The new MacBooks are here, and the people I follow on line as well as others in real life are making the switch to the beefier processors and nicer screens.
To be clear, I’m a fan of beefier processors and nicer screens, but that doesn’t mean I need to own every generation of beefier and nicer. Though there are enough people who do, that it can create some hilarity.
Apple does a good job creating their products, and this new generation of MacBook ticks a lot of the boxes for many users. Here are some of the feature highlights that, I think, are just spectacular:
- Full height function keys. Yes, function keys are a feature on the MacBook because for years they had an OLED Touch Bar that was actually pretty cool except when you wanted to use it. With no haptic feedback and no way to create muscle memory, it was a neat gimmick, but ultimately uncomfortable to use in my experience.
- Nicer screens. To be fair, Apple just took the iPad Pro screen (minus the touch capabilities) and put it on a MacBook. It can change refresh rates—super helpful when video editing and for saving battery life. It also has a wide color gamut and good dynamic range.
- Beefier processors. The tech industry has known for years that ARM based processors were more power efficient and perfectly capable, but it took a company like Apple to really build out Systems On a Chip (SoC) that were designed to actually meet the workflow of users. On an intel-based machine, you get a generic CPU and generic GPU. Apple has built processors for specific workflows including, security, machine learning, and video editing—you know, stuff people actually do with their machines.
- Ports. Fewer dongles needed. HDMI is back, as well as MagSafe and an SD card reader. Those would be nice, but I already have the dongles.
So, all of those things are really nice but are they $3,500 nice when I already have a perfectly functioning machine that meets my needs?
I don’t edit videos that frequently, but I just finished editing a video with many effects and features, color grading etc., for our High School swim team, and you know what… the experience on a fanless MacBook Air was more than acceptable.
This little fanless machine has a low profile and slides easily into my bag. No fans mean no fan noise when recording podcast content or doing voice-overs for screen recordings.
The physical machine has held up well in my bag. The keyboard has gotten a lot of love and is still rocking like a champ. With 16 GB of RAM, I can comfortably run the experimental version of Windows 11 on ARM in a VM 3x faster than I could run Windows 10 on my work computer. So yeah, I’d say it’s pretty powerful.
A year later, Apple’s worst laptop is still better than most of what else is out there in the market. While the new shiny things are tempting, nothing about my current setup means that it performs less than it did before. So, I’ll skip this round of updates for now. I’m also still hopeful that in June they announce the ability to run desktop apps on the iPad Pro.