Employee Tech
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Employee Tech

The MacBook Air M1 is the new corporate power-horse!

Probably you already read a lot stories about the new M1 Apple Silicon Series of Mac’s… so I will not bore you with technical details, how SOC’s actually work, what’s the difference between CISC and RISC, and make it short:

It is fast, it is super light-weight, it does it’s job, it outperforms Intel MacBook Pro’s (13"), it is not as pricey as an Intel MacBook

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For a couple of weeks I’m mainly working with this new little beast and it did not let me hang a minute. All my workflows perfectly work out on this machine: whether it be 50 open tabs, multiple Miro boards, Zoom sessions, etc. It just works.

In order to verify that the new M1 generation and following Apple Silicon devices will fulfill requirements we (the Corporation) have, we ordered this one with the lowest specs to set the new Benchmark internally.

Specs of this test device, which you can get from 1.129 € (incl. VAT):

  • 8-core CPU with 4 perform­ance cores and 4 efficiency cores
  • 7-core GPU
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD

You can get the Intel competitor from 1.589 € (incl. VAT) — 16 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD

Apple Store

Sure, you can get the MacBook Air M1 (without upgrading RAM to 16 GB) starting at 1.129 € which can completely compete with the standard MacBook Pro 13" Intel — but if we add another 8 GB RAM and upgrade to 512 GB SSD (add another 460 €) we get a device that not only outperforms the current Intel lineup, you still save 540 € on each new device.

The pleasure started when I opened the lid the first time, registered my device in our Device-Enrollment-Program, set up my OneDrive, synchronised my Work profile in Edge. The whole process just took around 15 minutes and I was ready to go. Such a smooth experience I never had before with Intel Mac’s because everything just took longer. (Don’t ask me why — it seems to be some black magic 🪄)

During the last weeks I made several checks on Application compatibility and was not disappointed — even when Apps are not yet ported to Apple Silicon you will probably not see a difference if an App is running natively or translated through Rosetta (Apples Binary Code Just-In-Time Translation and Execution Interface). All my important Apps: Edge, Microsoft Office Suite, OneDrive, Miro worked out of the box.

Yet, I have to admit that I might make a difference depending on your personal workflow, and what kind of Apps you need. But just to give you an impression around this ultrafast device — during my regular workflow I was editing and exporting some video footage and did not see any performance decrease. And, did I already told you that this device is fan-less? You don’t here a noise — literally no noise. It has no fans.

Wanna play some games? Sure you can!

It’s been some time since I enjoyed playing games on a Mac, not only did you always needed one of those high performer Macs with dedicated GPU, it was also a pain seeing your Mac almost die under the pressure. And, don’t get me started on the noise of the fans.

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Video Games are not a big no no anymore with that new Apple Silicon. Games suddenly play nice on that little computer with the lowest specs you can get off the shelf.

So, do yourself a favour and get one of this Apple Silicon devices as fast as possible — but be warned: some Final Cut or Logic Plugins might not yet support the new architecture.

For companies I can only repeat that recommendation: it seems that the MacBook Air M1 is the new corporate power-horse because:

It is fast, it is super light-weight, it does it’s job, it outperforms Intel MacBook Pro’s (13"), it is not as pricey as an Intel MacBook

Right know we cannot say much about reliability — that’s Something time will show us. Nor can we say much about repairability, but let’s Be honest: that have been a mess since the 2010'ers already.

Update: As I’m personally did not tested software development workflows on this new architecture I would recommend checking out this article by David Fekke:

Apple Silicon for Developers as of April 2021 | by David Fekke | Apr, 2021 | Level Up Coding (gitconnected.com)

Conclusion

When I first looked at developer support for Apple Silicon when the M1 Macs were first released, the support was really poor. As of today, the support looks much better. Some of the native tools are in a preview and are not official releases. If you are doing Android development, you may want to keep using an x86 based machine. For most other kinds of development the M1s look a lot safer than they did in November 2020.

Cited from David Fekke — Medium

Stay tuned & Cheers

// Patric

Disclaimer: This article is an opinion and was not sponsored. All statements may depend on facts but are opinions and should be perceived as such. Also, I don’t use affiliate links.

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Patric Lee Atrott

Agile Coach // It's all about ONES and ZEROS; so lean back and relax. // Cheers!