The new processor chip for Mac, the M1, is a game changer for Apple computers. Apple states, “Until now, a Mac needed multiple chips to deliver all of its features…with M1, these technologies are combined into a single system on a chip (SoC), delivering a new level of integration for more simplicity, more efficiency, and amazing performance.”
What is the Same? The MacBook Pro model that now has the M1 chip is the 13” model with 13.3” Retina display. (The MacBook Pro 16 does not have the M1 chip yet.) The exterior of the MacBook Pro 13 hasn’t changed. It has the same keyboard, trackpad, fingerprint sensor, webcam, touch bar, and lack of SD card slot as the MacBook Pro with Intel chip. It is WiFi 6 capable. It has two Thunderbolt (USB 4) ports and 720p FaceTime HD camera.
The Advantages The M1 chip advantage: 8 core CPU with up to 3.5x faster CPU performance. It also utilizes unified memory architecture (UMA). All memory in one place improves performance, graphics, and enables faster processing.
Apple says M1 can run up to 2x faster CPU performance with 25% of the power needed by the latest PC laptop chip and has “best battery life ever on a Mac.” Reviewers noticed that it runs cool. The fan doesn’t have to come on as often because the computer is not heating up.
The reviewer at PetaPixel, an online photography blog, noted that the battery life of the MacBook Pro (M1) was almost three times longer than the MacBook Pro (i7). The reviewer stated that he could work for two days before having to charge the computer.
The Cons Some Mac users were hoping for an improvement in the exterior design and features of the MacBook Pro 13. Perhaps more USB 4 ports or the ability to capture 1080p video. (Although, Apple maintains that the webcam has sharper video with less grain because the M1 chip improves processing.)
Also, a con for some want-to-be early adopters, is the price. The MacBook Pro starts at $1299 and comes with standard 256GB SSD and 8GB RAM. Someone who recently bought a laptop may not find it cost effective to upgrade so soon.
Another con, especially if you are comparing it to the Surface Pro X, is no touch screen. Surface Pro X is applauded for its portability and it has 4G LTE connectivity. Surface Pro X has two USB-C ports plus a port for charging. The MacBook Pro does not have cellular connectivity or a separate port for charging.
Of course, the Surface Pro X and the Apple M1 Macbook pro are two different machines. The MacBook Pro appeals to photographers, videographers, and image creators. For some, this Mac will be a welcome, even necessary, addition to their work tools. For others, the draw of using Microsoft’s well-known suite of business applications, all available in the cloud, will be stronger. A big factor in which one is right for you is answering the question: what will you use it for?
Regardless if you are a diehard Apple fan or a Windows devotee, the M1 is making a splash on the laptop market today and it may lead to even more innovation in processor chips in the future.
Surface Pro X vs. MacBook Pro – Which is right for you?
You have heard of the new Surface Pro X with its edge to edge screen, instant on and light weight for great portability. How does it compare to the MacBook Pro?
On the go: The Surface Pro X comes in one color, matte black. It is only .28 in. thick, compared to .64 in. for the latest MacBook Pro. The new Surface weighs 1.7 lbs. (without the keyboard/cover). The latest MacBook Pro, a 16-inch model, weighs 4.3 lbs. Furthermore, the Surface Pro X comes with WiFi and LTE capabilities. Obviously, the Surface Pro X is easy to carry around and therefore attractive to those of us who take our work with us.
Specifications: The Surface Pro X has Windows 10 OS. It also has a 13” touchscreen, with a resolution of 2880 x 1920. It has two USB type-C ports, plus a port for attaching a keyboard or charging the device. It comes with either 8GB or 16GB of RAM, and a special processor made for Microsoft by Qualcomm, called the Microsoft SQ1. The SQ1 is supposed to make the Surface Pro X, a tablet 2-in-1, work just as well for you out in the field as if you were working on a desktop in the office. A reviewer writing for Forbes.com, who is on the road 45 weeks of the year, put it to the test. He was able to work for 5-7 hours in the field, with several apps running and no lags. He found the Surface Pro X to be fast and capable with the programs he uses: Skype, OneNote, Word, PowerPoint, and Excel.
