M1 Mac First Impressions

At our August 20th meeting, Robert gave us his first impressions of a new M1 Mac mini and 4K monitor along with some tips on choosing and specifying a new Mac.

M1 First Impressions

Robert talked about choosing which Apple Silicon Mac model and spec to buy. He covered his first impressions of a new M1 Mac mini, which were very positive, including a quick and easy setup, excellent performance and no compatibility problems so far.

He highlighted:

  • The importance of choosing the right model and specification for you when purchasing as M1 Macs feature no internal user upgrade options.
  • How to check if your apps are Apple Silicon versions. If you want to check Apple Silicon compatibility in advance of buying a new Mac, Is Apple Silicon ready has an app compatibility database.
  • Great performance of both Apple Silicon and Intel apps, with Safari being particularly impressive.
  • Running iOS apps on Mac, these can now be downloaded from the Mac app store. Robert demonstrated the game Monument Valley 2.
  • The M1 Mac mini has limited ports available (2 USB-A and 2 Thunderbolt 4/USB-C) so you may need to consider how you will connect your peripherals.

Robert also talked about using a 4K monitor with the new Mac including the various scaling options available in Display Preferences.

DaveK gave an impromptu demonstration of using a multi-monitor setup to extend his desktop across a 4K and standard resolution montiors. This included arranging the display positions in Display preferences and moving apps between screens using Mission Control.

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