we get to see the display the 2020 MacBook Air(M1) has a 13.3 inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology
2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors.
At 400 nits of max brightness, the display is excellent, its a top of the line display, best in class, HDR Supports, and also True Tone, the only problem one can face is when using in direct sunlight.
The Biggest difference between this MacBook Air and the Older MacBook Air’s is the Processor used, previously with the Intel processors there has to be one CPU, GPU, RAM, Neural Core, etc, all differently sorted on the motherboard, but with the Apple M1 Chip, it’s all integrated into one Chip, just like it’s done on the Smartphones, its Called SoC short for the System on Chip.
The Apple M1 Chip is an 8 Core CPU with 7/8Core GPU and 16-Core neural Engine, it’s also the First 5 nm SoC/chip used on a Laptop.
In the Initial GeekBench Benchmarks, the Apple M1 Chips scored 1687 in Single-Core and 7433 in Multi-CoreFrom Initial Impression Post.
In Single-Core performance, the MacBook Air beats every single Mac in existence till now, and in Multi-Core it beats all the MacBooks, even including the 2019 MacBook Air 16 which was powered by the Core i9-9980HK, the 9th Gen flagship from intel.
This is from the Initial impression post, and now as we have the MacBook Air(M1) in hand, the initial impression was correct, the single-core and multi-core scores are pretty much the same as from the Initial impressions.
But there are some problems, as of now there are many software’s which doesn’t support the Apple M1 Chip, you can use that software on the MacBook Air(M1), but they run through rosetta, and they run excellent, even software like Premiere Pro, which is not supported on the M1 Chip, and needs a great number of recourses to run well, runs very well in on the MacBook Air, and this is even its not even optimized when it gets optimized with the M1 Chip, I pretty sure it will work better than any of the Windows laptop out there.
Now coming to gaming, the MacBook Air(M1), is not a gaming laptop, but still works fine, the 7/8 Core GPU on the M1 Chip, is better than any Integrated GPU available on any of the Intel or AMD laptops, with playable FPS in games like Shadow of The Tomb Raider, and as of now most of the games are not optimized for the M1 Chip, and still, it’s preforming excellent, after they get optimized, the performance will only increase.
Even as of now it offers the best gaming experience on an Integrated GPU.
So Think the Apple MacBook Air(M1), which has a 10W SoC, with no Fan was able to beat the 2019 MacBook Pro which is powered by the Core i9-9980HK, the 9th gen Mobile Flagship from Intel, which is 45W CPU with one of the best cooling system on a MacBook.
The Only Laptops which were better than the MacBook Air(M1), in Multi-Core performance were the Ryzen 4000 series CPUs, but in Single-Core Score the MacBook(M1) is the best.
The is no Fan noise as there is no Fan, but even then, the thermals are excellent, the mac temperature that we were able to get was around 40 degrees Celsius, and it was on a hefty load.
Memory and Storage
The MacBook Air(M1) has an option for 8 or 16GB of Unified Memory, Unified Memory means that the RAM is integrated into the SoC and cant be replaced or upgraded. as for Storage options it has 256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB SSD storage options.
The Unified Memory Access or in short the UMA may be a bad thing for many but it has a very big advantage.
The bad thing is now that the RAM can’t be upgraded of replaced. But the Good Things is M1 unifies its high‑bandwidth, low‑latency memory into a single pool within a custom package. As a result, all of the technologies in the SoC can access the same data without copying it between multiple pools of memory. This dramatically improves performance and power efficiency.
The Unifies Memory does its job very well, that 8GB of Unified Memory, does very well.
The MacBook Air(M1) has a 49.9‑watt-hour lithium‑polymer battery
with 30W USB-C Power Adapter.
At the time of release, Apple Claimed more than 50% increase in Battery life, and the battery life on the MacBook Air(M1), is so good, that it can be the sole reason why one should upgrade from a previous generation or your current laptop to the MacBook Air, you can easily get more than 13 hours of online Video Playback, and it will easily last you for a week with around 1.5-2 hours of daily usage.
It’s one of the best if not the best battery life one can get on a Laptop.
MacBook Air(M1) has
Two Thunderbolt 4 (USB-C) ports with support for:
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)
The MacBook Air(M1), is running on macOS Big Sur, which is specially designed to work with the Apple m1 Chip, but due to being a new chip with new software, there are some software which it doesn’t support as of now, like the Adobe Creative Suite.
MacBook Air(M1) has a scissor Mechanism, keyboards they call the Magic Keyboard.
Other Features Include
Ambient light sensor
Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and pressure-sensing capabilities; enables Force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing, and Multi-Touch gestures.
The keyboard is excellent, can easily be the best non-mechanical keyboard on a notebook class laptop out there.
Wide stereo sound
Support for Dolby Atmos playback
Three-mic array with directional beamforming
3.5 mm headphone jack
Excellent speakers, loud volumes, the audio quality is excellent, Best in class audio, the vocals are clear, better than any windows laptop out there, and the same can be said for the microphone, excellent audio recording.
The Webcam is also amazing, can easily be the best, integrated Webcam out there.
The Base Model of the MacBook Air which has an Apple M1 Chip with 7-Core GPU and 256GB Storage is priced at $999, and the Other Variant is powered by the Apple M1 Chip which has an 8-Core GPU with 512GB Storage is priced at $1249.
In India, the base Model is Priced at ₹92,900, with the 512GB variant priced at ₹1,17,900.
There is nothing to conclude, even though the M1 is a first-generation product, and a first-generation product should not be recommended. Still, Man!, it’s so amazing, it has excellent design, excellent build quality, it’s performing without fans, which the best laptops out there are unable to give with Fans(Intel Laptops), that unified memory does wonders, the audio is top class, the battery life is the best out there.
A Simple example of MacBook Air(M1)’s Performance, the Base model of the MacBook Air(M1) is priced at ₹93,000 in India, the best windows performance laptop one can get at that price in India is a laptop powered by the Ryzen 7 4800H, so if we compare the Apple M1 Chips to the Ryzen 7 4800H, the M1 is much better in Single-core performance and is around 90% of the 4800H in Multi-Core performance, and for that decrease in multi-core performance you are getting, a less noise, much better battery life, and much better portability, so unless and until your only purpose for laptop is gaming, you should go for a MacBook Air(M1)
It doesn’t matter what type of work you do, be it a student, an economist, a content creator(Final Cut Pro user), a business professional, a teacher, and you can do almost all kinds of work on a MacBook Air(M1).
It’s tough not to recommend the MacBook Air(M1).