Anton D. Nagy contributed to this post.
The day was August 1st, 2011… Well, earlier. More like 2009. But that’s a story for another video. 2011 is my first full day on Pocketnow, and that 13-inch MacBook Pro behind me was what started it all. Apple’s New MacBook video sold me on it. You have to understand that at the time; there were no laptops with multi-touch trackpads, aluminum unibody housings, backlit keyboards, or LED backlights. This Mac was only one of few and the only one I could afford. At the time, we were already doing video, and iMovie was fine at first. The problem was when we came up with the idea of the Pocketnow Daily and decided to do multi-layered content. My first ever 3-minute project took one and a half hours to render and export. Nope, I’m not exaggerating. After hours of editing were done, renders took hours on Final Cut 7.
But see, this has been the paradigm of computing for decades. If you want more power to export a video in minutes, portability doesn’t help. You either got a powerful desktop or spent thousands of dollars on a large and heavy laptop. The maxed-out 16-inch MacBook Pro I bought back in September was $4,700, and even with 64 gigs of RAM, a powerful GPU, and fan noise like a jet engine, you make peace with some compromise in performance and battery life.
For years, I’ve dreamed of an ultra-portable laptop like my first Mac, but that could handle all my tasks, last all day on a charge, and not cost an arm and a leg. I knew Apple Silicon was coming, but it sounded too good to be true like every marketing pitch. Apple has never gotten first-generation products right. I still bought the cheapest models, just out of curiosity, cause I figured they were still not going to fulfill my dream, and well, I was wrong.
This is the M1 13-inch MacBook Pro, what Apple calls the future of the Mac, which is the minor pretentious thing they’ve ever said about a product. After two months of using it, I’m going to go as far as to say it doesn’t do this computer enough justice.
I’m not going to bore you with a review full of benchmarks and numbers. The Internet is full of that by people that are better at it than I am. I’d even say those numbers don’t explain why this chip changes everything.
So, simple example. In the past, if you wanted to edit a video smoothly, the base 13-inch MacBook Pro didn’t cut it. I mean, it could, but trust me, I tried and fried a $3,000 maxed-out Intel version 2 years ago as it was; even if you had a quad-core CPU and 32 Gigs of RAM, integrated graphics was just not enough. You were forced to go 16-inches just for the extra discrete graphics. What’s mind-boggling about the M1.
That even this MacBook Pro is overkill. I started the testing with the Air, and it turned out to be so good that a week after testing the cheapest $999 base model, it has now replaced Diego’s old $3,000 15-inch MacBook Pro to edit the Pocketnow Daily. I ended up keeping the Pro because I do videos in 4K, expecting that I’d need the fan cooling for sustained loads, and two months later, I’ve only heard it spin once during a software update.