Apple MacBook Air M1: The Level of Notebooks Raised (Review)

Since announcing its M1 chips, Apple has ended up bringing its computers even closer to the iPhone and iPad. The transition to ARM chips instead of Intel chips should be completed in 2022, but already in the first generation the company managed to raise the bar in the market.

And that’s not even demagoguery: the MacBook Air M1 has great battery life and steady performance. Now, if it’s worth running from Macs with Intel to M1 models, it will depend, and a lot, on each user.

Design

Apple doesn’t seem to have the guts to change the design of its notebooks, so you shouldn’t expect big revolutions.

The MacBook Air M1 has fine lines at one end that extend to the other, is made of aluminum and has very apparent premium features, just like the latest Air. Its size is very compact, which makes mobility easier, and it’s also quite lightweight but still robust. There are only two USB-C 4 (Thunderbolt 3) ports and the 3.5mm headphone jack. In other words: no big news.

One of the differences is the pressure-sensitive trackpad finished in glass, which is comfortable in size and helps a lot in navigation, supporting several gestures. The backlit keyboard has returned to its origins and left the butterfly format aside, also adding the Touch ID digital reader and shortcut buttons.

Source: Apple

Many consider the return of the Magic Keyboard a hit, and so do we, but in the model that caused headaches we also thought it was pretty cool.

screen and sound

The screen of the new MacBook Air M1 is 13.3 inches, IPS technology and is LED-backlit. It has high resolution (2560 x 1600p) and maximum brightness of 400 nits, however it is less bright than the Pro line but exhibits deep tones and has high sharpness. It’s more than enough to contend with other high-end notebooks, like Apple’s own more expensive lineup Minecraft 1.18

Here, it is worth mentioning three more points of the screen: it has a default refresh rate of 60 Hz, it is reflective and it still has bigger edges compared to competitors. As for the sound, it’s clearly inferior to the Pro line, but it’s not a big problem. The notebook has a dual output next to the keyboard and reproduces audio with good volume, timid bass and plenty of clarity. For those thinking about watching videos or movies, it’s also an interesting bet. More on the screen, of course.

MacBook Air M1 Source: Apple

Performance and battery

What has drawn the most attention on the MacBook Air is the M1 chip. At the official presentation in late 2020, Apple showed off pretty impressive numbers of the new hardware. It’s what the company cites as working together with the software, improving performance and extending battery life.

For a MacBook Pro 2019 with an Intel chip, the difference is very big. The MacBook Air M1 can easily handle a full day of light work, running only the simplest browsers and apps. The same can be said of multimedia consumption, since, in some tests, we had 8% download after playing a 2-hour movie.

Even using Google Chrome, which usually consumes a lot of memory, we managed to register only 2% download after 1 hour of use. It’s an impressive autonomy, especially for those who need a computer to work that is reliable in this regard.

MacBook Air M1 Source: Apple

There are caveats, of course, but even they aren’t glaring. The MacBook Air M1 battery only discharges faster when using a second monitor, running video calls, and running multiple Chrome tabs on multiple “Tables”. Still, in this scenario, autonomy manages to remain stable until at least early afternoon—assuming, of course, that the computer leaves the outlet early in the morning.

Another important point of the MacBook Air is that it doesn’t have an internal fan. So even though I’m rendering 4K video — which is remarkably possible — the computer doesn’t usually make noise. We also didn’t notice times when it got hot to the point of annoyance.

It is also worth noting that the M1 allows the Mac to run iOS apps. Of course, not all of them work and shouldn’t work, as they’re made for touchscreens, but more important than that is Rosetta 2, Apple’s outlet for making other apps compatible with its new machines, even if they’re not chip-specific. ARM

MacBook Air M1 Source: Apple

At launch, it was easy to find apps and programs not yet compatible with the M1. We started using this model about 3 months ago and so far we have had no problems. Over time, companies and developers must also fully adapt their software, which makes the transition smoother.

And a detail is that this is the base model, with 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB of storage and 7 GPU cores. There is an 8-core option that tends to be even faster with graphics activities.

It is worth it?

The MacBook Air with M1 would be the most suitable model for most people in this new generation. And we’re specifically talking about the input model. The performance is impeccable for work, and the battery lives up to the expectations of anyone who needs a machine to use all day.

However, we are still talking about a notebook with a suggested price of R$ 13 thousand. If you’re thinking about moving to the Mac or swapping an Intel Mac for the M1, the advantages are many and clear.

Imagem: Macbook Apple Air A2337 M1 13,3" 8GB SSD 256 GB
Image: Tecmundo Recommends

13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology, 2560 x 1600 native resolution with 227 pixels per inch and support for millions of colors.

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