The reviews of the new MacBook Pro laptops have started to com in now, and all looks good. More than good. They look really impressive. However my final thoughts I had on my last blog on the subject are very much valid – do you need it.
While I have been singing the praises of the M1 MacBook Air, and how good it is, if I were buying today I’d look at the 14″ MacBook Pro instead, the entry level one with 16GB RAM. If you compare that with the price of the Air with the same config (16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) there’s only around £400 difference in price, but the MacBook Pro has more ports, much better performance (roughly 2 x CPU and 3 x GPU) and as photographers it has a much better screen with really deep blacks and better around colours. The screen alone is probably worth the price difference to us. The reviewers (YouTube, etc) have all been impressed with the entry-level machine and these are easily out-performing the top of the range 16″ model from the last generation. So you don’t need to go mad with the spec.
For most of us the entry-level 14″ MacBook Pro with 16GB RAM is more than enough, it’s just a question of how much storage do you need. Where the upgrades become more interesting is if you need 32GB of RAM. It is £400 to add 32GB ram to the base model, which is an 8-core CPU and a14-core GPU. However for £500 you get the M1 Max, which gives you the 32GB RAM, but also includes 10 CPU cores, 24 GPU cores, an extra video encoder engine over the M1 Pro and it also doubles the memory and GPU bandwidth making it much faster for graphics tasks. So if you need 32GB RAM it’s worth spending the extra £100 on the M1 Max and getting a much faster machine.
Overall all of the reviews are very positive and Apple have delivered what has been promised. Now what the real-world performance is of the new MacBook Pro’s it is difficult to justify the MacBook Air unless you are going for the base spec, and there is absolutely no point going for the 13″ MacBook Pro as it is only £200 cheaper than the entry-level 14″ model. I can see the 13″ Pro been discontinued and there are already rumours of a redesigned Air for early next year. It is rumoured to come in different colours and be much lighter, both of which will differentiate it from the Pro models.Published in