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MacBook Air with M1: What do those who have tried it say?

The arrival of the first MacBook Air with M1, the new Apple chip with which the company begins the transition.

Egrated devices announced in June at WWDC 2020, leaving behind about a decade and a half with Intel. A change that, given the first results obtained by this chip. May point to the beginning of a more than an interesting revolution in the PC world. That’s another story and, therefore, we’ll talk about it at another time.

For now, and waiting to be able to test it ourselves, something we are looking forward to, we will check what the first media that have already been able to analyze it have. And the first sensations are, in general, tremendously positive. Even more than it was possible to think after the first leaks of performance of the new chip. Now we are no longer talking about leaks but complete tests of the first MacBook Air with M1. We reviewed the analyzes of seven media.

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MacBook Air with M1 on Engadget

This review starts strong, stating that ” Apple’s M1 chip redefines what an ultraportable can be .” As for the MacBook Air with M1, he begins by calling it blazingly fast and then lists some common tasks that tend to slow down in ultralight notebooks, stating that it is capable of more than optimally performing them.

If we review his list of positive points, we first find its performance, which he again qualifies as incredible, how quiet it is (remember that the MacBook Air with M1 does not have a fan, it only has passive dissipation). It also values ​​ the touchpad, and keyboard assembly is good (the butterfly keyboard is, fortunately, more and more behind each day). It also positively highlights its Retina display, battery life and that it can run iOS apps. There are only two negative points, its camera, which is only 720p and has only two USB 3.0 Type-C ports.

This is the summary of their review, which they publish in it: « The new Apple MacBook Air is the most refined ultraportable to date, mainly due to the new M1 SoC. It is incredibly fast and completely silent as it is fanless. It’s the first step in unifying Apple hardware and software on Macs, and like the iPhone and iPad, the result is a sleek and refined experience. »

MacBook Air with M1 at MacWorld

The MacWorld review of the MacBook Air with M1 doesn’t skimp on praise, either. Its editor begins by stating that he already had quite high expectations, which sometimes results in disappointment. Still, in this case, he claims that the result was even better than he expected. If it is true, yes, that regrets that the only change concerning the model of the beginning of 2020 is the processor, since it considers that it has been a missed opportunity to introduce other improvements.

However, he calls the integrated M1 impressive, talks about remarkable graphics performance and, importantly, his first experience using non-native apps for the M1, that is, using Rosetta 2, is tremendously positive. Out of many apps tested, only the Steam client gave you any problems. Something that has left me very surprised claims that some games work better with the Rosetta 2 emulation than on a MacBook with an Intel Core i5 processor.

The list of positive points stands out, as imaginable, performance, battery life, and how quiet it is. On the downside, the only issue he mentions is the low resolution of his camera, and he sums up the review as follows: ” Apple’s amazing new M1 chip breathes new life into its more affordable notebook, giving it performance and battery life. Drastically better along with iPhone and iPad app compatibility.

MacBook Air with M1 in PCMag

Although I do not know if Apple would agree with such a statement, an interesting point of this review is that until now, Apple had prioritized the size and price of the Air concerning performance. However, they claim that with the first MacBook Air with M1, the paradigm has completely changed. And it is that yes, also in this analysis, the absolute protagonist is the performance offered by the new Apple integrated, compared to that provided by its predecessors from Intel in Apple computers.

Although this review is less’ passionate ‘than the previous ones, its summary leaves no doubt about the good taste it has left in writing:’ The new M1-based MacBook Air is simply an incredible notebook. The build quality is among the unsurpassed you can find, the debut of the Apple M1 SoC is very impressive (even though there are still some aspects in doubt), and the battery life is better than most of the alternatives…

As positive points, it stands out its value for money, the system’s performance, the battery life, the quality of the keyboard and touchpad, its design and its availability in several colour options. On the negative side, it is left with that, without counting the audio connector, it only has two USB ports, and something that has surprised me, with that the screen is not touched. And I say that it surprises me because Apple’s response to the touch screen requests in its laptops was the Touch Bar until now present only in the MacBook Pro, but that could reach the Air at some point.

MacBook Air with M1 on TechCrunch

Perhaps it is for combing grey hair, but I identify with the beginning of this analysis. Since it begins by making history, remembering the jump from PowerPC to Intel. But speaking of the content, perhaps the most interesting thing. Is that it raises a comparison between MacBook Air with M1 and MacBook Pro with M1. I already considered something that I already felt during the presentation of the first Apple computers with the new chip.

This analysis is also “cooler” than the first two, yet it is very comprehensive. And as a button shows, and that is that while in other reviews the integrated camera was negatively valued, in this analysis, it has been tested and compared with that of a previous model with an Intel processor and, although the resolution remains the same, thanks To the new Image Signal Processor (ISP) built into the M1, the image quality has undergone a significant improvement.

