Apple’s 13-inch Macook MacBook Pro: An Enterprise Buyer Review

When they mean one other thing, they mean one more thing.

Apple made a new announcement at its “One More Thing” event on November 10: The launch of the M1 chip, macOS Big Sur operating system, and a long-awaited update to the Mac line up. Apple takes its fate in its own hands from silicon to services. With complete control over the chip, operating system software, and hardware, Apple delivers exponential benefits in performance, better value, longer battery life, and major improvements to the Mac line up.

The Mac mini, the 13-inch MacBook Air, and the 13-inch MacBook Pro sport the new M1 chip designed by Apple (see Figure 1). This 5nm system on a chip (SOC) delivers Apple’s own design and architecture that pulls the processor, GPU, DRAM, costume, cache, Neural Engine and security features, all on one chip. Powered by 16 billion transistors, the chip blows away the competition when it comes to performance per watt.

Figure 1

Figure 1. Inside Apple’s M1 Silicon On Chip (SOC) specifications

Source: Apple

Compared to the Intel MacBook Pro 13 ″, the M1 MacBook Pro 13 mòran has many advantages

When the M1 MacBook Pro 13 ″ is compared to the Intel MacBook Pro 13 ″, the similarities come from the familiar design of the chassis and key display features (see Figure 2). The two models share:

  • Available in Space Gray and Silver
  • 13.3-inch LED-backlit display with internal plane conversion technology (IPS), wide color (P3) and True Tone
  • 720p FaceTime HD Camera
  • Extensive stereo sound and support for Dolby Atmos playback
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
  • Magic Keyboard
  • Force Touch Trackpad
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Bluetooth 5.0
Figure 2

Figure 2. Everything you need to know about the M1 MacBook Pro 13 ″

Source: Apple

Here are the differences between the two models (see Figure 3):

Figure 3

Figure 3. Side-by-side comparison of a MacBook Pro 13 ″ based on Intel vs Apple SOC M1

Source: Constellation Research, Inc.

Overall, the M1 MacBook Pro will outperform the existing Intel line. However, a few development areas for future notifications include the need for a FaceTime camera better than 720p (although the M1’s ISP will improve the 1.2-megapixel camera’s performance), Wi-Fi 6 support, and lack of touch-screen.

Compatibility with x86-64 Apps stays work in progress

Initial tests on the M1 MacBook Pro have produced good performance and significantly improved battery life when running native Apple apps. However, minor glitches and significant performance crashes have occurred with application crashes with some Microsoft enterprise results including Microsoft Outlook, Microsoft Teams, and Microsoft Edge browsers. The Microsoft Office suite showed no delays when used and Microsoft Excel macros seemed to perform better.

Other enterprise software such as Autodesk Revit, Avid ProTools, Google Drive File Stream, MatLab, Oracle VirtualBox, Parallels, and VMWare Fusion are not currently supported by the M1 chip. Initial experiences with much of the Adobe Creative Cloud suite reveal some compatibility issues with Rosetta 2 for Adobe AfterEffects, Illustrator, Indesign, Photoshop 2020, and Premier Pro. Ongoing solutions and updates can be found on the Adobe website.

Also: MacBook Air M1 Review: Impressive, but not the case on my Intel MacBook Pro

Slack slid sharply and needed a performance blow. Video software such as BlueJeans, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Zoom were all pretty laggy. Meanwhile, DJ controller software such as RekordBox with Pioneer was not yet working on Rosetta 2 or M1 as it was in this post. Enterprise clients should check which apps work with the new M1 architecture and request a roadmap from major vendors for M1 forward and backward compatibility on Rosetta 2.

Early adopters need to test Apple’s native performance output against Intel’s x86-64 compatibility. The independent slogan site “Apple is Silicon Ready” confirmed some of the incompatibility and performance issues with M1 and Rosetta 2 seen in this review. (Note: this site is not an Apple-run or revisited site, and the accuracy and timeliness of the information it provides has not been officially verified)

The bottom line: The new Macs M1 are a future proof investment

The fully integrated control of the M1 chip, macOS BigSur, and Mac hardware will begin at a new era for Apple. The venerable hardware innovator now has full control over its ability to differentiate output, performance, price, and location. As Apple Silicon makes its way into the full line of hardware, consumers can expect huge benefits across product and purpose PCs. In addition, the statements made at the Worldwide Developers Conference 2020 and the November 10 event bring the iOS and macOS convergence one step closer.

However, a lot of backward compatibility work needs to be done as early users and tests reveal many broken apps that need to be addressed. Overall, the M1 MacBook Pro 13 ″, Mac mini, and MacBook Air are wise investments in the future. In talks with the major software vendors, Constellation expects backwards compatibility to improve as major software vendors adapt and improve what they offer to support to the new line over the next 18 to 24 months.

Early adopters and Apple stores looking to upgrade their PCs should consider the M1 MacBook Pro 13 ″, Mac mini, and MacBook Air in their updated cycling plans and shortlists over the Next 24 months. Why? This is the next generation of computing for Apple and the long-term benefits will outweigh the costs.