Anyway, just writing some things down before heading to bed. These are very very quick impressions—I picked it up a couple hours ago and just finished with Migration Assistant. (Such a pleasure to use now, though I do miss some of the “starting fresh” feeling when it was a better path to just start from scratch and reinstall everything.)
My configuration: Impatience driven
Initially (while in a very very very long line to ride Rise of the Resistance) I ordered a 14-inch M1 Max, 32GB, 2TB to have something portable and close to the top specs. Then I canceled and ordered a 16-inch M1 Pro, 32GB, 2TB thinking that I’d rather have the larger screen instead of the faster processor.
Over the past week, I’d use my MacBook Air M1 and never really thought “this is too slow”. So if the Pro is ~ double the speed then that’s probably good enough.
Over the past week, I also kept looking at my order in case it miraculously shipped early.
And in the corner of my eye I’d see the $3850 final price after tax each time. Maybe I don’t need to spend that much without a concrete use for the power in mind.
Then today came and I talked myself into one of the configurations they keep in stock at the Apple Store.
- M1 Pro 10-Core
- 16GB RAM
- 1TB Storage
Of the compromises, I think it’s the RAM I’ll kick myself for down the line.
For storage, I’ve had the MacBook Air for most of the year and still have 350 GB free and a handful of external SSDs. And the storage management utility works well. I’ll manage.
For CPU/GPU, I don’t do a ton of video and basically no 3D or gaming on the laptop. (I have my PS5 as the reigning device-I-don’t-use champ in the household.)
But RAM might come in handy when I’m, I don’t know, using Figma and have Descript open for recording a podcast and have a bunch of tabs open for research.
Why 16-inch over 14-inch
I also might kick myself down the line for this. But I like the larger screen so far. You know, like 30 minutes into using the thing and not testing portability out at all.
In the hours of configuring and reconfiguring different builds, I did some reflecting. The most creative periods in the last, say, 7 years were when I had a 15-inch MacBook Pro (the first, beautiful retina model) and when I had a 27-inch iMac and didn’t have a second laptop.
Other than that, I’ve had a bunch of different 13-inch MacBooks but don’t remember any of them or the work I did with them quite as fondly as the work I did with the 15-inch or 27-inch.
So now it’s the impatience + nostalgia build.
For a second opinion, I showed my wife the laptop: “It’s huge!”
How’s the notch?
It’s fine. It’s really really fine. It takes up space in the toolbar but with the resolution set to “More Space” (2056 x 1329) …
… the menu items don’t need to cross over:
That’s Figma, MarsEdit, and Descript.
I think most people will just get used to it and fairly quickly.
One other thing: in full screen with MacOS Monterey, you can turn off “Automatically hide and show…” so the menu bar is always visible.
And in full-screen, the menu bar is black so the notch just blends right in:
That said… I don’t use apps in full screen all that often. But I just might now that you can always show the menu bar.
What was I coming from?
My main stuff…
- MacBook Air M1
- iPad Pro 12.9″
I also have the newer iPad Mini and other stuff but this MacBook Pro will mostly be taking time away from the Air and 12.9” iPad.
Okay I spent longer than this than I expected. Last question.
Does it play Starcraft?
Yes. (This might seem like a joke question and sort of is but it crashed every time I opened it on my MacBook Air M1.)