Should you get a M1-powered device for development? [MacBook Air M1 Review]

Should you get a M1-powered device for development? [MacBook Air M1 Review]

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

The short answer is yes, the longer answer is it depends on what you develop.

I’ve been using the MacBook Air M1 with 16gbs RAM, 8-GPU cores and 512GB storage and I can say: This machine is a beast! It can easily bite through the toughest loads without stuttering. The best part of it is that it stays relatively cool and doesn’t have fans so it is also completely silent.

For development, it’s a great experience. Since almost everything has been compiled for ARM it’s just like on your old laptop/machine. That’s really it for development, it all just works.

What do I like about the device?

  • I’ve been enjoying the display on it as well, it’s a really nice display with vibrant colours and it can get really bright.
  • The battery life is insane! It can easily run 10-12 hours and even longer if you do things on it that are less intensive such as messaging on Telegram.
  • The keyboard is amazing, it’s a lot better than those butterfly switch keyboards that broke easily.
  • The IO is enough. I saw people complain about the 2 USB 4 ports but for me it’s fine. I bought an Anker hub and it works smooth. I also like the idea of having hubs for when you need more ports as the device can stay really slim without all those useless ports that you rarely use anyways. Just put a hub in your backpack and you are ready to go.
  • It can run Intel apps through Rosetta 2 without noticing. For the applications I’ve tested, I literally cannot see/feel a difference. It feels native.
  • The speakers are top notch. Music sounds really good on it!

What I don’t like about the device?

  • The fact that you cannot dual boot it with Windows. They removed the Bootcamp stuff on this Mac. Of course, you can use parallels and run Windows ARM that way or Linux but it’s still a bad thing in my opinion.
  • It feels fragile. With my old laptops, which I’ve dropped quite some times, I never had the feeling that if I accidentally dropped it the screen would break but with this device it feels really fragile. Outside of that, the build quality is great.

For who is the M1 made?

  • People who develop software and websites.
  • People who edit photos.
  • People who design.
  • People who edit videos, it’s a really smooth experience.
  • People who just want a laptop that’s fast and silent with great battery life.
  • Literally everyone to be honest.

For who isn’t the M1 made?

As of now, Tensorflow doesn’t work on M1 (at least, there isn’t a stable release for it yet). As far as I can see, they are working on a release for it so maybe before you buy it you should look into if it’s available already.

Should I go for the MacBook Pro M1?

If you like the Touch Bar, yes, but outside of that I personally wouldn’t recommend it. A friend of mine has the Pro and he told me that the fan barely turns on so it’s just a waste of money. If you REALLY need the ports, sure, go for it, but outside of that, nope. You’re better of upgrading the Air.

Should I get AppleCare+?

Yes! It’s not that expensive if you keep in the back of your head that it’s gonna cover the device for 3 years. Repairs on Apple product are expensive already, why not make it cheaper?

That’s it!

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