M1 MacBook Air: 500 days later

I’ve realised today that I’ve been using my base model M1 MacBook Air (8GB RAM) for just over 16 months and wanted to reflect on how it’s been as my main machine over that time.

When I picked it up I had a discount on Amazon and got the base model for £799, which when I think about is an absolute bargain and here I am all that time later and it still flies along with the tasks that I ask of it.

Durability

I don’t baby any of my devices but I am not throwing them around either. This laptop is carried around the house, been on trips and goes in my camera bag. When I look around it now I see very little sign of wear. I can see some scratches around the USB-C ports but that’s it. Even where my wrists are resting I see no marks from wearing my watch everyday and using it. The keyboard is fine too, no real wear to speak of. The screen has held up and I see no scratches.

Battery life

After this 16 months my battery is at 93% of its maximum capacity, I have no idea if this is good or not but it still gets me through several days no problem. One change I did make recently was to automatically shift it onto low power mode when on battery. I don’t see any performance difference in the way that I use my MacBook when in this mode. This is iPad like battery on a MacBook.

Performance

I wasn’t sure on the 8GB RAM on my model but in hindsight for me it was the right choice. I am not editing video or really recording my guitar these days. For photo editing and my writing it’s all been fine. The only slow down I have experienced in all of this time was when I recently tested the iPhone 14 Pro 48MP PRO RAW images and the Photos app was a little slow to respond to my edits. I mean it took a few seconds to apply an edit that I had clicked on, still not bad considering what it was doing. I also think that Photos isn’t optimised for this yet. If you are like me and using it for writing, email, listening to music, productivity and to be honest most of what most users do then don’t even think you’ll be missing out, get the 8GB RAM model with a good discount and you’l be happy.

Would I still recommend an M1 MacBook Air in 2022

Yes, it’s still the best value in computing in my opinion. The M2 MacBook Air looks amazing but in terms of performance it’s not a massive jump from this M1 for most people and you’ll save yourself £400 at the same time. Unless you are looking at creating video, music or editing big RAW photos then you don’t need to look any further than this M1 MacBook Air.

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