Apple MacBook Pro M1 Review – Is It Most Ideal Laptop For You?
Table Of Contents
- 1Review Summary
- 2Apple MacBook Pro M1 Price, Variants and Availability
- 3Apple MacBook Pro M1 Specs At A Glance
- 4Apple MacBook Pro M1 Design and Build
- 5Apple MacBook Pro M1 Display
- 6Apple MacBook Pro M1 Performance
- 7Apple MacBook Pro M1 Keyboard and Trackpad
- 8Apple MacBook Pro M1 Battery Life
- 9Apple MacBook Pro M1 Audio, Webcam and Ports
When Apple launched their refreshed versions of the MacBook Pro in 2020, it was not just a refresh. The brand took the Intel processors out of their laptops and turned them into MacBook Pro M1 chipset-based laptops. This M1 chipset marked a whole new beginning for Apple, one which makes them who they are. Not only did the new chipset absolutely thrash Intel processors in terms of performance, it just breathed new life into the MacBook Pro M1. When you take a look at the refreshed 2020 model, it will not look like the beast that it is. In fact, absolutely nothing has changed in terms of design. However, it is when you open multiple tabs and push the laptop to carry out extensive work loads that it truly shines.
In fact, the performance is so off-the-charts good that it would be absolutely unfair to compare it with a Windows laptop. The seamlessly you experience on the MacBook Pro M1 is on a completely different level. You may be wondering how practical it is to get your hands on this 2020 model in 2022. Price tag of the newer models will give the answer to that. They can be out of reach for most users and that leaves you with the Apple MacBook Pro M1. The newer models surely do come with M1 Pro and M1 Max chipsets but, the price tags just don’t justify it all. If you get a similar performance on a lower budget, albeit a smaller screen, why not go for it? This review will focus on the 256GB SSD variant which is paired with 8GB of RAM and the M1 chipset.
- Amazing battery life
- Seamless performance
- Magic Keyboard is a delight to type on
- Ability to run iOS apps
- Excellent build quality
- No changes in design
- Poor port selection
- Display could have been better
The Apple MacBook Pro M1 price in India starts at Rs. 1,12,990. This is the price set for the variant that comes with the Mac OS Big Sur and offers 256GB of internal storage. Moreover, this is the variant that I will be reviewing today. There are multiple other variants that offer, 512GB and 1TB of storage. Besides, there are a variety of different options on the basis of year, 2020 and 2021 models, respectively.
In terms of availability, you can find the model I’ll be reviewing today on both Flipkart and Amazon. Additionally, if the MacBook Pro M1 appeals to you after this video, you can also grab one from the official Apple online store. They are available across all the offline Apple retail stores as well.
Here’s a quick rundown of the Apple MacBook Pro M1 specs:
Display: 13.3 inch Quad LED Backlit IPS Display
Processor: Apple M1 Chipset
RAM & ROM: 8 RAM, 256 SSD
Software: Mac OS Big Sur
Weight: 1.4 kg
Dimensions: 304.1 x 212.4 x 15.6 mm
You may be thinking that the design of the Apple MacBook Pro M1 is very different from that of the MacBook Pro. Why shouldn’t you? I thought the exact same thing when there were talks of the M1 chipset powering these laptops. However, that is absolutely not the case. If you have been a MacBook Pro user before, this is not going to appeal to you at all. It is only practical to give the design a refresh alongside the massive internal upgrade. Sadly, that is not the case with these 2020-refreshed 13-inch models.
If you are looking for a fresh new design, turn your head to the 14 and 16-inch models. Apple could have surely done some significant design changes which is not the case. That was a bit of a let down. However, the durability and build quality of MacBooks are something that has always been great. The MacBook Pro M1 is no different and it retains all the good things from the build quality of previous MacBooks.
Additionally, the weight distribution is just perfect on the Pro M1. Weighing at just 1.3 kg, it is on the lighter side of things. However, it has weight in all the right places as you can easily open the lid with one hand. That is always a big plus. The only downside is that the design was not at all revolutionary like the M1 chipset’s introduction was.
In terms of display, you get to see a 13.3-inch or 33.78 cm display. Good news is you get to see the same 2500 x 1600 Quad LED Backlit IPS Retina Display. However, that is the bad news as well. This is primarily because when you are upgrading the internals of your laptop massively, the display should be tweaked to be slightly better now, isn’t it?
Apple misses out on yet another section they could have gone all out in. The display is far from being bad in any sense of the word but, competitors are rolling out their 13-inch laptops with better res displays. That is something Apple needs to understand and work upon. Yes, you surely do get to see P3 wide colour gamut coverage which offers excellent colour reproduction. This makes it an ideal choice for all the video editors, photographers and the like out there.
Then comes in the 500 nits of brightness that you get to see on the laptop. It really does do its work and makes this one of the best displays at this price point. You get to see a super clear display, be it indoors or outdoors. You will not have to squint your eyes to see the display anymore and that is always a relief.
