We tried the MacBook Pro with the ARM M1 processor – a new chapter in Apple history – oTechnice.cz

The new generation of MacBook laptops are literally revolutionary. After more than 10 years, Apple is changing its strategy and Intel’s chips are starting to change for those it has developed itself. Of course, we wondered how such a drastic change came about, and in the end we couldn’t resist and tried one of them. You can read our thoughts on this in the following review.

Design – good old apple

In terms of design, it’s not a surprise or a revolution, why also look for something that works well, right? The size of the entire computer is indicated by a 13-inch screen and a light but strong metal alloy chassis that protects the interior of the computer. The colors are dominated by Cosmic Gray, which is well known to all Apple fans.

When you open the computer, the Magic Keyboard appears with a scissor mechanism. Typing is comfortable, the individual keys give the fingers a pleasant response. Above the keyboard is the familiar old touch bar, a small touchscreen that gives you quick access to frequently used functions and commands associated with the current program. At the top right is the Touch ID button with an integrated fingerprint reader, which is used to turn on the computer and confirm payments.

How it works? Just great

What we haven’t changed much has been discussed above, and now on to what the new MacBook has done.

The main attraction of the new MacBooks is clearly the Apple M1 processor, the first ARM chip from the Apple workshop designed for computers. It is the ARM architecture at this level of performance that is relatively revolutionary and brings the advantages of chips, which are known mainly from cell phones, combined with sufficient performance for everyday use. The computer is expected to provide longer battery life due to lower power consumption, faster charging, and should also heat up less.

We tested the computer in our editorial office on the basis of daily work with texts, images and videos for more than a week. During this time, we never completely turned it off, we just put it to sleep. We never noticed a delay, all we had to do was open the computer, log in using the Touch ID button and within seconds we could continue working where we left off.

As far as the battery is concerned, twenty hours of battery life is the upper limit rather than the number that could be achieved under an actual load. For example, working with Photoshop and editing photos we lasted about 12 hours, watching movies we hit about 16 hours. During a normal working week with eight hours of working time, it was enough to charge the computer once every two days.

And by dint of perseverance, we come to the main question of the new chip, namely: is its performance sufficient to meet the needs of a MacBook Pro user? The answer is quite clear: YES! We tested it while editing the video, and the computer didn’t sweat when rendering a 4K video with three tracks. On the contrary, it has not even started to cool down. Related to this, there is another important aspect (although the strong word is out of place), and it is a completely silent operation. Thanks to the low temperature rise of the chip, we were able to run the cooling fan so many times during testing that we could count it on the fingers of one hand.

Rosetta will solve it

The ARM architecture requires a different program structure than those running on x64 chips. Apple has created its own Rosetta 2 emulation system so that users can enjoy programs designed for MacBooks with Intel chips.

This program can literally translate programs in real time during the background process so that they are as understandable as possible to new hardware. This system searches for instructions specific to x64 chips, then compiles them for the capabilities of the ARM processor and saves the file. Apple says the first app launch might be a bit slower, but we haven’t noticed a significant slowdown. We also didn’t crash the app, which would indicate translation issues.

Apple’s Rosseta system elegantly bridged the gap between the two systems. So there is no reason to be afraid to buy new hardware with the fear that popular apps will have problems with it.

Nothing is bad

Despite Apple’s best efforts to develop the perfect machine, we encountered several beauty flaws in our testing. Most of the time, however, these are software bugs that Apple could improve over time, or small things that aren’t major.

In terms of hardware, it’s a bit of a shame that it isn’t possible to connect more than one external monitor to the new MacBook Pro (or use a Display Link adapter, which is relatively expensive). For most users, it will not be a problem to use a monitor on a laptop and an external one. However, the possibility of connecting a third screen could be useful for more demanding graphics work, work with sound or video.

Another (possibly temporary) issue is Apple’s broken promise that iOS operating system apps will work on the new laptop. Some actually work, but many have issues. For example, an Instagram app can only be downloaded from alternative sources. Plus, Apple probably won’t be supporting them anytime soon.

There are also issues with some apps translated by the Rosseta system mentioned above, such as Boom3D (a program for increasing and adjusting sound in a laptop), requires fresh installation and translation after every shutdown, so that ‘it does not work completely and does not work. with it is very limited. It is possible that this is a bug of the program itself, in any case, in our test, this program did not work very well.

Conclusion – Towards the future

The new MacBook Pro with the Apple M1 chip can be considered the first device of its kind. These products often do not have it easy, as they can suffer from various ailments and unfinished business. However, we did not find any significant shortcomings even after intensive testing, quite the contrary.

The new chip and the software connected to it is a step in the right direction, which promises a very interesting future for the computers in the Apple workshop. The inconveniences or errors that we have encountered are rather minor, and there is no doubt that Apple will still fix a lot of them. So definitely a helping hand for us.

Winston Ferguson

"Total travelaholic. Subtly charming zombie geek. Friend of animals everywhere. Music buff. Explorer. Tv junkie."

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