Should you buy the latest Apple MacBook and Mac Mini with the Apple M1 custom chip?

Apple MacBook Pro
Should you buy the latest Apple M1-based MacBooks? Pic credit: StockSnap/Pixabay

Apple launched the new lineup of its MacBook series, and Mac Mini series with its own Apple M1 System on a Chip (SoC). The latest silicon is quite powerful and has been getting some very impressive benchmarks. But should buyers rush out and get these new Apple computers?

Apple’s latest M1 chip is an evolutionary leap for the company. While Apple relied on Intel for its CPUs for several years, the company has gone ahead and embedded its own SoC, the Apple M1, which is an entire powerhouse.

The Apple M1 chip is powerful, but that’s just one part of the upgrade process:

The Apple M1 SoC houses not only the CPU and GPU but also the RAM in some cases. This makes the SoC very efficient and powerful. Owing to Apple’s new M1 processor, the latest MacBook AirMacBook Pro, and Mac Mini machines are breaking benchmarks.

Some of these machines are also available with Intel processors. However, it would be unfair to compare the entry-level Apple M1 chip with a top-end Intel CPU even though the former is quite powerful. This is because the M1 SoC is Apple’s first-ever attempt at embedding a custom SoC within its hardware.

Moreover, the SoC houses CPUs that ARM makes. ARM CPUs and SoCs have traditionally powered smartphones. Moreover, the macOS was reworked from the ground-up so that the OS functioned smoothly and reliably on ARM hardware.

The Apple M1 chip, in itself, qualifies for an upgrade to the latest MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and Mac Mini computers. But it is strongly advised to wait for next year, at least for the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro.

Apple planning to switch to mini-LED displays in 2021?

Popular Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has indicated Apple could switch to mini-LED displays in the MacBook hardware next year. This applies only to the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro as they have a display.

There are several reports which indicate Apple suppliers are investing heavily to switch production. Hence, it is apparent that Apple could opt for LED panels. These displays offer improved colors, higher contrast, and better brightness.

Tim Hardwick via MacRumors reports, “According to the report, Apple is set to launch its first mini-LED iPad Pro in the first quarter of 2021 and mass-produce mini-LED MacBook Pro models in the second quarter, and a number of Taiwan manufacturers are building a “pre-emptive presence” in the Mini-LED segment in anticipation.”

Apple to embed the M1X in next year’s products?

And then there’s the persistent rumor that Apple will replace the already-powerful Apple M1 with its successor, the Apple M1X. The switch might just take place as early as next year.

Apple M1 is the first-generation chip. This means its successor, and any hardware which houses the same will certainly have more performance. The new chip is expected to beat even Intel’s top-end CPUs that Apple offers within its own products.

Previous reports indicate the Apple M1 chip is better at running Windows 10 than Microsoft’s own custom SQ2 CPU. Both these processors are ARM-based. While an OS is one thing, there have been reports of slower performance in a select few macOS applications.

It is important to note that the current generation of Apple products with the Apple M1 chip hasn’t been updated in terms of hardware. Apple hasn’t made any external changes. Considering all the expected changes and improvements, it would be wise to hold off on purchasing the latest Apple M1-based MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, at least for now.

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