In addition, another good thing is that you get to see the TouchBar still. That is a great thing if you can get used to it. There are two completely different categories of people – ones who like it and ones who don’t. There has always been a debate about the utilities of the TouchBar. Personally, I really liked it and gave off a very futuristic sort of a vibe to the laptop. Any such additional touchbars in a laptop always do.
The TouchBar returns – if you’re not familiar with this, it’s a thin touchscreen that runs along the top of the keyboard, and which shows context-sensitive buttons and shortcuts depending on what app or tool you’re currently using. All-in-all, not much of anything new in here. Fortunately, nothing bad either.
This is where the Apple MacBook Pro M1 just outshines every other premium business laptop. If you are thinking about getting the MacBook Pro M1, obviously, it is not for gaming. There are a gazillion better options for that. What you want to get it for is ultra HD and 4K video rendering. It will not let you down on that front. However, the laptop did crash once when we used Final Cut Pro on it for the very first time. However, that was just once and never happened again.
I had somewhere around 10 tabs open on Chrome, two projects open on Final Cut Pro and the laptop did not lag once. The overall experience was just so smooth. However, there was a little something that I did notice. The MacBook Pro M1 is not that well-optimised with non-Apple apps. For example, it ran Safari easily but, fumbled slightly when opening Chrome but, nothing too distracting.
Overall, the MacBook Pro M1’s performance is just way too good to be true. If you want a laptop that can take care of your everyday multitasking, heavy workflow and audio/video/image editing with ease, this is an unbeatable performer.
Coming to the keyboard of the Apple MacBook Pro M1, it will feel the same to all you fellow MacBook users. There are zero changes on this front. The typing experience on this MacBook was not really that great. It was alright but nothing revolutionary or ground-breaking. In fact, the Caps Lock key gave me a lot of issues. While the other keys were soft to the touch, the Caps Lock key (since I use it a lot when typing) constantly had to be pressed hard to be turned on. That interrupted with my typing speed and flow and I kind of got annoyed with it a bit too.
On the other hand, no matter how much I praise the trackpad, I shall fall short. It was an absolute delight! Not only do you get abundant space to work with, it is smoother than any Windows trackpad you will use. The multi-gesture support is just so seamless. Usually I feel the need to use a mouse but, the MacBook Pro M1 trackpad really warmed up to me. I couldn’t stop using it.
If you are a Windows user, this will come as a massive shock to you! The battery life of the Apple MacBook Pro M1 is just mind-bogglingly good. Again, that is something that shouldn’t surprise MacBook users. MacBooks are known for their impeccable and long lasting battery life. I’m not talking about hours here.
You get a backup of days. In my usual workflow, the laptop gave me a backup of roughly 2 days, which is insane when you think about it. Then again, that is what MacBooks are known for and the Pro M1 2020 model lives up to that standard.
You can watch YouTube videos, Netflix, Amazon Prime constantly for a day and that blew my mind. I did try doing that wherein I binged multiple shows and did not run out of juice. Besides, the battery capacity allowed me to render 4K videos for hours on end. That is really commendable and something Windows laptops just can’t do without being plugged in.
The Apple MacBook Pro M1 audio is a total stunner! That should however not be a surprise if you have already been a MacBook user before. MacBooks have really good audio quality and the Pro M1 continues to keep this legacy intact. The highs, the lows, the mids, everything is just very clear and crisp. Additionally, there is a bit of a base going on as well which adds spice to your audio output.
Unfortunately, you don’t get to see a webcam on the Apple MacBook Pro M1. The webcam was introduced in the 2021 models. However, you can leverage your Apple iPhone as a webcam via software.
Coming to the most disappointing bit, the port selection. On the left side of the frame, you get to see two Thunderbolt 3 ports. Meanwhile, the right side of the frame is home to a 3.5mm headphone jack. That’s it. You don’t get any other port options and that is a major let down.
In this era of technological advancements, you need multiple ports to carry out your daily activities. In that case, the Apple MacBook Pro M1 will be a let down for you. You really do need a dongle for the laptop.
The Apple MacBook Pro M1 is not your usual run-off-the-mill laptop. The price may surely seem too high for many but, it is about what the laptop offers you at that price point. You get the performance that you deserve to get the most seamless workflow ever. Besides, you just can’t compare the MacBook Pro M1’s performance with any Windows laptop out there. The M1 chipset is on a whole different level that is designed to bring top notch performance to the table. Take your business and editing anywhere and everywhere with you with the Pro M1 model. It is worth every bit of your penny and I assure you that.
However, what I would recommend is not getting into experiencing MacOS from a Windows user’s perspective. That will definitely cloud your judgement. Both the operating systems are world apart. There are advantages and disadvantages in both the operating systems and none is perfect. You just have to take a leap of faith into the new world of MacBooks and the Apple MacBook Pro M1 will not disappoint you.
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