Apple Silicon Mac reviews: impressive performace and stellar battery life thanks to M1 chip

Apple has started shipping M1 MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac mini to customers and several reviewers have shared their first impressions of Apple’s latest machines. The reviews are centered around the performance boost due to the M1 chip and the excellent battery life offered by the Macs.

MacBook Pro

TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino had plenty of good things to say about the tech giant’s own chips, “the result of Apple flipping the switch to bring all of that power efficiency to the Mac, a device with 5x the raw battery to work with. And those results are spectacular.”

The Verge’s Nilay Patel raved about the performance, battery life, and display of the device. Some of the cons he highlighted were that the device only contains two USB ports, features a sub-par webcam and Touch Bar hinders functionality:

“Yes, it offers slightly better sustained performance and a little more battery life than the Air. But I would happily trade back the seconds of faster rendering time on the Pro for the hours of frustration caused by the Touch Bar. And if you have much more serious performance needs, it seems likely that you might want more than two ports, 16GB of RAM, and only one external display. So this machine is a tweener — an excellent, fascinating tweener, but a tweener nonetheless.”

MacBook Air

Tech Crunch’s Brian Heater said that “The new M1 chips are remarkably energy efficient, even when performing more resource-intensive tasks.” He went on to say that in “a video playback test, I got 16 hours of life. That’s less than the maximum 18 hours stated by Apple’s numbers, but it’s an impressive figure.”

The Verge’s Dieter Bohn gave a glowing review of the device. In his review, Bohn claimed “If you currently have a MacBook Air, I am confident this new MacBook will perform better in every way. I think it beats the pants off Intel-based ultrabooks running Windows, including its most recent chips.”

He went on to highlight the performance of the machine:

“The MacBook Air performs like a pro-level laptop. It never groans under multiple apps. (I’ve run well over a dozen at a time.) It handles intensive apps like Photoshop and even video editing apps like Adobe Premiere without complaint. It has never made me think twice about loading up another browser tab or 10 — even in Chrome.”

Engadget’s Devindra Hardawar stated that “Apple’s new MacBook Air is stunningly fast.” The summary of the review highlights all the positive aspects of the device like the polished experience due to the new M1 system-on-a-chip:

“Apple’s new MacBook Air is its most refined ultraportable yet, mostly due to the new M1 system-on-a-chip. It’s incredibly fast and completely silent, since it has no fan. It’s the first step towards unifying Apple’s hardware and software on Macs, and just like the iPhone and iPad, the result is a sleek and polished experience.”

Mac mini

The Verge’s Chris Welch pointed out several cons of the Mac mini like the “Truly awful speaker” and the fewer USB-C ports than intel models. However, he concluded his review by saying that the Mac “outperforms most Intel Macs in several benchmarks, runs apps reliably, and offers a fantastic day-to-day experience.”

“Spending a few days with the 2020 Mac mini has shown me that it’s a barnburner of a miniature desktop PC. It outperforms most Intel Macs in several benchmarks, runs apps reliably, and offers a fantastic day-to-day experience whether you’re using it for web browsing and email or for creative editing and professional work.”

PCMag’s John Burek stated that the “peppy performance, the reasonable mix of connectivity, and a new lower $699 starting price combine to make it one of the best values in compact computers, period” and that these factors earn them the website’s Editors’ Choice nod.

Some cons he highlighted in his review include the fact that memory is no longer upgradable post-purchase and that the machine includes fewer Thunderbolt ports than the previous Mac mini.

YouTubers like MKBHD, Justine, Dave Lee, and Rene Ritchie also reviews the new Macs, check out their videos below:

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