MacBook Pro & MacBook Air With Apple M1 Chip Unveiled; First ARM-Powered MacBooks With up to 20-Hour Battery Life
November 11, 2020 Andrew Cheng

The next generation of Macs powered by Apple’s own chip are here, starting with the MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. For the most part, these new MacBooks look identical to their Intel counterparts, but they’re powered by the Cupertino company’s brand new M1 chip, which promises “the world’s fastest CPU core and integrated GPU” – very lofty claims.

On the surface, this looks like a simple processor swap, but the M1 chip itself – aside from its promised high level of performance – introduces a slew of improvements and added capability to the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air. For one, apps made for iOS and iPadOS will be able to run natively on these new M1-powered MacBooks, which is quite a big deal.

As mentioned, Apple also said that the octa-core M1 chip is packed with the world’s fastest CPU core and integrated GPU. In fact, the M1-powered MacBook Air is claimed to be “faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the last year.” As for the MacBook Pro, it is “up to three times faster than the best-selling Windows laptops in its class,” as Apple puts it. Basically, these two laptops (supposedly) offer incredibly good level of performance.

Another area where the M1 chip – which is built on a 5nm process – dramatically improves upon is power efficiency. For the MacBook Pro, users can expect to get up to 20 hours of battery life on a single charge with the new processor; 18 hours for the MacBook Air. It’s worth noting that the battery capacities of these new MacBooks are unchanged, so it’s purely the power efficiency of the M1 processor that’s returning better battery life.

Of course, it remains to be seen if the M1 chip can truly deliver in these areas, though Apple is confident enough to say that the M1 is “the best chip it has ever created.” Anyway, the new MacBook Air will retail from RM4,399 here in Malaysia, while the MacBook Pro starts at RM5,599; both base models feature 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage.

As usual, even though the Malaysian pricing of these M1-powered MacBooks have been announced, it remains to be seen exactly when they will be arriving on our shores. Rest assured, we will keep a close eye on the local availability of the new MacBook Pro and MacBook Air.