As I said before, it is a not so passionate review that nonetheless ends up stating that the MacBook Air with M1 is a good purchase option: ” For most users with most needs, Air is a good choice. If I were to buy a new MacBook today, I would pull the trigger on Air and upgrade memory and storage just in case. It’s a surprisingly powerful apparatus in a compact package. »

MacBook Air with M1 in Tom’s Guide

As if it were going through a cutting room, this analysis of the MacBook Air with M1 is detailing, by different sections, the most important points of the system. From its title, it clarifies the opinion of both the Air and the M1: « a computer revolution «. Let’s take a look at your startup:

” The new Apple MacBook Air with M1 redefines the MacBook Air as we know, taking an iconic portable and supercargándolo. Yes, we have now officially entered Apple’s silicon era, and this new MacBook Air has pro-level power to really challenge and often beat Intel-based Windows PCs.

As a potential MacBook buyer, I am pleased to say that the new MacBook Air offers significant performance improvements over its predecessor and many more hours of battery life. This MacBook Air with M1 review will show why this is one of the best laptops, period. Categorical, without a doubt.

The positive points it stands out are the performance, its great compatibility (thanks to Rosetta 2) with non-native applications, battery life, and keyboard. This will probably surprise you, the improvement of its camera, since it has also compared it with an older MacBook. The list of negative points is more surprising to me, and it is that the moments that it points out are the size of the bezel and that some light filters through its ports.

MacBook Air with M1 on The Verge

” The new Arm-based system has exceeded almost all expectations ” and ” Apple’s new M1-chip MacBook Air is a triumph “. Thus begins the analysis of the MacBook Air with M1 in The Verge, which already makes it clear from the beginning that the computer has quite liked in its writing. The satisfaction that the author of the analysis clarifies that it has some negative points (we will see them later), but that in general means that this new MacBook is an excellent choice.

Although it is claimed that, for professional users, the GPU integrated with the M1 may fall short, the truth is that in its tests, they have been quite demanding, making much more intensive use of the system than what is expected for a typical MacBook user Air. The result has positively surprised the author, exceeding his expectations. At one point, he talks about having up to twelve applications open simultaneously and that the system’s performance was not affected by it.

The positive points highlighted in this review are its speed, good performance of non-native applications, and battery life. For its part, on the negative side, the webcam stands out, which it describes as horrible, the limitations in the use of iOS apps (not all of them are compatible yet) and something that, more than a negative point, is the expression of a desire: “Time to admit that Macs would work better with touchscreens.”

MacBook Air with M1 on Wired

” M1 is not a Mac evolution, and it is a Mac revolution . We can read in the initial part of this analysis. And it is more striking because the writer has been able to reach that conclusion .After the first day of testing, and it is much more interesting. If we consider that the same person tested, just a few months ago. The previous version of the 13-inch MacBook Air with Intel processor from earlier this year. If the exterior is similar, its interior has made it clear that they are two completely different computers.

I am sure that I am not the only person interested and concerned about the performance. Of the software that Rosetta 2 uses, and in this regard. What I have read in this analysis leaves me very calm. It is not that its performance has not stay penalized. No, is that the writer claims that the same software works better on the MacBook Air with M1 than its predecessor. With an Intel processor: ” I had no problem editing a simple 16-minute 4K video in Adobe Premiere Pro. And it only took me eight minutes to export it «. Surprising, right?

If we look up the list of good points, we find the following: ” The battery life is incredible,lasts more than a full working day. Great overall performance, even in Rosetta applications. It is light, thin and silent. Also good speakers, an excellent keyboard, a good screen and an optimal microphone quality «. On the downside ‘ The webcam is still not great. You need more ports. There aren’t a ton of iPhone or iPad apps available (yet). You should expect better optimization in Rosetta applications «. Interesting that, despite evaluating Rosetta 2 positively, expect improvements in this regard, very interesting.

And what do I think of the MacBook Air with M1?

I have not tried it, but as I have remained anticipating these last weeks. Based on what I am reading in these reviews and many other contents.Dedicated to the first Mac with Apple Silicon. I am happy to say that I was completely wrong when I thought that the performance. Of these computers would remain lower than their versions with Intel. I read that the MacBook Air with M1 improves, in many respects, the performance of some MacBook Pro with Intel.

Some time ago. I decided when it remain time to retire my 2017 MacBook Pro, to go back to Windows completely. However, and although there are still years left and it is a decision. That I will have to mature over the years until the time comes. I admit that I am not so clear about it. This MacBook Air with M1 is particularly tempting to me.

Of course, and it is the advice that I would also give to any other Apple user. With a team that still fully covers their needs. M1 is fine, but if the platform evolves as expected, M2 promises a lot. And if by then Rosetta 2 has developed for the better, iOS app support has improved. And there is the possibility of installing Windows 10 ARM with x86 and x64 emulation. The future may be an excellent surprise.

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In addition, you can find more helpful resources at Thewebscience.

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