MacBook Air M1: How fast is it really?
Editing a video with 11 separate tracks, the MacBook Air barely breaks a sweat.
We're using Final Cut Pro, a piece of software normally used on higher end Macs, but with Apple's M1 chip, the Air has become a powerhouse of creativity capable of virtually any task.
What is even more stunning is the battery life.
Even with moderate use, this is laptop you could take to university, work or on the train for days without needing to charge.
And with no fan to make noise, the MacBook Air allows you to concentrate on every element of your creativity without the whirl of industrial noise to distract you.
Once you've finished your creation, photos and videos look absolutely superb.
The 13 inch Retina display is stunning with realistic, vibrant images through P3 wide colour.
Writing your creations to SSD storage is up to two times faster than the previous MacBook Air at up to 3.1GB a second.
The secret to success is the way everything works together.
Each component on the M1 chip has access to all memory, so eight gigs of RAM feels more like 32.
The M1, which is also available on the MacBook Pro and Mac Mini, offers a new level of integration between hardware and software the Big Sur operating system.
You can launch apps on your laptop instantly, just as you do on your phone.
Being able to use the same apps that you use on your iPhone or iPad on your laptop is a big plus.
Of course, not all apps are designed for the M1 chip, but through Rosetta 2, a transition layer, you can run apps designed for the Intel chip.
In many cases, the apps will run faster under Rosetta.
The keyboard's feel and functionality has had a big improvement, while there are extra features on the trackpad to make it even to user.
It is well backlit, so great to use at night, while the new function keys allow for everything from dictation to Siri access and even enabling Do Not Disturb - handy if you're trying to finish a university or school assignment.
You can also use the global key to pick emojis, while you can unlock your Mac with Touch ID, almost negating the need to remember passwords. You can also use Apple Pay with the touch of your registered finger.
Apple says the 8-core CPU, which offers 5 times graphics performance, delivers incredible efficiency with up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing and up to 18 hours of binge-watching video consumption.
Improved camera quality delivers more natural video calls - something that is pretty handy in the days of Zoom conferences and FaceTime catches up with interstate family.
HOW GOOD IS THE MACBOOK AIR TO EDIT VIDEOS?
My daughter used the MacBook Air to put together a four minute Christmas montage featuring scenes from friends around the world.
They all sang or performed on musical instruments and provided some video which had to be cut together.
She couldn't believe how quickly the MacBook Air handled rendering of the complex job without a single crash.
I also edited some 4K video shot on a drone on iMovie and it was super quick to render.
The M1 chip also delivers a big leap in performance in the gaming department, something that will no doubt appeal to students wanting some play time on the device.
Apple says the M1 is more than three times faster on games like Shadow of the Tomb Raider, as it is with rendering on Final Cut Pro.
Adobe Lightroom is said to be about 2.3 times faster for exporting larger images
The combination of the Neural Engine and M1 chip means machine learning is 9.7 times faster, according to Apple's specs.
Some of the test examples on the Mac mini were equally impressive.
A job converting video into a new format which took 14 seconds, could be done in six seconds.
Apple has described the technology as its 'breakthrough moment'.
And for what we've seen, it certainly is.
Prices start at $1599 for 8GB of memory, 256GB of SSD storage with interest free deals available for up to 24 months.
For creatives or students, it's a deal that offers a lot of bang for buck - something that has been highlighted in recent reviews by major tech and consumer sites giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
If you're looking at the MacBook Pro, The Australian also rates it very highly.
"Apple has delivered power in its new 13-inch MacBook Pro equivalent to a premium model costing $1000 more.
"This M1 Pro model replaces the entry level 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro that costs from $1,999. Apple has preserved that price, but after running tests, it seems the entry level M1 Pro performs as well as an Intel model costing $2,999,'' wrote veteran tech reviewer Chris Griffith.