In 2020, Apple MacBooks have entered a new era. The company announced that it was moving away from the Intel chips it had been using since 2006, and introduced the first Macs with the Apple-designed M1. Cut to 2021 and the company added two More chips to line up — the M1 Pro and M1 Max — both powering the latest MacBook Pro.
Just like Apple’s iPhones, the chips run on the ARM architecture and give the company greater control over its hardware and software. They make their laptops more powerful and more energy efficient, which means dramatically improved performance and battery life. In addition, you get other perks, such as the ability to run mobile apps originally designed for iOS. However, choosing a MacBook is now more difficult. Apple no longer sells Intel-powered models, but you can find one at a third-party retailer with only a few more years of support. Is it worth the trouble to buy it? Or should you use Apple silicon in every sense of the word? Here’s what we think you should spend your hard-earned money on.
Updated November 2021: We’ve added our thoughts on the new MacBook Pro models.
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Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020)
The best in all respects
The MacBook Air (9/10, WIRED recommended) with the M1 chip from 2020 is one of the most powerful laptops you can get for the price, beating the benchmark with Intel’s high-end models. This is especially true when using applications originally designed for the new processor, such as the Safari web browser.
You can still download and install applications designed for Intel x86 chips (the ones in every computer you likely own). This is because Apple has a transition tool called Rosetta 2 that will automatically request that you download along with these apps. It’s what enables them to work well with the M1, often better than Intel Macs. But over the past year, many apps – like Adobe Lightroom and Google Chrome – have made M1 versions available, so you shouldn’t have a problem. If you’re concerned that your favorite app might not work, do some searching and searching in the forums to see if an M1 version is available or the x86 version will work just fine.
My MacBook Air lasted me more than a full working day, with battery at 22 percent after I ran it nearly nonstop from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. using Safari and work apps like Slack. (I had to plug in my previous Intel model by 4 p.m.) The M1 can also instantly wake up from sleep mode when you tap the keyboard or trackpad or raise the screen, just like you tap your iPhone or iPad to wake it up. This is a noticeable difference from older MacBooks that took several seconds to light up. There’s also no fan on the MacBook Air, which means it stays quiet even under the heaviest loads. over there He is Heatsink to dissipate heat, but it never gets very warm.