M1 MacBook Air in 2023, Should You Buy It ? This long term review will cover the 5 key aspects based on my experience. Without further ado, Let’s find out, why the MacBook Air M1 remains a top pick in 2023 amongst others.
Design & macOS
The M1 MacBook Air offers a sleek and portable design, making it an ideal choice for users who are always on the go. The laptop features a lightweight and durable aluminum casing that is easy to carry. The MacBook Air M1 also offers a high-resolution Retina display that provides sharp and colorful visuals.
It also offers a range of connectivity options, including a headphone jack & two Thunderbolt 3 ports. You may also need to buy a USB hub to extend the capabilities of IO Support.
The MacBook Air M1 offers an exceptional user experience with its smooth and optimized macOS operating system. For those transitioning from an Intel-based Mac, the difference in performance will be remarkable. Launching apps is lightning-fast and opening any app is a matter of seconds.
Software Updates & App Compatibility
Apple Silicon Macs have a significant advantage over Intel Macs in terms of software support and security updates. The architecture of the M1 chip is engineered for longevity, allowing Apple to extend macOS updates for up to 5 years. It’s important to keep in mind that not all apps will run natively on Apple Silicon Macs, as developers are still working to create universal binaries optimized for both Intel and Apple Silicon.
If you run an Intel app on an Apple Silicon Mac, you may experience some performance degradation. But, thanks to the Rosetta 2 system software, Intel instructions can be translated to run on the Apple Silicon platform, delivering even better performance than an Intel Mac running Intel code.
Overall, the effort put into creating the Rosetta 2 software further emphasizes Apple’s commitment to providing a seamless and efficient computing experience with its Apple Silicon Macs
If you are coming from windows 11 background you need to know that boot camp is no longer available for apple silicon Mac. This means you cannot run Windows 11 or Windows 10 in a bare metal environment. The reason for this is Microsoft’s exclusive deal with Qualcomm. But don’t worry, you can still use Windows 11 by relying on virtual machines.
Software like UTM, VMWARE Fusion, and Parallels allow you to run Windows 11 arm64 inside a virtual machine. Keep in mind, Windows 11 is not officially supported by Apple Silicon, but you can still activate it with a license key. Just remember, it’s not recommended to buy a license key specifically for running Windows 11 on your MacBook Air M1. These virtual machine software also give you the ability to run Linux distro’s like Ubuntu, Fedora, and Kali Linux at near-native speeds. Check out my video series in the description to learn how to install Windows 11 and Linux on your MacBook Air M1 chip.
I also tried Arch Linux Aka Asahi Linux on Bare Metal, the performance was excellent.
The M1 Macbook Air offers high performance. This chip features 4 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, making it one of the fastest chips on the market and a competitor to the 12th Gen Intel EVO series. When I tested it with applications such as Android Studio, Xcode, and Visual Studio, the experience was exceptional, with no problems encountered while working with demanding programs.
The M1 chip also comes with a 7-core GPU, which delivers a next-level graphical experience. Apps such as Final Cut Pro X, Adobe Premier Pro, and Davinci Resolve can take advantage of the powerful GPU, allowing for smooth and efficient video editing. With Final Cut Pro X, you can edit 4K video at 30 FPS with ease. I recommend considering the 16GB Ram variant.
In terms of gaming, I tried playing games through Steam, but most games are not natively available on apple silicon. You’ll have to rely on Rosetta 2 to play Steam games, but the performance was impressive, as seen when I played Tomb Raider.
One thing to note here, the M1 MacBook Air doesn’t come with a CPU fan installed, and won’t offer a sustained performance. If you are not pushing the MacBook Air beyond the limit, it could provide an incredible battery life. My day-to-day task involves browsing, listening to songs, editing documents, and video editing and I get around 5+ hours of screen on time with a full charge.
If you are running any games or an app that relies on rosetta 2, you may notice a heat at the bottom which results in the battery draining. If you are a normal user that involves basic tasks like browsing and watching the video, you would get around 7+ hours of usage with a single charge.
Overall, I would say, YES you can it In 2023 without any hesitation. It’s still a fantastic laptop that has apple silicon inside and won’t disappoint you at any cost. To save some money, consider buying a pre-owned MacBook Air M1 or check out online retailers such as Amazon.
Keep in mind that the M2 MacBook Air is currently available at a high price and has slower SSD speeds compared to the M1 model. So, if you want to experience the best in class computing for a better price, the MacBook Air M1 is the way to go.