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M1 Max MacBook Pro – welcome back

I nearly forgot about it over the past 2 or 3 weeks, but the MacBook Pro is back!

M1 Max MacBook Pro
image courtesy of author

This reviewing lark is odd

Back in March, I took the decision to sell my firstborn and the odd organ, and buy the all new, MacBook Pro.

Trust me, it was not a snap decision. I had laboured over the choices for months ahead of the purchase. Finally, it came down to making a choice between the M1 Max MacBook Pro and the Mac Ultra Studio. Either would be paired with the Apple Studio Display, but what would be at the heart of my set-up, the MacBook, or Mac Studio?

Around the same time that I was looking to buy the Mac, I had just signed on the dotted line for a new studio space, not too far away from where I live. This, of course, meant that I would be splitting up my creative workflow between the two locations, which ended making me chose the MacBook Pro over the Mac Studio.

It’s almost portable

I won’t be moving to all that often, but at least it can be moved.

Recently, I have written that the MacBook Pro is an office MacBook that can be moved. By that, I simply mean, if you view it that way from the onset, that you’ll basically be leaving it one place, you’ll be off on the right foot.

Yeah, technically, it is a laptop, but trust me, it is not one you’d want to be carting around with you, day after day. It’s a hefty bit of kit, and certainly didn’t get the memo about the summer diet.

But it is totally fit for purpose. Whichever way I configured this MacBook, it was gonna be expensive. At that point, my view was, to tick plenty of the option boxes. The last big outlay I made on a Mac, was in 2015 for a 5K 27-inch iMac. It’s served me ever so well, and now is the ‘audio’ station Mac at my new studio space I mentioned.

Spending as much money as I was about to, I decided I would rather not make a small saving now, only to spend the next 5 or 6 years regretting it. So, this MacBook has it all;

  • 16-inch M1 Max
  • 10-Core CPU, 32-Core GPU
  • 32GB Unified Memory
  • 4TB of storage

If that tidy little lot does not see me through, then heavens only knows what I will be creating at that point! For my current daily workflow, this MacBook has so much headroom, it’s almost ludicrous. The MacBook sort of sits there, taunting me, asking me to make it work harder.

Breaking sweat

So much grunt, has this M1 Max MacBook Pro, that the only time I ever get close to pushing it, is with video rendering & editing. But even then, my needs are reasonably basic. I only shoot 4K, not 8K. Yes, it is multi-cam with B-roll etc, and a few graphics, but the MacBook always gobbles up what I ask of it.

Moving from Intel to Apple Silicon, was a defining moment. I had never owned a Mac with Apple Silicon, and all the differences you hear about it are vindicated.

Quick, quiet, efficient and productive, Apple Silicon was one of those once-in-a-generation, quantum changes. It is by far the best Mac I have owned. This week I have reintroduced it to my workflow, and I’ve been reminded of just how good it is. But my new M2 toy certainly gave it a run for tits money…

Welcome to your new home – the M2 MacBook Air

In a first for me, I jumped in to the day 1 review unit game.

Seven days after ordering it, the M2 MacBook Air arrived, and from that first Friday, it has never been far from me.

The trouble is, I started to write about it. And make videos about it. Obviously, for me, that was the whole idea. It was not a MacBook not only for personal use, but to use and write about.

Being 100% honest with you, originally, I had intended to ‘use-review-return’, that well trodden, old YouTuber nugget. I’d say likely as high as 50% or 60% of the Macs you see on review day, are returned to Apple. To this day, they have a no-quibbles, 14-day returns policy, and trust me, it is well-used. But, from the moment I started to use it, I knew this MacBook was going to be a ‘keeper’.

The more I wrote or reviewed it, the more comments I received, which consequently, meant I ended up using it more than my M1 Max MacBook Pro. I know it may sound absurd, but it’s almost a case of a bird in the hand. If it is there with me, and I am in the middle of a project, why would I move all the assets to another Mac? Makes no sense.

And all that has led me to the point I was trying to make in this article.

It may be lightweight, but it’s far from a lightweight!

The M2 MacBook Air has attracted some heat since release, which, I think, is unfair, and I have not been afraid to say so.

Are there things it can’t do? Sure, of course there are, but everything it was designed to do, it handles with grace and ease.

The reason I have barely touched my M1 Max MacBook Pro since the M2 arrived, is because, it is a solid allrounder. It’s so, very, good! Really good!

Notwithstanding the weight, I would rather not be moving the MacBook Pro around; at over £3500 in the config I have, I want to avoid dings, scratches, and marks. I also don’t want to run the risk of damage or theft.

I learned the hard way, that even when a Mac is well out of sight, in the boot of a car, somehow the ‘crims’ know it’s there. I had a 15-inch Intel MacBook Pro stolen about three years back, and it is not something that will never happen again.

The answer is yes!

I have been asked all sorts of questions as to what the limits are on the M2 MacBook Air, and what it is capable of.

Comments like this, are far from unusual…

Sadly, some negative reviews, could easily put off folks from buying this M2 MacBook Air, for whom it would be perfectly suited. And that is a shame.

The fact I have been able to use this M2 MacBook daily for the last month, should tell you everything you need to know.

Whilst not for a moment claiming that I am some super, high-end user, I have edited a few podcasts on it. Also, I have edited numerous videos and worked in both Photoshop and In Design on it, so that shows you the workhorse you’ll have beneath your wings, when buying the M2 MacBook Air.

One word of caution

Don’t go for the very basic 256GB version of the new MacBook Air. That is nothing to do with bad test results, just logical, common sense. In 2022, it is a crime that Apple still sell a base 256GB version.

Have any number of tabs open on a browser, be that Firefox, the thirsty, but popular Chrome, or the native Safari, and RAM (Unified Memory) will soon be used up. With all the data that tabs, currently collect, they use vast amounts of your available RAM. At that point, the Apple Silicon architecture, will memory swap, and start to temporarily use your physical hard drive. For that reason, if at all possible, go for the 512GB version that I have. If this will be your sole MacBook for years to come, a bit of future proofing is no bad thing. If you can splash out a little more, for the 1TB MacBook, so much the better. Storage beats RAM in my book.

Delighted

I truly hope these words find their way to potential buyers of the M2 MacBook Air.

It honestly does not need the prefix of a ‘little’ in front of it. The number of times I have read, it’s great little MacBook, I cannot count.

Nope – it’s not a great little MacBook.

It’s a GREAT MacBook Air – full stop!

Getting involved

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