New APPLE MACBOOK AIR M1 CHIP(2020) -Review, Price, Performance, and Benchmark

macbook air m1
macbook air m1

Apple introduces the next generation of Macbook Air M1  on Nov 17, 2020, adding an Apple-designed “M1” Arm-based chip to replace the prior Intel chips. The M1 CHIP IS the first specially designed chip for Mac. The Apple M1 on a chip (SoC) device, packed with an impressive 16 16 billion transistors, combines the CPU, GPU, Neural Network, I/O, and so much more on a single small chip.

MacBook AIR M1 review: Release date and price

The MacBook AIR M1 had a release date of November 17 and starts at $1,299. That configuration gives you Apple’s powerful M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, plus 8GB of unified memory (RAM). You get 256GB of storage to start, but the $1,499 model of the MacBook Pro M1 includes 512GB of storage.

A lot of things have changed about the MacBook AIR, but the design isn’t one of them. No one is going to be able to tell if you have this new MacBook Pro powered by Apple’s own silicon or an older model with an Intel processor just by looking. Considering the bezels of the new MacBook AIR M1 in 2020, it seems to be thick. Dimension and Weight are of Height: 0.41-1.61 cm (0.16-0.63 inches), Width: 11.97 centimeters (30.41 cm), Depth: 8.36 centimeters (21.24 cm).“Thin” and “light” are still very much the qualities that define the Air.

1 Thailand 7% VAT -7%฿32,900
2 Hong Kong No tax dataHK$7,799
3 Australia10% GST -10%A$1,499
4 Singapore7% GST -5%S$1,449
5 South Korea10% VAT -10%₩1,290,000
6 Japan10% VAT -10%¥115,280
7 MalaysiaNo tax dataRM4,399
8 Taiwan5% VAT -5%NT$30,900
9United States≈10% Sales taxUS$999
10UAE5% VAT -4%4,199 د.إ
11PhilippinesNo tax data₱54,990
12Switzerland9% VAT & fees -5%CHF1,079
13Canada≈13% Sales taxC$1,299
14Luxembourg17% VAT -10%€1.091,68
15Ireland23% VAT -14%€1.129
16Spain21% VAT -13%€1.129
17Austria20% VAT -13%€1.129
18Norway25% VAT -15%11.990 NOK
19Mexico16% VAT -9%MEX$25,999
20France20% VAT -12%€1.129
21Russia20% VAT -12%99.990 ₽
22Belgium21% VAT -12%€1.129
23QatarAdded 30 Dec 4,399 ر.ق
24Germany19% VAT -11%€1.129
25Netherlands21% VAT -11%€1.129,10
26New Zealand15% GST$1,749
27Portugal23% VAT -14%€1.159
28Turkey18% VAT -5%₺10.999
29Finland24% VAT -14%€1.159
30 Italy22% VAT -13%€1.159
31Poland23% VAT -11%5 199 zł
32Czech Republic20% VAT -12%29 990 Kč
33China13% VAT¥7,999
34Denmark25% VAT -14%8.699 DKK
35United Kingdom20% VAT -12%£999
36IndiaNo tax dataUS$1,246 ₹92,900
37Hungary27% VAT -16%429 990 Ft
38Sweden25% VAT -14%12 495 SEK
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42BelarusAdded 25 Jan US$1,478 3 799 BYN
43EstoniaAdded 12 Dec US$1,636 €1.379
44BrazilNo tax dataUS$2,472 R$12.999

Display

macbook air m1
image source apple.com (no copyright infringement is intended)

The display is another aspect that didn’t change with this new release. It comes with the same retina display. The text is sharp and clear. The colors are more vibrant. It comes with a P3 wide color gamut, a wider palette of colors on display-25%more colors than sRGB.It has 400nits brightness which gives competitors. One drawback of the display is it still fails to provide a touchscreen display which makes competitors a little bonus.

MACBOOK AIR M1 Processor

macbook air m1
image source apple.com (no copyright infringement is intended)

Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance. It’s an 8-core processor based on the Arm architecture, built on a 5-nanometer process. The memory, 8-core GPU, and a 16-core neural engine are also built into the SoC. Four of the processor cores are efficient, while the other four are built to gain reliability and manage less power-hungry tasks. To this casual laptop user, the M1 feels pretty dang amazing. Apple states that MacBook Air’s M1 is tension-limited to fit within the thermal envelope of the fanless design. Teardown of iFixit reveals in detail that a completely passive Air M1 cooling set up with a single heat transfer plate in the center between the M1 CPU and the body of aluminum. I wanted to produce efficiency comparable to the M1-powered Mac Mini, but maybe less than that. I got that more or less. However, the Air’s M1 has decent core efficiency for at least a few hard minutes before it hits back. In contrast, I found that the following export runs of Final Cut Pro will slow down dramatically—the first export is about 1 minute and a 19-second one, so when I replay the export immediately, it will take a little less than two and a half minutes—and the air will feel pretty warm. Since the cover was closed to the coolness of the air and the exportation repeated, it was again 1:20.

