Between buying the entry-level MacBook Air 2020 M1 and the new 14-inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro, I decided to go for the latter. Here is my review of this computer from the perspective of a heavy but non-professional user.
First impressions of the 2021 MacBook Pro design
At first glance, I wasn’t a huge fan of the MacBook Pro. I also found the whole black keyboard strange when I saw it in the store. Plus, I really used to love the Touch Bar (for the wrong reasons – it’s very convenient to send emojis though). But as the days go by, I excel at this new design.
Going from 16 inches to 14 inches isn’t a big deal. The screen is big enough to have two Safari windows open side by side and work. Not only that, but weight was very important in my decision, and the 14-inch was much lighter than my previous Intel Mac.
I find the keyboard and trackpad to be very reliable, Touch ID always works well, and I’m really into this miniLED display with ProMotion. It is very easy to switch between this iPhone 13 Pro and this Mac.
Last but not least, the reason I don’t write from my Intel Mac anymore is because I tripped over the charger and completely destroyed the computer. With the new MacBook Pro, it’s adding a MagSafe connector again, and wow, I didn’t realize how much I’d missed this feature that was available on the 2010 MacBook Pro.
Is M1 Pro for Beginners Enough for Me?
As I told you at the beginning of the article, I was between the MacBook Air and the MacBook Pro. The difference is big: the MacBook Air comes with 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD, while the M1 Pro Mac comes with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
If Apple had already introduced the rumored new MacBook Air, I would probably have chosen that instead, but between those two current models, I decided it was worth spending the extra $1,000 to get the latest and greatest tech with the new MacBook Pro.
I am not a professional user, but I am a heavy user. This is why I recommend checking out Jeff Benjamin on the MacBook Pro 2021 (if you want to talk about the specs). Here, I want to give you the perspective of someone who writes all day, occasionally edits photos with Pixelmator Pro, and also needs to have iMessage, Mail, Slack, and WhatsApp open all the time.
For these tasks, you don’t have to say that everything works like a breeze for this powerful computer. Not only that, but it’s also very silent, doesn’t get hot (at least with these tasks), and opens everything up in the blink of an eye.
It’s important to say I’m sure I’ll be able to do the same with the M1 MacBook Air, but I’ll probably upgrade it with twice the RAM and storage to feel more secure with it over the years. However, these were the reasons why I should not use the Air version:
- old design
- lack of a MagSafe connector;
- Awesome webcam
- The screen looked very small.
Final question: Does the MacBook Pro have an all-day battery?
While the first batch of M1 MacBooks were praised for their lasting battery life, I was concerned that the Pro chip would draw more power and I’d need to keep charging my Mac more than once during the day.
To my relief, the entry-level MacBook Pro 2021 holds up very well when I use it for the tasks I mentioned above. However, it could easily last handle 10 hours of non-stop use, but I think it could be extended a bit more to 12 hours.
Again, having MagSafe and USB-C options to charge this device is a convenient experience as well.
Conclusion and Final Considerations
There’s a lot I haven’t mentioned in this mini MacBook Pro 2021 entry-level review. The reason is simple: we have already reviewed this device. If you want an in-depth look, you can find it here.
For this piece, what I’m trying to answer is whether this MacBook Pro is a good deal for a heavy user (but not a professional). I tell him, yes, definitely. The miniLED display with ProMotion is great. You honestly don’t even care about the notch — just like when Apple introduced the iPhone X. Having more ports is nice, although having a MagSafe connector is important. The keyboard, trackpad, and Touch ID are more reliable than ever. Last but not least, the battery life is great, and it works really well for me since this was another feature I really needed.
Will I change my mind when Apple releases a new MacBook Air? Can. But since we can’t predict when or exactly what this MacBook Air will deliver, I can say that for now, if you need a device and want it to last for years to come, the entry-level MacBook M1 Pro is more than enough.
Tweak it if you need more power or storage, but with so much reliance on iCloud and using only essential apps, I don’t understand why I need more RAM or storage right now — or in years to come.
You can find the 2021 M1 Pro MacBook Pro here at the Apple Amazon Store.
Do you have this computer or plan to get it? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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