Anyone Buying M1 MacBook Pro, Air, or Mini?


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Since our local Apple Store is closed because of COVID, I decided to pick up (2) MacBook Air's and (1) MacBook Pro, all with the M1 chip and is on the truck to be delivered today. My wife got an iPad Pro last Christmas, and about 6 months ago she admitted she should have got a MacBook instead of an iPad. So, this year, to fix the wrong, I decided to get the new M1 MacBook Air for her, as an early Christmas present. While I have a 2019 iMac, my newest portable Mac is 2012 MacBook Pro, which is like carrying around a tank, by today's standards, so I rarely ever use it. So, I picked up a MacBook Air M1 for myself as well. Then I started to wonder which one I'd prefer, or which one my wife would prefer, so I picked up a MacBook Pro M1 as well. With the Jan 8 return-by-date, we will have some time to play around with them and see which one we want to be ours. I guess if we both want the Pro, then I will just have to wait until I can get one in, since ship times likely are being pushed out on them.

I have to admit, I am super excited about the M1 and future of Apple. I think they just breathed new life into the Mac line, and excited to see what will happen in the next two years and the performance of the machines.
Oh how I wish! Although my '15 MBP is doing quite well, I am very impressed with the reports and stats I see published on the M1s. However tempting, though, I will wait for a 16" MBP--13" is just way too small. (I remember the days I HAD to downsize from my beloved 17" MBP to a 15" MBP when the 17" died.)
Oh how I wish! Although my '15 MBP is doing quite well, I am very impressed with the reports and stats I see published on the M1s. However tempting, though, I will wait for a 16" MBP--13" is just way too small. (I remember the days I HAD to downsize from my beloved 17" MBP to a 15" MBP when the 17" died.)

If the 13" was my main Mac, I'd have to wait until the 15" for sure. But this will just be something mobile to fill in the gabs when I can't be sitting at the iMac.
So - I live in an odd place on the UPS route. They will literally drive by my house at like 2pm in the afternoon, and then return about 5-6pm, even though they go to houses all around me, but just not mine. It's really annoying. Probably because I live on a busy street and I'm on the "left side" of the road, but still. Kinda of a bummer to see them on the map stoping all around you, and then not come for 3 or more hours later.
I'm still running my mid-14, but I'm getting close to needing a new laptop. Should have got one last Jan, but decided to get one for games instead. I came real close to pulling the trigger yesterday at Best Buy, but all they're stocking are the low spec base models. If they had a 13" MBP with 16GB/1TB, I might have briefly considered it for the portability. That said, my next one really should have 32GB of RAM minimum and no less than a 1TB drive.

Guess I could always get a 13" MBP or an iPad pro, then upgrade the gamer/hack to an i9 and one of the newer big-Navi AMD cards. Works alright now, but I'd rather not deal with all the potential drama that entails to get it running and keep running properly after updates. About 2 weeks after buying the gaming one at the Microcenter in Sharonville, OH an iMac Pro showed up in their open-box system for $22xx. Still more than I paid for the gaming computer and the monitor by a fair amount, but would have been nice to pick up. Then I definitely would have considered the iPad Pro or even the Air.
The Air and the pro... I would have tried the mini, but I upgraded 1 year ago.

Nevertheless this M1 is really impressive. A true Apple gem.
What I say the M1 Mac Book Air is quick is an understatement! it's just surprising that some huge audio programs have not or can't make an Universal version or native M1 version tells me the heart by this time is not into Apple!
I just replaced my ancient MacBook Pro with the one now in my signature.

So far so good, actually. Everything runs.

– J.D.
I thought there was a 16" available. :oops: Either way it is a bit "too big" for my needs.

Will say, aside from the connection issues – buy those doggles!!11!! – the battery life is phenomenal, it is obviously must faster than my Ancient Mac was, even with notorious bloatware like Adobe.

Just need to sort out how to make a bootable clone. M1 and Big Sur are "particular" with what connections they will accept and to what hard drive.

– J.D.
We use CCC, and the clone is not bootable.

If you erase and reinstall Big Sur on it, as recommended by Apple, you will see it as an option, but you cannot boot from it. If you then use CCC to clone yourself over it – since you cannot boot from it and use Migration Assistant – it will show up as a bootable option on Start Up Disk and in Recovery, but when you try to boot off of it, it will tell you that the OS needs to be restored.

Working on this. Some references suggest you really need the full "Thunderbolt" connection that is native to the HD. So using the Seagate Slim Drive with a cable that is its USB Whaever Micro and the USB C for "Thunderbolt" will give you Fucking Impressive™ data transfer but not make a bootable clone. I have a "list" suggested by Apple, but I am exploring using the Old Mac's SSD in an enclosure . . . whose cable appears to be faulty :rolleyes:.

Stay tun'd.

– J.D.
There is a way to do it, and all credit to Glenn Fleishman and his article How to Start Up your M1 Mac from an External Drive.

The important points to add is you need the SSD he recommends: 2280 M.2 NVMe standard. His links are old, but the larger ones from Samsung work. The enclosure from OWC he recommends has been updated and works.

You must do this. It will not work otherwise.

From his directions, I can confirm that his suggestion, if you use CCC, is correct. You can simply do this:

  1. Connect your Ext-SSD to your Mac and ERASE it as APSF with GUID Partition. You cannot, unfortunately, encrypt it.
  2. Obtain Big Sur from the link in the article. Might as well, it takes a bit.
  3. You will have one container underneath in Disk Utility which you can rename to whatever your favorite is.
  4. Use CCC to clone "you." CCC will figure it out.
  5. Once that is done, fire up Big Sur and let it load to your Ex-SSD. Interestingly, "where" CCC cloned will become the "DATA" partition. When you are done and want to back up, CCC will alert you that, "hey, it's been moved but, like, we can use it."
The reason you do this is if you do it in the other order: Big Sur first then clone to the DATA partition, when you "boot" to it, it will think it is a new Mac requiring you to set up everything, enter your Apple ID which will confuse things when you boot back to your regular Int-SSD.

  1. LET IT REBOOT! Seriously. I got impatient just went through Recovery and YOU GET A NON-WORKABLE SYSTEM! You will cry! Children will laugh at you!
  2. It will boot to the Ext-SSD like your regular Int-SSD. You have a bootable clone! Yay! The next part is critical:
  3. THROUGH the Start Up Disk part of System Preferences designate your Int-SSD to reboot. Otherwise, you end up in a slow boot to Recovery and Recovery gets a bit confused, particularly if you were dumb enough to disconnect the Ext-SSD and the Children start throwing their empty beer cans at you.
  4. So when you want to go back and forth between the two, use Start Up Disk. This is particularly important if you have an encrypted Int-SSD through File Vault.
Which, by the way, you cannot encrypt your Ext-SSD currently. "Why not set it up APSF Encrypted?" You will not be able to load Big Sur to it.

Is it worth it?

I will say that for the cost of any regular back-up HD, the SSD is fantastic. Doing all of that takes less than an hour: 13 minutes for 500 GBs of data [Lichen porn. – Ed.] with CCC and Big Sur claims it will take 3.5 hours to load but does it in under 30 minutes.

– J.D.
After a few hiccups, I'm off & running with my 16" MBP M1Pro w/ 512G HD & 16G RAM.
I decided to get the Space Gray--good lookin' choice!
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