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The M1 — Apple Silicon’s debut

It now costs £699 to start developing applications for Apple’s ecosystem — assuming you have an existing keyboard, mouse, and monitor.

The new Apple Silicon Mac Mini, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro are excellent development computers for beginners and veterans alike. Early indications from the community seem to indicate that the community’s RAM worries were mostly premature; 8GB of RAM is enough to get some serious work done.

@davemark on Twitter summarises my opinion — “It’s fine to replace a 16GB Intel MacBook Pro with an 8GB M1” — although I would replace “fine” with “mostly fine”.

My personal computer is a 2018 13-inch Intel MacBook Pro with 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports, 16GB of RAM, and a 512 GB SSD. I love this computer because it handles tasks I throw at it gracefully.

My personal circumstances, however, have changed in one key way since purchasing that MacBook Pro — I now have my own home office. This means that I value the performance improvements offered by a similarly priced desktop over the versatility provided by a laptop.

With access to an Intel MacBook Pro — which was issued by my company — this laptop is similarly specced to my personal one, meaning that I have less of a need for both.

I’m therefore considering replacing my personal Intel MacBook Pro with a M1 Mac Mini. The model I’m looking at costs £1299 without Apple Care (16GB RAM and 1TB SSD upgrades).

The inevitable next iMac with Apple Silicon brings about further headaches. I’m fond of the 1440p resolution which I would like to enjoy at 2x “retina” density. The idea of a beautiful, colour accurate, 5K display, with Apple Silicon is dream that can become reality any day now.

If I were to re-purchase a similarly specced Intel MacBook Pro to my personal one today, it’ll cost £1799.

I rarely praise Apple for value for money, but the capabilities of Apple Silicon with a price starting at £699? Developing for Apple’s platforms, even as a side project, never looked more enticing.

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