After teasing anyone who might be interested earlier this year, Apple finally went and did it: transitioned away from Intel for its computer lineup. It's a small shift, at least for now, with only three computers being offered at the start. You can choose from a 13-inch MacBook Air, a 13-inch MacBook Pro, or the set-top box, the Mac mini.
Each of the new models are equipped with the M1 processor, Apple's effort to move away from Intel and go with an ARM-based alternative. Apple already uses a custom processor in its other products like the iPhone and iPad lineup, and the M1 is similar to the A-series in that it's ridiculously powerful and efficient.
But one of the biggest benefits is the battery.
Apple wasn't shy about this point when it unveiled the two new laptops not too long ago. Apple touted the boost in battery life numbers, with the MacBook Pro getting up to 20 hours of battery life. Meanwhile, the MacBook Air isn't a slouch, coming in at a reported 18 hours of battery life.
Now, the benefits that Apple said these machines could bring caught my attention. I was absolutely not expecting to buy a new computer before the end of 2020, because I had just picked up the "new" MacBook Air at the beginning of the year (replacing a machine that absolutely was on its last legs). However, with a savory trade-in deal I went for it.
And I'm glad I did.
So far I haven't run into a single issue while using the M1-equipped MacBook Air. In fact, it's quite the opposite. The apps that I do use on it, which aren't many, are blazing fast. The whole system just runs without a single hiccup in my day-to-day use. Granted, I've had the thing for less than a week now, but the daily use improvements are already apparent -- basically right out of the box.
But it's the battery life that sold me on this thing (which I'm writing this on). It's insane, to put it bluntly. I always expect battery estimates to be a bit . . . aspirational, so I don't put a lot of stock into them. However, after actually using the new MacBook Air for a couple of work days, I'm ridiculously happy with the output.
Again, I haven't had the machine for long, but here's how it breaks down so far: I didn't pay any attention to the battery life when I picked up the machine on Tuesday night. Same thing on Wednesday. However, I made a note of taking the MacBook Air off the charger at 8:07 AM on Thursday, November 19. The battery was at 100% at that time.
After the first full day of using the computer for my daily routine, which includes screen on basically non-stop from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, a couple dozen YouTube videos, two instances of Safari running at all time, an email app, Slack, Discord, and then adding Messages and a few other random apps throughout the day, my battery was at 87% by the end of my day.
I used it for another full work day on Friday, with the same routine for the most part. And then over the course of the weekend I opened it up a few times, got some more done, watched some more videos, and then, by 11:08 AM on Monday, November 23, my battery was at 25%. It took me two hours and some change to get to 100% and now, well after 8:00 PM, my battery is at 98%.
Apple took a swing with this transition to its own custom processor, and it certainly feels like they hit a home run. But have you jumped on the bandwagon yet? If so, which Apple Silicon Mac did you get, and how are you liking the experience so far? If not, do you plan on waiting for the M2 (or whatever Apple calls it) before making the switch? Let me know!