What they don’t tell you about the Macbooks Pro

Everyone has their favourites, but it’s disingenuous to trumpet the shortcomings of the competition when your fave doesn’t have an answer for it. Apple flipped the table on the laptop industry with the M1 Macbooks and is now almost untouchable for portable computing with the M1 Pro and M1 Max.

“But it’s so expensive to get the good one,” they say.

That good one costs R63 400 and that is expensive. But it is also equipped with 1TB of superfast SSD storage, a class-leading 120Hz miniLED display, three of the planet’s current fastest USB-C ports, the biggest battery you can legally carry on an international flight, and 32GB of memory that runs at double the bandwidth currently available to PC manufacturers.

It’s called perspective and understanding that some things are not meant for you. The 16-inch Macbook Pro with the Apple’s highest-end M1 Max system on a chip delivers the same level of raw power as a desktop workstation and will keep pushing out that power for around four hours away from a charger. If render or export times are important to you, and it can be justified as a business purchase (if spending less time on finishing a project means more work capacity to take on additional projects) then you’re talking this machine’s language.

If none of that made sense to you then you can start shopping a Macbook from R18 000 for the 13-inch Air with a regular M1 SoC and still be a couple of generations ahead of a brand-new Surface Laptop 4 when it comes to pure compute power. And you’ll still have change left over to buy a USB-C dongle to make up for the lack of ports.

I said that Apple completed its transformation into the new champion of the mid-tier consumer when it launched the sensibly priced iPhone 13 into the sub-R20k sweet spot. With the baby Macbook Pro coming in at R24 000 and outclassing almost everything in its category with a next-gen processor, any counter arguments to the Mac dominance are laughable.

Paradigms don’t flip, they shift

These new machines are a change in thinking in computing performance. M1 is setting the expectation for ARM-based supercar laptops to come while Intel and AMD are still trying to sell you a fresher horse. If your favourite tech reporter is trying to convince you that an operating system facelift – which is what Windows 11 feels like – justifies a hardware upgrade, then they’re just Apple haters who really don’t understand how computers work.

Sure, the new Macs don’t game as good as a fully-loaded MSI GE76 Raider, or the equally expensive Asus ROG Zephyrus Duo 15 SE – both reaching R75 000 on special – but those behemoths are using older RAM and USB-C ports with rapidly ageing processors. Upgrade the RAM and GPU all you want, but at what cost and is it really that convenient? Are average consumers buying R80k laptops to upgrade it?

I’m all for increased choice and different tools for different jobs, but then reducing a product’s significance because it’s expensive or doesn’t do one task as well as a purpose-built tool is not offering a fair comment.

Most users who don’t play demanding games will be happier with the future-proof components, battery efficiency and current horsepower of the M1 Macs. The pricing is reasonable across the range, and you can buy up according to your needs. The new Macbooks Pro rock.

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