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Victor Adeleke Afolayan
Victor Adeleke Afolayan

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Reviewing the 2020 Apple M1 Macbook Pro

Life sometimes comes to us thick and fast, and other times, trust me, it comes to us 'realllly' fast. Growing up, I never liked Apple products as I always felt there was too much noise about them(😂sorry Apple). In addition to that, I felt they were far too complex for anyone; looking back now, I think my bias was built on hearsay.

I am pleased to say that times have changed now (I have no shame admitting that😁); this piece examines the condition that caused a shift and my experience thus far in this "new way".

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Right from my childhood, Windows operating system was the happening thing; Although I had a wonderful experience using a few windows releases (7, 8, and 10), I must admit switching to Apple has been an entirely mind-blowing experience. Would I be open to a switch back? maybe that is a question that might remain unanswered for a very long while. One thing I know though is if Apple made the M1 to have a strong compelling force, then it has worked on me.

Earlier in the year, I admitted getting a new device soonest was inevitable as my old one was gradually becoming derelict. On my first day at work, I was tasked with redesigning a very simple component. Although it was supposed to be a seamless process, my machine decided it was a day for it to lag, and the installation of dependencies wouldn't run successfully. Apart from the task being an easy one, it was scheduled for a demo with the company's investors the next morning; I was in a fix, a really big one.

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Anyone with an understanding of how computers work would agree processes that run on them can only be controlled to a certain extent. Although getting the necessary files to begin work with on my device and subsequent installation wasn't entirely within my direct control (clone a repo and install dependencies), I quickly realized the smoothness of work was to a large extent controllable, if I got a better device.

Thankfully, I was able to work and deliver in time using my brother's, but I wasn't going to sit back with arms folded; I got a silver-colored 8GB-RAM, 256GB-ROM 2020 M1 Apple Macbook Pro. It took a few days of setting up and getting used to, but early signs hinted it was worth the hype, feel, and price - apple devices don't come cheap, I must say.

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Being a meticulous person, I never simply go to the market to get any device, rather, I do constructive study beforehand by reading articles and seeing videos; I had my expectations straightened out beforehand, at least I thought I did. Although this gave me a soft landing when I purchased, nothing prepared me for the user experience I finally got.

The first striking thing about the PC was its smoothness and slickness; I honestly believe attention was placed on creating something with striking aesthetics and trust me, the M1 Macbook Pro is a success story in this respect.

Photo by Zesan H. on Unsplash



In addition to the pleasing look of it, the ease, simplicity of setting up, and finding my way through was entirely pleasurable: It felt so much like a traditional "plug and play" gadget. Early signs 👌.

Below are a few notable highs and lows about the device.

HIGHS

1. The M1 chip

The 2020 Macbook Pro runs on an M1 chip and not the traditional Intel older versions had. Owing to what I do, my requirements for a PC differ from a regular person's as I spend considerable time surfing the net for answers and trying out new technologies, hence, speed is of utmost importance to me.

In layman terms, the m1 chip allows me to run processes I want when I want them.

2. Battery life

Apple says the M1 Macbook has an 18hour battery life, but having used it for a few weeks now, I am tempted to believe it might even last for much longer when fully charged. Furthermore, on rough estimate, I believe it takes a maximum of 2 hours to fully charge which is really huge considering power constraints in this side of the world (I haven't tried draining the battery though - least has been 10%).
P.S. Any device which charges fast and drains slow is always going to be appreciated across board.

3. Heat and Noise

If there are two things synonymous with heavy usage of laptops, they must be heat and noise from the fan(or hard disk, etc). With high performances on the M1, there is little to no heat (9 times out of 10, she is as cold as ice) and the device is as silent as a graveyard. I find this very exciting as older versions of the Macbook pro are known to come hot now and then (I once heard of someone whose fingers would sear occasionally from usage of his Mac's keyboard).

4. The touch bar

The M1 Macbook Pro comes with a touchbar which changes display based on what I'm doing. When typing, I get emojis and words suggestion. While coding, I can initiate debugging process. In addition to these, I can pause, forward, rewind and do all sort from the touchbar while seeing videos or listening to audio recordings.

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash

5. Seamless sync with my Iphone

The M1 synchronises smoothly with my mobile phone so I answer calls whether or not my phone is close by, as long as both devices are connected to the same internet source. Also, webpages opened on Safari on the Mac are available for viewing and modification(I can close them if i so wish) on my phone, and vice-versa.

In addition to all these is the high quality of the display of the screen, quality and loudness of sound from in-built speakers, and extremely high efficiency of the inbuilt microphone in picking sounds when I'm a distance away.
And, "Hey Siri" is a thing also.


LOW 😩

The volume of the speakers reduce after a while with the volume slider staying intact. A good number of users have complained of the same thing on several online forums and I find it a bit curious Apple haven't fixed an issue constantly well-documented with Macbook releases over the years.

P.S. Quitting Safari or(and) restarting - quitting safari didn't work for me - the PC are two known resolutions.

Overly, using the M1 has been a delightful experience, one I don't think I'll be letting go of anytime soon. Although I desire Apple sort the bug with the speakers, I consider it a "light affliction" I would gladly put up with if it remains for the long haul. Whether or not I'd be willing to switch to other operating systems is one thing I don't know right now. What I do know though is that Apple has a new fan on the blocks.

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