Can Apple's M1 MacBook's Live Up to the Hype?


Apple is now officially in the ARM computing realm following the release of its next generation MacBook’s and new M1 CPU. One of the most important chips in the company’s history, the M1 has arrived with plenty of promise and early buzz. Certainly, Apple says the chipset delivers on the benefits of ARM computing in a way no other device has.

Those benefits have been much discussed for several years. By utilizing an ARM processor in a laptop, a device should be able to deliver the battery life of a smartphone backed with blistering performance. Apple says M1-powered MacBook’s live up to this concept.

On paper that sounds fantastic because ARM could potentially solve a lot of problems. If you like superfast performance that enhances your streaming, online slots gameplay, editing, or simply browsing, the M1 and ARM computing could be the chip for you. However, despite Apple’s promises, some concerns remain.

We have already seen how the benefits of ARM computing have failed to be realized in reality. Microsoft’s Windows 10 on ARM platform has been stumbling since launch in 2018. Laptops running Qualcomm ARM chips, including Microsoft’s own Surface Pro X have failed to deliver on the promise of performance and battery life.

Part of Microsoft’s failure has been an inability to get Windows 10 on ARM working with 64-bit applications. That has left a considerable app gap on the platform, which still runs Win32 (32-bit) apps only.

Apple claims to have crushed these issues, saying M1 runs both x86 (32-bit) apps and 64-bit apps. However, it seems this is only partially true, and some software is not currently compatible with the processor.

It looks like Apple has pulled one of its classic marketing launch tricks.

Let’s be clear, when Apple hosts a launch event, many of the boasts the company makes on stage end up being true. That said, sometimes Apple will make a claim that turns out to be false, or more accurately, not quite there yet.

Anyone who remembers the original iPhone will know what I mean. Steve Jobs wowed everyone with the hardware and the apparent software capabilities of this bold new touchscreen device. Little did everyone know that the handset Jobs used on stage was barely functional. That OG iPhone was a hardware triumph but a software mess, something many people forget years later.

So, is the M1 Apple breaking a promise? Partly yes because many users say some software will not run on their new ARM MacBook’s, including Microsoft’s Edge browsers and several Adobe products. Developers will catch up eventually and the M1 will support all apps like Apple promised on stage. Still, the king of hype made it sound like the chip would support those apps from day one… as it turns out, users must wait.

In the meantime, it is worth noting Apple has not abandoned Intel chips. This year’s MacBook launch was all about ARM, but the company also sells Intel variants of its laptops alongside the new game changing M1.

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