I was lucky enough to recently get a 2021 M1 MacBook Pro, and I thought the blog would be a great place to give you some first impressions of the device. I got the base model which has a 14 inch screen, 16 GB of Memory, and 512 GB of storage, and for context I am coming from a 2018 MacBook Pro with touch-bar that was upgraded to 16GB of memory, has a 13 inch screen, and 256 GB of Storage.
The first thing you notice is the differences in look and feel, and I did not think it would start with the screen but it does. The screen size is really only a little over an inch difference from my 2018 MacBook Pro, but it feels like a ton. This laptop actually feels closer to the 16 inch in my hands then my previous 13 inch which is wild. I think part of that is the extra inch, but it’s also the reduced bezels. It really stands out in Chrome where you don’t have to scroll as far.
That look and feel also applies to the other pieces of the device. I was one who never really had issues with the previous generation of MacBook Pro's keyboard, but after typing on the 2021 for a bit, I can generally say I see the difference. The keys travel further like a general keyboard should, and the clacking that comes with the previous version is reduced. The black matte finish also hides dirt and grime just a bit better, and it feels cleaner.
While I have not gone out to present yet to take advantage of the ports, I am just thrilled that they are back. You only lost 1 USB-C port from the previous generation, but you gained an HDMI port, SD card slot, and MagSafe power adapter. I can’t even express how happy I am to have MagSafe back, and plugging directly into a projector at a conference using the HDMI port rather than a dongle will cut back a host of issues for me.
The best part about this device though in comparison to my old computer is the M1-Pro chip. It makes the computer incredibly fast, and the efficiency it provides makes the battery life unbelievable. My previous Macbook at best had 2 and ½ hours of time when I quit using it (this was after 3 and ½ years.) I have used the new one off and on all weekend and it only lowered to a 48% charge. I can’t even express how surprised I am at this.
Not only does the chip improve performance, it also lets me add iPad and iPhone apps to my device. This is such a life saver because now I don’t have to depend on a corded iOS device to demo iOs apps. It actually makes my iPad somewhat absolute with the main reason to keep it so that I have a second screen when presenting remotely. The only challenge is figuring out how to scroll in some apps.
I truly can’t say enough about this MacBook Pro upgrade. This is my 6th MacBook, and I can say without a shadow of a doubt that this is my favorite. It’s the right combination of the things I loved in the originals (like the MagSafe), and the new and innovative ones like the M1 Pro chip. They are expensive, but if you can make that work, I highly recommend them.