Macbook Air M1 - Review by Junior Developer

How has Mac air m1 performed for me in last 3 months for me as a Programmer / Software Developer? Read to find out.

Macbook Air M1  - Review by Junior Developer

So, is Mac book air m1 good for programmers?

Well in general, yes it is. Macs are great machines and they are very good when it comes to programming and coding too. But rather than sticking to a more wide usage of this device, I am going to share my experience as a Junior Developer and how m1 has changed my life.

A little side story of the time when I got my mac

I am a Computer Science undergraduate from an Asian country, Nepal. I got my mac in around 3 months ago from the date I am writing this blog. Before this, I used to code on my Acer Aspire 3. It was okay but I needed a better machine. So I requested my parents to buy me a mac book. Now it is a hell lot of expensive. But luckily apple released this beast of a machine at a somewhat affordable price in 2022. Still, it was not easy to get me a $1000 + machine. So I waited.

One day when I was sitting on my couch thinking about my coming exams, I saw an ad on my social media. It was for a December sale where they were selling mac at a lesser price. I shared it with my parents and they agreed. They hoped it will help me in my studies. And I ordered the laptop online. It came the very next day. I was so thrilled. I somehow started to love coding even more after I started coding on this mac. It has proved to be lucky for me as I went up to get 3 hackathons back to back along with an internship in the post of Junior Developer Intern. Never had I thought I would progress so much in less than 3 months.

So here it is, how this machine has performed in these 3 months. I will share its pros, cons and other frequently asked questions too.

Specification of Mac book Air M1 (Base Model)

  • Model name: Apple Mac book Air m1

  • Display Size: 13.3 inches

  • Display Resolution: 2560x1600 pixels

  • Processor: Apple M1

  • RAM / Unified memory: 8 GB

  • SSD: 256 GB

  • CPU: 8 cores

  • GPU: 8 cores

  • OS: Mac OS

  • Fan: No fan

  • Weight: 1.3 kg (approximately)

  • Price: $800-$1000


The Mac M1 chip is designed to deliver top-notch performance while being energy-efficient. It has an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU, making it faster than the previous MacBook models. The chip is also designed to be power-efficient, which means that it can deliver better performance while using less power.

Talking about its performance while coding, I had no major issues. The inputs (keyboard and trackpad) are butter smooth and the display is top-notch. The 8 gigs of RAM was the model I went with and it seems to be sufficient for the usage. I had little to no lag during my coding hours on this device. Compared to my old windows laptop, this is a huge upgrade in terms of everything. The applications load super fast. This is one of the reasons that most programmers out there prefer mac for coding. If you are not much of a gamer and want a good device for productivity you can go for this with your eyes closed.

RAM / Unified memory, is 8 GB enough?

This depends on how you are gonna use this device. Yes, 8 GB is not much in today's world but it depends on you to decide. In my case, I use it mainly for coding websites and general anime watching. There are no lag issues at all. Apple has optimized the RAM for this device and 8 GB is more than enough for 90% of your general daily work.

However, my suggestion would be to get 16 GB if you have the budget but I am not saying that 8 GB is not enough. If you want your device to be future-proof, 16 GB should be good for the next 5-6 years.

256 GB SSD, does storage even matter?

I also used to think that 256 GB is a very low storage amount for a laptop to have when my smartphone had 128 GB. But the additional price I had to pay for bigger storage in mac was terrifying. So I decided to go with the base variant. If I think about it now, I made the correct choice. I can always buy a portable external SSD for my mac if I need it and it will save me money as I can buy 4 times more storage in an external SSD in comparison to what I could buy inside a mac. Plus it will come in handy if I ever decide to switch my laptop. So buying an external SSD is a better choice in my opinion. Keeping this aside, 256 GB is pretty okay for normal usage if you can manage it well.


One of the biggest concerns for developers when it comes to new hardware is compatibility. The Mac M1 uses Apple's new ARM-based architecture, which means that it may not be compatible with all software. However, Apple has made significant efforts to ensure that most of the popular developer tools are compatible with the new chip.

For instance, Apple has released a new version of Xcode that is optimized for the Mac M1. Xcode is a popular integrated development environment (IDE) used by many developers. Additionally, many popular development tools like Visual Studio Code, Docker, and Node.js have also been updated to support the Mac M1.

If you're using tools that are not yet compatible with the Mac M1, you can still use the Rosetta 2 emulator. This emulator translates the code from the x86-based software to the ARM-based architecture of the Mac M1, allowing it to run seamlessly.

