If you came to my blog for an objective view on the new M1 Macbooks. you came to the wrong place. I already spoiled it in the title- I LOVE the new M1 Macbooks, and I want to do my best to explain why. For as long as I remember, I have always liked Apple products, but I couldn’t ignore the many flaws they sometimes came with. Flaws that often times prevented me from buying them. Those flaws have decreased over the years to the point that now I can’t ignore the many BENEFITS of owning their latest offerings. There are still some flaws, but the trade-off is that you are now getting some big gains by using Apple products. Let me explain the gains you can get from M1 equipped Macbooks, and maybe that will help me justify why I LOVE the new Macbooks.
To start, let me outline WHY I use a laptop in the first place. In my last blog, I probably explained what I consider to be the “ultimate combo” – my way of describing my perfect and optimal combination of devices. A laptop is easily my second most capable device, and should be able to do basically everything my big dedicated desktop can do, but be mobile. A Phone or a Tablet don’t offer enough power or capability, so a laptop with a full desktop grade OS is my preferred choice. I can run desktop grade software and games on a laptop where as I can’t do that on a phone or tablet.
The M1 equipped Macbooks fit this slot extremely well for many reasons. There are a few drawbacks, like lack of 32 bit support, no bootcamp support, etc. However, for the most part right now? It’s a non issue for me. This is a big point: FOR ME it’s a non issue. Others may find deal breakers with the M1 Macbooks where I don’t, and that’s perfectly fine. Maybe the software you want to run doesn’t run on Mac OS. Who knows. Maybe you need to run a 32 bit program. No idea. But for ME, it doesn’t matter.
This is because for those things, I have access to my desktop PC. If I need to run a 32 bit application for some reason, I have access to a device that can do it. I will rarely if ever be completely upset that I can’t run something on my Macbook because I can go elsewhere for those rare occasions. I can even remote into my PC from my Macbook and run the applications remotely if necessary.
OK, getting over those hoops, let me get to the point. I’m tired of beating around the bush: The new M1 Macbooks are FAST, and not just that, but power efficient. Very power efficient. The battery life is godlike. It’s just fantastic. You know how many laptops I could say that to? Literally NONE. The closest I have had to a laptop having great battery life is the Macbook Pro 16, which I’m currently writing this blog post with, and THAT isn’t even close to what the M1 can do in terms of battery.
What I was most impressed with was how well the battery held up during high-load scenarios. Sure, most Windows based laptops can sip battery when doing nothing (but still nothing close to what the M1 can do) during high load? The M1 Macbooks completely smash my 16″ Macbook Pro in terms of battery life.
I ran some battery life tests while gaming
I made a reddit post about my testing HERE if you want to see details on my testing methodology and such, but I’m going to cut to the results for the sake of time. I tested World of Warcraft on both my Intel 16 MBP and the M1 13 MBA.
It took the M1 13″ MBA 1 hour to go from 100% to 67%. That’s a loss of 33% in one hour of play. That’s around 3 hours of gaming on battery, which I think is an excellent result.
It took the Intel 16″ MBP SEVENTEEN MINUTES go from 96% to 65%. That’s a loss of 31%, again, in SEVENTEEN MINUTES. Scaling up these results, that means that the MBP would lose an estimated 109% per hour, or go from 100% to 0% in an approximately 54.8 Minutes. It wouldn’t even last a full hour while gaming.
That means that the M1 Macbook Air can run WoW for 3x as long as the intel Macbook Pro. Impressive to say the least. Now, in fairness to the Intel MBP, it was running off of dedicated graphics. Had I changed to integrated graphics (although at a huge loss of graphical performance) it’d have lasted much longer. Still, it’d have come at the expense of graphical fidelity, and I can almost guarantee it still wouldn’t have lasted as long as the M1 Macbook Air. Keep in mind I was running the M1 device at native or near native resolution, with medium graphics settings. Intel integrated graphics can’t even get close to that.
And I haven’t even tested the M1 Macbook Pro, which has a much larger battery. I expect that to likely last even longer, and run even better.
Why is laptop battery so important?
One of the biggest selling points regarding laptops is their mobility, and having excellent battery life means you can be mobile without having to worry about bringing your charger with you, or wondering if you are going to run out of charge. It’s a liberating feeling not having to worry about running out- a feeling that I have never felt with a laptop before. Only an iPad has given me that feeling, or maybe my iPhone. So many of my previous laptops could run decently well on battery, but with large compromises. With power savings modes, integrated graphics only modes, and low screen brightness, you can get great battery life on other laptops. The M1 devices give you all their capabilities, at all times, no matter if it’s plugged in or on battery power. Not only that, but it’s giving you amazing performance at the same time. It’s honestly the best, absolutely no compromises laptop that I can think of, unless you are the type that views Mac OS as a compromise. Personally, that’s another positive. I love using Mac OS.
My final thoughts
Apple really has a homerun product here. Their transition to ARM processors on Laptops has been, in my opinion, a huge success. Rosetta 2, apples x86 translation layer, has made migration from Intel a breeze, and has turned me from skeptical to extremely optimistic as to what the future holds. They addressed my biggest concern, which was x86 app compatibility, and with flying colors. ARM, at this point, is simply better than x86 with performance-per-watt, and it really shows with the M1. I don’t think I’ll be owning any non-apple silicon laptops anytime soon, as I expect Apple to completely dominate in the laptop space for the next 5 years at least.
Simply put, I love the M1 Macbooks because they are the ultimate device for powerful portable computing. Not only that, but they do great mobile gaming on battery. Hell, some of the games that I like to play are very single core dependent, and the M1 devices run those games FASTER than my 16 i9 Intel Macbook Pro can run them! That’s unreal. Those games: Rimworld and Totally Accurate Battle Simulator- both very processor intensive games, and both run faster on the little M1 Macbooks.
I already put in an order for the 13″ M1 equipped Macbook Pro, 16gb, 512 GB SSD variant. I’ll be selling my 16″ Macbook Pro that I literally bought earlier this year, because I’m THAT impressed.