Observations on the new 14 inch M1 Pro MacBook Pro for web design & development and photo / video editing
Background and usage #
The M1 Pro MacBook Pro was an upgrade from a late 2016 15 inch MacBook Pro. The old MacBook, though enjoyable to use, wasn’t the most reliable. The laptop ended up being repaired three times under various repair programs, replacing the sticky keyboard, the flickering Touch Bar and then the keyboard for a second time.
I use the MacBook Pro for web development, photo and video editing. Used in conjunction with 12.9 inch M1 iPad Pro in sidecar mode.
Initial observations #
- Screen appears noticeably sharper and brighter
- ProMotion movement is visibly smoother in some contexts (but it’s subtle)
- Never hear fans anymore (old 15 inch would panic at the thought of running Docker)
- Native M1 Docker app runs much faster
- Sequel ace replaced sequel pro
- H.265 plays natively and smoothly
- SD card reader is fast and convenient
- Mag safe is great (but I am missing the extra usb-c cable)
- Fast charge is very useful
- Keyboard much more enjoyable to use, better feedback and feels more likely to last
- Speakers are next level
- Don’t notice notch WHEN IN DARK MODE
Fast charging #
Charges 50% in 30 minutes. Very handy for working away from the desk. Combined with the excellent battery performance this negates the need to carry a charger around.
On the 14 inch model, fast charging requires the 96W adapter but can be charged with either a USB-C cable or MagSafe cable. The 16 inch model can only fast-charge over MagSafe
My Fujifilm X-T4 only shoots 4k 10Bit in H.265. Playing this back on the Intel MacBook Pro was impossible without first transcoding the footage. The new M1 Pro handles it seamlessly and makes editing video in DaVinci Resolve much easier. The HLG footage from the X-T4 also looks great on the HDR display.
Retina HDR ProMotion display #
Appears brighter despite the same 500 nits max brightness for non-HDR content. Switching between desktops, scrolling and animations are much smoother. Less visible blooming than iPad Pro.
One of the concerns with adopting the M1 for work was the software compatibility. The following apps are working comparably or better than on the previous Intel MacBook Pro:
- DaVinci Resolve 17
- Capture One 22
- Docker (M1 Native)
- Visual Studio Code
- Nitro (Craft CMS)
- Affinity Photo, Designer & Publisher
Previously used Sequel Pro to manage remote databases, but it no longer works on the M1 (at time of writing). Sequel Ace has been a direct replacement.
The native macOS calculator widget was surprisingly useful but has since disappeared in Monterey. CalcBar has replaced it and proved more useful.