What’s it like to use the entry level M1 MacBook Air?

I’ve been using the entry level MacBook Air now for almost 2 weeks and wanted to share what it’s like to use day to day.

The entry level comes with the new M1 chip, 8GB of ram and 256GB of storage. For some comparison previous to this machine I had some time (2 weeks) with a 16GB M1 MacBook Pro and previous to that an 8GB 12” MacBook from 2016.

I use my MacBook Air for web browsing, mail, productivity, blogging, Logic Pro, Xcode (I’m looking at learning Swift), listening to music, editing photos and well it’s my main machine. But I’m not a video producer so no heavy use in terms of this.

When I compare it to the 2016 MacBook, well there is no comparison. This Air absolutely flies and I haven’t seen it beachball or slow down in anything I’m doing.

Compared to the 16GB MacBook Pro I’m also not seeing any slowdown in what I’m doing, which was unexpected but welcome. Side by side I don’t think I’d see a difference between the two machine in what I’m doing.

The Air excels at everything I’ve thrown at it. The heaviest being running Logic Pro and recording some guitar. I experienced no stutter in app and export was quick. The M1 will handle what you throw at it and the 8GB isn’t a limiting factor.

Storage is fine at 256GB for most people. Most of what we do is in the cloud and external storage is cheap if you do want to keep photos local.

So the memory and hard drive are fine for most users, I’d say only go 16GB if you’re going to be doing video editing.

In terms of other hardware in day to day. Well the battery is mega and I can go 3 days between charges with my use of maybe 3-5 hours a day on it. The screen is bright and crisp. The function row is better (for me) than a Touch Bar and the keyboard and trackpad are excellent.

I have no trouble recommending the entry level 2020 M1 MacBook Air to about 80% of the potential user base. At £899 when I picked one up it’s one of the best value deals in computing right now.