It’s here! The Apple M1 chip has arrived on three devices, the MacBook Air, MacBook Pro and the Mac Mini. This should be a moment to celebrate. But there’s a problem, have you noticed…
I have a variety of Apple devices but my workhorse machine is a 27″ 2011 iMac (Core i5, 8GB RAM). In it’s day it was way ahead of the competition, and with an SSD in it now it’s still a great machine that only suffers from a lack of OS updates due to the hardware limitations. So with that in mind I have been thinking of getting an upgrade this year. Especially with so much more working from home than even I usually do. I’ve become more reliant on my desktop machine than I normally would, often flip-flopping between the iMac and a 2018 MacBook Air and 2018 iPad Pro 11″ that I can easily slip in my EDC to visit clients. Now the MacBook Air sits in it’s charging dock waiting for the world’s pandemic to be over so it can resume normal life. I love the MacBook Air and it has many years left in it. So the main hardware that needs an upgrade is the iMac.
Sure I could go to the Apple M1 MacBook Pro. The specs look great and there’s no doubt that it’ll be a nice upgrade from a ten year old iMac. But I don’t really need another laptop at this stage, so is there a better option?
In the past I’ve been very impressed with the Mac Mini. I’ve used them elsewhere and often considered picking one up. One of the cool things about them is the price point. I have plenty of monitors, keyboards, mice and all that other good stuff, so just the brain for it all would be perfect. The new price point on the M1 Mac Mini is £699 here in the UK, that seems like an amazing price for the specs and it would fit right in to my existing setup. I could even stretch to the upgraded spec with 16GB RAM, a good idea since I’m using my machine for some pretty intensive tasks like audio recording and video editing. Off to the App Store I go. Select the machine, choose my upgrades and I’m about to hit that “Add to Cart” button. But wait, there’s a problem…
…Why the hell can I not choose a Space Grey one!? Why is that only available on the Intel model?
No deal Apple, I was so excited about the little grey box on my desk and I’d held off upgrading till now to see what would come out. Is this trivial? Yes. Am I overreacting? Maybe. Does it matter? Absolutely. I managed to make this iMac last 10 years and it could still go on. That’s 10 years looking at the same piece of hardware, so the aesthetics of it are very important. Everything on my desk is black or dark grey (like Batman’s wardrobe). This just seems like a weird marketing move on Apple’s part. Why do you think this has been decided? There’s always a conscious choice with Apple, so it’s not just overlooked..it’s an active decision to leave it out, and even to differentiate from the remaining Intel model.
So I guess my plan right now is to hold out till next year and see they have planned for future releases. The chances are I’d be better off with a new iteration of iMac anyway, but the performance of any of the current Mac lineup should obviously be a fair jump from my 10 year old machine even if it was a pretty powerful one at the time.
What do you think? Will you be buying one of these new M1 Macs? I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below.