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M1-BASED MAC BENCHMARKS

Cinebench R23 Multi6803
Cinebench R23 Single1494
Cinebench R23 Multi looped for 30 minutes5369
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Multi7510
Geekbench 5.3 CPU Single1730
Geekbench 5.3 OpenCL/ Compute18357

Storage

Apple claims that that the SSD is now 2x faster than the previous SSD. The base variant comes with a 256 GB SSD of storage. I got options of 256gb,512gbgb, and does up to 2TB of storage. It comes with 8GB unified memory and Configurable to:16GB of ram. My experience says that storage is a drawback considering the price.

Keyboard

macbook air m1
image source apple.com (no copyright infringement is intended)

The Butterfly was made extinct by Sorcery and the world of MacBooks became richer for it. The Magic Keyboard is easy to type on the MacBook Air. The keys are clicky, albeit shallow, and need just the right amount of force to actuate. Even for someone with bigger hands, the keys are a decent size, and the proper spacing meant there was no learning curve to get started. From the moment I booted the laptop, I was tapping out sentences. I like the keyboard style as well. The inverted-T arrow keys are isolated from the remaining numbers and characters, making it easier to recognise them through feeling. Any of the feature keys on this new iteration were also switched out by Apple. Gone are the brightness of the keyboard backlighting (backlighting can be changed in the Control Center through a slider) and Launchpad keys, and there are Dictation (voice-to-text dictation) keys in their place, Do not interrupt (turns off notifications), and Spotlight (system-wide desktop search).On the 10fastfingers.com typing test, I typed 113 words per minute with 96 percent accuracy, which is quicker and more precise than my normal 109-wpm and 5 percent error rate.

The trackpad of 4.7 x 3.2 inches is huge, taking up a large portion of the deck under the keyboard. To perform such macOS motions, you can comfortably fit four fingers on the board, such as flipping between full-screen applications (four-finger swipes left or right) or opening up the “Mission Control” interface with a four-finger swipe.

As planned, the touchpad did a great job of performing these gestures; to pull them off, I never needed a recovery. Finally, Force Touch is back, and while I’ve never been a fan of how it looks, I love the additional features it provides.

Ports

macbook air m1
image source apple.com (no copyright infringement is intended)

Bring your dongles because the current MacBook Air shares only the same few ports as the previous one. There are two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C connectivity inputs on the left side. I wish they were split between either side of the laptop so that you could charge from either end, mostly because the power cord is very small. A single headphone jack is on the right side of the laptop. Thunderbolt 4 is supported by the new PCs; this may sound like a drawback for the Air, but most users would not note the disparity between the two standards. Curious how, despite the standard being an Intel technology, the MacBook Air supports Thunderbolt 3? It goes back to more than a decade ago, when Intel and Apple partnered together to manufacture Thunderbolt. 

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Battery Life

macbook air m1
image source apple.com (no copyright infringement is intended)

you can leave the charger at home.

one day I used the M1 MacBook Air for the entire day, loading with Slack, e-mail, zoom, message, and site navigation around 11 hours of on-the-clock time, and the Air still stayed 40% on the battery meter when it was finished on the day. It is much longer than my old 2015 MBA, which throws a towel for an hour and a half. (In comparison to the official battery measure, the adjustable brightness and Night Change were used for my inofficial working day test, and there was plenty of idlers.)If the battery life enhancements were the only significant changes to the M1 chip, it will still be worthwhile.

OUR VERDICT

For Apple’s laptops and desktops, the Apple M1 SoC may be a first-gen model, but it is very clear that this is the end result of years of perfecting the A-series SoC for its phones and tablets. Intel’s CPUs were not terribly impressive in recent times with only small year-by-year efficiency changes. In an aspect, the Air of MacBook (and the residual portfolio of Apple) is kept.

I wouldn’t advocate that you automatically dive your existing IT-based MacBook for that, especially if you haven’t yet streamlined the apps you use for M1. I will advise making sure that the important apps you use on a daily basis have no known bugs, while most applications should run perfectly on Rosetta 2. Recall, also, that it is just the first round of Apple-based silicon chips. For the unavoidable upgrades (or substitutions) for the 16-inches MacBook Pro, iMac, iMac Pro, and Mac Pro we should expect more powerful Apple SoCs.

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