Apple’s November 10th Mac Event JUST FINISHED and let me tell you guys.. I am BLOWN away by the numbers Apple showed us, and I’m extremely excited because we’ve already ordered all three of the new Apple Silicon Macs. The MacBook Air, the MacBook Pro and the Mac Min
Most of you guys out there are probably only going to order one of these new Macs, and with them being available to order TODAY, it’s a really tough choice to make, but if you read this review to the very end, I’m confident that you’ll make up your mind, so before we get into the buyer’s guide portion of this review, let’s talk about the 8 mistakes you should avoid when ordering your new Apple Silicon Mac.
For avoiding mistake #1, Be sure to buy the amount of memory that you think you’ll need right out of the gate because it is no longer user-replaceable on the Mac Mini like it used to be, just like on the MacBooks. So if you think you’ll be doing productivity work, you should probably go for 16GB of memory for another $200.
For Mistake #2, don’t think you have to pay a huge premium for Apple’s storage upgrades. Since all of these Macs come with Thunderbolt 4 ports, you can buy super-fast external SSDs like the 2TB Sabrent XTRM-Q, which is our favorite one ever, for only $360 compared to $800 to Apple’s 2TB storage upgrade. It makes it very convenient since it’s portable, so you can transfer data between Macs, and even Windows PCs, since it also supports USB 3.2 instead of just Thunderbolt.
However, be very cautious because you could actually make Mistake #3 if you’re not careful. All of these new Apple Silicon Macs only have two Thunderbolt ports, even the Mac mini which used to come with four of them. And the best external SSDs use one of those ports, and on top of that, the new Mac Mini no longer has the option of upgrading to a 10 gigabit Ethernet port, so you’ll have to use an adapter if you want that, which takes up another one of those Thunderbolt ports. And same thing for those who want to connect to a Thunderbolt display, so if you know you might be using those two ports, it’ll be a good idea to actually pay for internal storage.
For Mistake #4, if you’re thinking of playing games or doing productivity work on your new Apple Silicon Mac, it may be a bad idea to go for the MacBook Air because it comes with a completely fanless design. Because of that, longer workflows that use the graphics like playing high-end games like Genshin Impact could cause it to gradually heat up over time, and there’s a chance it could throttle performance since we don’t know how good the thermal performance is just yet, but we’ll definitely be testing it! In those cases, it’ll definitely be a good idea to go for the MacBook Pro or the Mac mini, which both come with a fan.
However, avoid mistake #5 because if you’re mainly gonna be browsing the web and using common apps, the MacBook Air is the best choice because it will be completely silent all the time, and those common tasks won’t cause it to heat up that much. So a lot of the iPhone and iPad apps that we can now FINALLY run on any of the new Apple Silicon Macs should run nice and cool on the MacBook Air. Even things like photo editing or other workflows that require short bursts of power should be fine with a fanless design. And if you’re using skype or Zoom for work, the Air is the best choice since it’s gonna be completely silent.
That actually brings us into Mistake #6. Don’t think you have to buy the MacBook Pro if you want the best performance. You can actually get the same exact M1 chip on the Air and the less expensive Mac Mini. And if your work happens in short bursts, you shouldn’t see any throttling due to heat. On top of that, the Air now has the same color accuracy as the Pro, finally getting P3 wide color gamut support, so it’s perfect for photo editing.
Now Mistake #7 is one you probably aren’t expecting, if you want the best battery life in a MacBook, the Air is no longer the one to buy. In previous years, the Air used to have 2 hours more battery life compared to the Pro, but now, it’s actually flipped. Because the Pro has a larger battery and the same chip, it now gets up to 17 hours of web browsing, that’s 2 hours more battery life compared to the Air! And that’s actually a massive 7 hours more than the previous 2020 Intel MacBook Pro, which is absolutely incredible!
And finally, for mistake #8, while the new Mac Mini looks like an excellent deal at just $700, keep in mind that it doesn’t come with a display or a mouse, or a keyboard. And by the time you buy all of those things, especially a decent color accurate display, you could end up over the $1000 price of the MacBook Air, so keep that in mind.
So with all of those mistakes out of the way, let’s get into exactly who should be buying each of these new Apple Silicon Macs. If you want the absolute cheapest Mac out there, the Mac Mini is the one to buy, and the new Apple Silicon chip is going to make it perform incredibly well compared to other desktop PCs. This Mac mini is perfect for those who already have a mouse, a keyboard and a display on-hand, so it ends up being a much less expensive option.
This is great for photo editors who may already have a nice and expensive color accurate display, and maybe even an HDR display, which you don’t get with the MacBooks. So this will make it a killer Mac for video editing as well, since you have the fan to keep it cool and the M1 chip gives you so much graphics performance.
But on the flip side, it’s a great choice for the regular joe who just wants a reliable computer, and at $700, it’s probably the best choice you can make if you want to replace an old Windows desktop computer that’s starting to slow down due to virus issues and other things like that. The Mac Mini won’t have these issues, especially now that the M1 chip gives you even better security and reliability. And you get the added bonus of up-to-date specs like Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and of course, all of these new Macs have the ability to run iPhone and iPad apps which is going to be incredible.
Of course, not everyone wants a desktop computer, so let’s get into the new MacBooks which you can take on the go, starting with the new Air.
At a starting price of $999, it’s going to be extremely popular since this is going to be the most reliable MacBook Air Apple has ever created. The combination of the pricetag, the reliability, the quick and snappy performance of the M1 chip and the completely fanless design makes it the best choice for people working from home.
That includes everything from web browsing, streaming video, being on Zoom calls with absolutely no fan noise, using document apps like Word, excel, and business apps as well. The Air is perfect for all of those things, and it’ll satisfy the needs of those who like to occasionally use performance apps like some video and photo editing. And it’s actually the absolute best choice for students as well, since you can get it for only $899 and it’s by far the most portable MacBook that Apple has to offer, giving students everything they need for their work, and they can play some casual iPhone and iPad games if they’d like to as well.
The MacBook Pro is for those who want long-standing performance on the go. The base $1299 model comes with the 8-core graphics right out of the gate, unlike the Air, so it’s the best choice for those needing graphics performance. This makes it perfect for things like video editing since the fan will keep it cool when editing 8K ProRes video like Apple showed off during the event. And for high-end users like that, I would definitely recommend going for 16GB of RAM.
The built-in fan also makes the MacBook Pro the best choice for gamers, since you know that it’ll stay cool during extended gaming sessions, especially for higher-end competitive games like Call of Duty mobile which you should be able to play using a controller, or even games like Genshin Impact, or anything coming in the future like League of Legends: Wild Rift.
The Pro also gets some extra bonuses, like the built-in Touch Bar, a larger trackpad, a brighter 500nit display compared to 400 on the Air, studio-quality microphones, better speakers with high dynamic range, a larger 61W power brick compared to 30 on the Air, and of course, an extra 2 hours of battery life. And for a lot of people, those things are definitely worth the extra $300 compared to the Air.