Two other notable features of the Surface Pro X: the stylus and quick charge. First, if you purchase the Slim Pen stylus, it fits into the keyboard attachment (also sold separately), where it charges. Second, if your Surface Pro X battery runs down, the new Surface’s quick charge feature can power it back up to an 80% charge in one hour.
Cons: Buying the tablet, keyboard and pen is going to be expensive. Another drawback noted by more than one reviewer is the fact that the tablet and keyboard, while sleek and lightweight, will not sit comfortably in your lap as a laptop like the MacBook Pro would. You’ll need something hard and flat to set your Surface on if you are using the keyboard accessory.
In the end, it depends on how you will use your equipment. Will you be travelling a lot? The Surface is much more convenient. Do you work with graphics and video editing? You might consider the MacBook Pro instead. A reviewer at LaptopMag.com found that the 16-inch MacBook needed just 8 minutes flat to convert a 4K video into 1080p. Some computer users prefer iOS and some are more comfortable with Windows OS. For collaboration on the go when using programs like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, the Surface Pro X should work well.
With the Apple MacBook enjoying good success for years, it seems that Microsoft has been a bit behind in its entry into the laptop market. Recently, Microsoft has accessed the market with the Surface Pro, the Windows equivalent of the MacBook Pro. Here’s how the Surface Pro vs Macbook Pro compare:
Aesthetics: From a cosmetic standpoint, there isn’t much to differentiate between the Surface Pro and MacBook Pro. They’re both about the same size with a stylish metallic color. There’s; however, a subtle difference that has an impact on usability. The Surface Pro has a hinged back that allows the keyboard to detach from the rest of the unit. On the other hand, the MacBook Pro has a ‘Force Touch’ trackpad, which detects different levels of pressure for varied functions.
Power/Battery Life: The base models of the Surface Pro and MacBook Pro are pretty similar with both featuring 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD and an Intel Core i5 processor. The i5 processor in the Surface Pro is a little newer; however, while the MacBook Pro can be upgraded a little larger RAM memory. The number and types of ports are also similar, although the MacBook Pro also has a Thunderbolt 2 port.
Screen Resolution: Both the MacBook Pro and Surface Pro have impressive screen resolutions. The MacBook Pro has a 13-inch Retina display with 2560 x 1600 resolution, emphasizing color and clarity. The Surface Pro, however, wins in this department with a 13.5-inch Retina display, 3000 x 2000 resolution and PixelSense technology to tell the difference between your finger and a stylus.
Operating System: The Surface Pro vs Macbook Pro each feature their respective manufacturers’ latest operating systems – OS X 10.11 Yosemite in the MacBook and Windows 10 in the Surface. While the systems share many of the same capabilities, there is one notable difference between the two. The Surface Pro has the digital voice assistant Cortana while Apple has yet to incorporate Siri into its MacBook Pro.
Ultimately, both the Surface Pro vs MacBook Pro are great laptops. The detachable keyboard may win a lot of consumers to the Surface Pro’s corner, but it’s almost evened out by the nifty trackpad on the MacBook Pro. Oddly enough, Windows fans will likely gravitate to the MacBook while iPhone users may find the Surface Pro more familiar to use.
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Microsoft Surface Pro and Apple Macbook Pro FAQ
What is best Macbook Pro or Surface Pro?
The Macbook Pro is hard to beat when it comes to overall performance. However, Windows users will more than likely feel more comfortable opting for the Surface Pro.
Is the Microsoft Surface Pro considered a laptop?
By itself the Surface Pro is a tablet, but an attachable keyboard can be added to it (Known as a Type Cover) turning it into a tablet with laptop features.
What is the best Surface Pro to purchase?
We always recommend purchasing the latest model of Surface Pro. With each new model, the display, performance and battery life is improved over previous models.
How long does a Macbook Pro last?
Macbook Pro’s are known to hold up very well. With proper care and handling one can easily last 5-7 years. If you plan on purchasing a Macbook Pro and keeping it for several years, we recommend opting for the Applecare+ coverage.