Battery life

One of the key advantages of the Mac M1 is its energy efficiency. The chip is designed to deliver excellent performance while using less power. As a result, the battery life of the MacBook has been significantly improved. This means that I can work on my projects for longer without worrying about running out of power. This can be especially useful if you're working remotely or on the go.

So to sum up here are the Pros and Cons of base model of mac air m1.


  1. Powerful processor: The M1 chip provides excellent performance and energy efficiency, making it a great choice for developers, designers, and other power users.

  2. Long battery life: The M1 chip’s energy efficiency also translates into long battery life, with the Macbook Air M1 offering up to 15 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of video playback.

  3. Thin and light: The Macbook Air M1 weighs just 2.8 pounds and is only 0.63 inches thick, making it incredibly portable and easy to carry around.

  4. Great display: The 13.3-inch Retina display provides excellent clarity and color accuracy, making it ideal for creative professionals.

  5. Solid state drive: The Macbook Air M1 comes with a fast and reliable solid-state drive (SSD) that provides plenty of storage and quick access to your files.

  6. Improved webcam and microphone: The Macbook Air M1’s webcam and microphone have been improved over previous models, making it easier to participate in video conferences and other online meetings.

  7. Thunderbolt 3 ports: The two Thunderbolt 3 ports provide fast data transfer and charging capabilities, as well as support for external displays and other peripherals.

  8. Improved keyboard: The Macbook Air M1 features Apple’s latest Magic Keyboard, which provides a comfortable and responsive typing experience.

  9. Advanced security: The M1 chip includes advanced security features, such as hardware-verified secure boot and encryption, which help to protect your data and personal information.

  10. Compatibility: While there were some initial concerns about compatibility with older software and peripherals, most popular applications and devices are now supported on the Macbook Air M1.


  1. Limited upgradability, with only the RAM and storage being user-upgradable.

  2. Only two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which may not be enough for some users.

  3. No support for external GPUs.

  4. No SD card slot or HDMI port, which may be a problem for some users.

  5. No Touch Bar, which may be a downside for users who are used to using it.

  6. Limited color options, with only silver and gold available.

  7. No support for dual external displays without the use of a dock or adapter.

  8. Limited availability of compatible software, especially for older or niche applications.

  9. No Ethernet port, which may be a problem for users who prefer a wired connection.

  10. No MagSafe charging port, which was a popular feature of older MacBook models.


Is the MacBook Air M1 base model suitable for programming?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model is suitable for programming, thanks to its powerful M1 chip and advanced security features.

Can I run virtual machines on the Macbook Air M1 base model?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model can run virtual machines, thanks to its powerful M1 chip and advanced heat dissipation capabilities.

How long does the battery last on the Macbook Air M1 base model?

The Macbook Air M1 base model has a battery life of up to 15 hours, which is more than enough for a full day's work.

Can I upgrade the RAM on the Macbook Air M1 base model?

No, the RAM on the Macbook Air M1 base model is not user-upgradable. However, the base model comes with 8GB of RAM, which is more than enough for most programming tasks.

How much storage does the Macbook Air M1 base model have?

The Macbook Air M1 base model comes with 256GB of storage, which should be sufficient for most programming tasks. However, you can also upgrade to 512GB or 1TB of storage if needed.

Does the Macbook Air M1 base model support external displays?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model supports external displays via its Thunderbolt 3 ports. However, it can only support one external display without the use of a dock or adapter.

Can I use the Macbook Air M1 base model for gaming?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model can handle casual gaming, thanks to its powerful M1 chip and advanced graphics capabilities.

Does the Macbook Air M1 base model come with Microsoft Office pre-installed?

No, the Macbook Air M1 base model does not come with Microsoft Office pre-installed. However, you can download and install it from the Microsoft website or purchase a subscription to Microsoft 365.

Is the MacBook Air M1 base model suitable for video editing?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model is suitable for video editing, thanks to its powerful M1 chip and advanced graphics capabilities. However, you may need to upgrade to a higher storage capacity for larger video files.

Does the Macbook Air M1 base model support gaming controllers?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model supports gaming controllers via Bluetooth connectivity.

Does the Macbook Air M1 base model come with a warranty?

Yes, the Macbook Air M1 base model comes with a standard one-year warranty. You can also purchase AppleCare+ for extended coverage.