Apple's New MacBook Pro M1 First Look

I tested out the new 13-Inch MacBook Pro with the M1 processor in some real-world tasks like using iMovie, Numbers, Safari and Photoshop. Spoiler: It's fast! Check out how you get and run iOS apps and see how they look.

Comments: 14 Responses to “Apple's New MacBook Pro M1 First Look”

    Ron Shinn
    1 week ago

    Thanks for this post; am thinking of getting this new MacBook Pro. I believe you said MS Office will work with this machine (in another video), correct? Will only 64 bit apps work with this? I plan to (at least temporarily) keep a 2009 and 2014 MB Pro to be sure all my apps run on something! For instance, FileMaker Pro works on my 2009 laptop but nothing else…. I want to be able to use CrossOver to run Lotus Approach (believe it or not) on my MBP 2014 – don’t know if any of these will work.

    1 week ago

    Ron: Yes, the Office apps are some of the best-updated apps out there. You can even get them from the Mac App Store and then simply sign in with your Microsoft ID to use them (I recommend this). Microsoft has even announced M1-native versions will be coming very soon, but the Intel versions work fine right now (I have tried it). Only 64-bit apps work on Catalina and Big Sur, regardless of whether you are talking about the Intel Macs or M1.

    Diane Sands
    1 week ago

    Could you discuss issues you could anticipate when you transition from a lower resolution displays to an M1 Mac with high resolution display? I produce web based size projects with resolution 1920×1080 and have external monitors that display 1920 x 1200 resolution. I have concerns about transition to a 4K display.

    1 week ago

    Diane: What concerns do you have? A higher resolution display is a GOOD thing, why wouldn’t it be? Note that it is still seen as a 1920×1080 but with each pixel a 2×2 matrix of smaller pixels. That’s how fonts look so good and images look better too. What will really help you is that so many people are already using retina/UHD displays (both on computers and mobile) that you will see things as they do. You’ll begin to see why you need high-resolution images on websites, for instance. It used to be if you had a 300×200 spot for an image that you put a 300×200 image there. Now you put a 600×400 image there (or have both, and let CSS use the correct one for the users’ display.

    Brenda Brooks
    1 week ago

    I believe that you bought the MacBook Pro 512gb of storage and 8gb of memory. Can I have your comments on whether or not the 16gb of memory are needed. I am guessing that from your current benchmarks the answer is no. Either way I would be interested in your comments.

    1 week ago

    Brenda: It depends on your needs and budget. If this were my main computer, I would have gotten 16GB, since this is my job. You have to think about what you use your computer for (work, personal, business, fun, etc) and also what you do with it (writing, browsing articles, video editing, 3D modeling, app development, etc) and then whether the price difference is a problem based on your budget. Lots to consider. There is a reason Apple offers these options, because one size does not fit all.

    Peter Wellings
    1 week ago

    Gary you touched on RAM size but I’m curious to know how much of your 8 GB was in use during your tests. I ask because the memory options currently on offer (8 or 16 GB only) seem small, at least by classical standards. Has Apple found a way to optimize RAM usage that we haven’t heard about?

    1 week ago

    Peter: I didn’t check that, but it isn’t an accurate way to measure anything today. An app is likely to use more memory if more memory is available. The thinking today is to not leave memory just sitting around doing nothing. As got 8GB being small, I think it is fine for most people. I’ve been living with 8GB on the 2016 MacBook Pro for all these years and have not once ran into a problem. And I have used FCP, Motion, Xcode and other “heavy” apps on it. Maybe they are running a tad slower than if I had 16GB, but that’s good for most people — you don’t want to get 16GB if you only use it 1% of the time. It really comes down to money, though. If you can afford it, why wouldn’t you go to 16GB? If that hurts your budget and you don’t have a compelling reason to go to 16GB, then conversely, why would you?

    Paul Hixson
    1 week ago

    Gary could you explain why you chose to order the 13″ MacBook Pro M1 for testing rather than the 13″ MacBook Air M1? I have read other reviewers say that the performance/capabilities difference between the 2 models didn’t justify the added expense of going with the MBPro version. I’m on the fence on this myself, and that’s why I’m asking. Thanks in advance!

    1 week ago

    Paul: I chose to get the MacBook Pro over the Air because: TouchBar, fan, larger battery. Note I didn’t buy it for testing (I don’t have that sort of budget, not even close). I bought it as my new MacBook. The advantage of the Air is the size and weight, but it really sin’t that much smaller or lighter than the Pro.

    Louann Creasy
    1 week ago

    I have an old 2015 MacBook Pro and am looking to buy a new laptop. I can’t decide whether to get the current 16″ MacBook Pro with the i9 Intel processor, or hold out for a 16″ one with the M1. Nothing wrong with my current laptop, just hasn’t been updated. I do mainly personal stuff and genealogy research.

    1 week ago

    Louann: Normally, I usually recommend that people buy when they want/need and not on some rumored “new Mac” schedule. But in this case, the new processors seem like such a leap forward that you should probably wait for an M-class and not bother with Intel ones anymore if you can help it.

    Nate
    5 days ago

    Gary, what advantage do you see in them putting iPad apps on the new Macs? I have a MacBookPro and use it all day everyday and have had Macs for many years and when needed I also use Windows with Parallels so I feel like I am a flexible user but I have repeatedly tried to use my girlfriend’s iPad and can’t stand it, not even with their newest OS. To me it is like just putting an iPhone on a bigger screen. So what do you do with those iPad apps?

    5 days ago

    Nate: Depends on the app. I have a few games that now work on the new M1 Macs. No need to own or carry an iPad with if you want to play those. Some apps, like Star Walk 2 for instance, behave a lot like Mac apps (full screen, widgets, etc) so the developer can have one app and it will work on both iOS and Mac.

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