After two weeks of using Apple silicon-powered Macs – I can unequivocally say that the future of computing is powerful and small, with all-day battery. This is the future I have been waiting for and I am stoked that it is now.
This week's letter is going to be short and to the point, as I have been working on a project and juggling work for the past few weeks. No, this has not been the documentary series, though I have interviewed some more amazing participants that I cannot wait to show you. I will share what it is as soon as I can though.
I am planning to get the last 1-2 interviews done for the doc series within the next few weeks, then go into editing hibernation.
Back to Apple Silicon!
I purchased a 13" MacBook Pro with M1 a few weeks ago. I picked up the model with 16gb of RAM and 1TB SSD. Right off the bat – damn it is snappy. Day-to-day processes and my day job workload is blazing fast. If it is optimized for Apple silicon or not, everything feels exponentially quicker.
For reference, I came from a 2016 15". It was a good machine, but the video editing experience has been dramatically declining recently. Additionally, the battery and heat output were becoming a major issue for me. Yes, I know – first world problems, but important to me.
My experience with my creative apps has been amazing too! I have played in FCPX a bit, mainly as a benchmark, and damn, it chewed through tough footage with ease. I mainly work in Adobe tools and they do great. Not FCPX great, but drastically faster than my 2016 15". Apps that are emulated do need a few seconds to get going from a cold launch, but then they are faster than my previous Intel machines. Once Adobe updates their apps for Apple Silicon, there will be no reason not to use an Apple machine for your creative workstation.
The biggest overarching theme for me since using this machine is the quality of life improvements. I am able to work on it for hours without worrying about the battery. That could be something simple like writing, email, file management, web browsing, and other content consumption. But that also reflects while working in creation tools. I can literally be in Figma for 8 hours – no problem. I worked in After Effects this weekend for about 3 hours, off the charger, mainly in bed, and it dropped 25%. I was even bouncing back and forth with Figma.
My second quality of life thing is heat. My god – this is noticeable for me! I run hot, like very hot. Keeping a MacBook on my lap used to get me sweating. I am not kidding, like really sweating. This machine has never made me uncomfortable. Even when editing for hours, I stay very comfortable. This might not be a problem for everyone, but I know others can relate and will love this!
Some might ask why I didn’t wait for a second-gen or the 14”. Honestly, I didn’t see a reason to. I needed something now. I spend 8-10 hours a day on a computer. Most days this is in relation to my day job as a product manager. Yes, I have a work machine, but I don’t use it. I find it easier to use my personal one. It allows me to hop into personal stuff throughout the day as needed. If they come out with new iMacs or even faster desktops, I might pick one up. I don’t foresee this being my only computer, though it could be if things are as fast as they can be once optimized for Apple silicon.
I have not had any issues with bluetooth, as some others have, though I am coming from my previous 15” which had issues with this. So I might just be used to that. I am fine with the “older” hardware. The keyboard is amazing! Having an escape key again is a huge change. I do plan on getting a better monitor in the coming months. I am hoping for either a newer LG Ultrafine 5K or a cheaper Apple monitor. For now, I will continue with my crappy Dell.
Lastly, I sold my 15” back to Apple. I mention this because I think it is important how you sell/ dispose of your old machines. Yes, I received a lot less money, but I know it was done responsibly. They will likely sell it, but might also part it for essential components. I’d much rather give it to them than make some extra money on some marketplace, not knowing how it will be treated and affect our planet.
I love this computer so much that my wife was intrigued enough to buy a MacBook Air! She is coming from a 2015 15” MacBook Pro. She’s only had hers for 5 days, but loves it so far, and has not needed to charge it once.
If you need a machine now or soon, you will be very happy with any of Apple’s new Apple silicon Macs– they are what computing should be.