Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Apple | MacBook Pro 2021 with M1 Max: Observations after a few days of use | news | macbook

Apple | MacBook Pro 2021 with M1 Max: Observations after a few days of use | news | macbook | macbook pro 2021 finder.563998Apple | MacBook Pro 2021 with M1 Max: Observations after a few days of use | news | macbook | macbook pro 2021 finder.563998Apple introduced the next generation of the MacBook Pro at the “Unleashed” event two weeks ago – and the device deserves the “Pro” suffix: The performance is beyond any doubt and despite an intensive search, there are few criticisms of the laptop. Since the strengths and weaknesses of a new Mac usually only really become apparent after a few days, here is an addition to the first observations from last week.

Speakers – WOW
At the event, Apple highlighted the quality of the integrated speakers and the progress made in their development. The six internal speakers are said to provide 80 percent more bass and be able to produce sounds half an octave lower than the previous generation. Coming from a 2016 MacBook Pro 15″, the progress is really remarkable: Of course, laptop speakers cannot replace the home system – but the sound quality is remarkable. If you sit directly in front of the laptop, you get the impression that the sound is not only coming from the device originates, but spreads in space.

Screen – Well
The MacBook Pro 2021 is the first Mac with a mini LED screen: Here, many small LEDs illuminate the screen, which can be switched off as required. The advantage: the LCD screen can display rich black – the otherwise always active background lighting can be specifically deactivated. But since only 8,000 (14″) or 10,000 (16″) LEDs are used, pixel-perfect switching off is not possible – and this creates an effect known as blooming: bright elements on a black background create a slightly brighter area in the direct environment.


First the good: Blooming is hardly noticeable when working normally or when looking at a photo or film. When the MacBook boots, a slight blooming can be seen around the bright apple on a black background.

The negative: If you compare the screen, which Apple heavily advertises, with older MacBooks, there is hardly any difference in the comparison. It is only slightly brighter in a direct comparison and when looking very closely, but there is no significant difference – especially in common everyday tasks.

Higher Menu Bar – Well
The new MacBook Pro has a higher menu bar so that the “notch” doesn’t protrude into the image content. Actually a good idea – but if you switch the screen scaling to the smaller version, the menu bar elements also scale. This causes the higher menu bar to look even more unusual than before:

Apple | MacBook Pro 2021 with M1 Max: Observations after a few days of use | news | macbook | Bild.564084Apple | MacBook Pro 2021 with M1 Max: Observations after a few days of use | news | macbook | Bild.564085

Due to the smaller fonts, the menu bar appears much higher than it already is. But at least the usability is not restricted: the menu bar elements also react when you click above or below the text.


Heat – hardly present
Laptops are often not placed on the desk, but on the thighs: And many laptops (“on the lap”) don’t really deserve the name. Because: The underside of many Macs and PCs heats up so much, even during everyday activities, that it is uncomfortable.

However, the MacBook Pro with M1 Pro and M1 Max actually deserves the name: The device does not noticeably heat up during everyday activities – and even when converting a film from 4K to Full HD using the handbrake, the MacBook can remain on the lap without fear of burns. Fans can only be heard here when you move your head close to the device – no comparison with previous Intel models, which produced the sound of a vacuum cleaner here.

External screens – no problem
If you connect external screens (in this case a 4K screen and an additional Full HD display) to an Intel MacBook with a dedicated graphics card, the laptop always switches completely to the dedicated graphics card – which requires significantly more energy. More energy means more waste heat – and that’s why you can almost always hear the fan when using larger, external screens on Intel MacBooks. Unlike GMA-based MacBooks, the dedicated graphics cards at least enable smooth use of larger, external screens – but the fan noise is annoying.

It’s different on MacBooks with Apple Silicon: The M1 MacBooks could already control an external screen – smoothly and without fan noise. Of course, the M1 Max is no exception: the M1 Max doesn’t seem to mind an external 4K screen and a Full HD display – the case doesn’t get warmer, nor is the display jerky in any way.

Efficiency Cores – useful
The M1 comes with four efficiency cores and four performance cores – but with the M1 Pro and Max Apple is changing this (for most devices) to eight performance cores and (only) two efficiency cores. If you set up a new Mac and copy a lot of documents, code files and photos to the new device, Spotlight quickly jumps up and usually leads to sluggish work (and in the case of Intel-based MacBooks to full fan speed). Apple has significantly adjusted this behavior: Most tasks, such as indexing Spotlight, initially retrieving a large number of emails and downloading the iCloud photo library, now run exclusively on the efficiency cores:

Apple | MacBook Pro 2021 with M1 Max: Observations after a few days of use | news | macbook | Bild.564069

The consequence of this is that the background tasks no longer slow down the workflow. And in the case of our MacBook Pro with M1 Max, the device remained pleasantly cool and the fans were not audible.

MagSafe – Good, but less USB-C
To the delight of many, Apple is now installing a MagSafe charging port again. Basically, this is to be welcomed, as it effectively prevents the device from falling if you trip over the power cable. The MagSafe connection works as usual and, in the case of the 2021 MacBooks, is securely locked on the device by magnets – there is no risk of accidental disconnection due to weak magnets.

But Apple decided to only install three instead of four (like most previous MacBook Pro models) USB-C/Thunderbolt ports. Depending on the arrangement on the desk, this can be a bit annoying: There is now only one USB-C port on the right side, so that a cable has to be routed around the MacBook in the case of two external displays.

Case – Heavy, unwieldy
The 2021 MacBook Pro is thicker than its predecessor – and heavier. On the one hand, this is very welcome, since the (incredibly high) performance now dictates the design of the device and not its appearance. However, after a few days it was found that the extra thickness and weight actually limited portability. In a specific case of use (the device is mostly used at home on a desk, couch or bed), this is a negligible disadvantage. However, if you want to use the MacBook as a completely mobile workstation, you should first take a close look at the MacBook Pro 2021 in a store to see whether the weight and thickness are a problem.

Everyday performance – simply impressive
After a few days of use, it can be seen that the M1 Max completes every task that a software developer assigns to it with flying colours. The M1 Max compiles in Xcode many times faster than a Core i7 – and completely without any background noise (a separate performance comparison regarding Xcode will appear on MTN in the coming days). Even working in Photoshop, even in large documents, does not even heat up the case. Apple has made a big splash here – the overall package of performance, battery life and energy efficiency would not have been possible without Apple’s own chips.

Tag: macbook issue, macbook pro, macbook release, macbook macos

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