The Apple Silicon era officially began at the 'One More Thing' November 2020 event, as Apple unveiled the new M1 chip. It's the first Mac processor to be designed in-house by the company, ending a 14-year association with Intel.
We also got our first look at the devices they'll power. The latest MacBook Air, 13in MacBook Pro and Mac Mini all use the M1 chip, and have received near-universal praise for their performance and battery life improvements. We described the M1 chip as 'revolutionary' in our MacBook Air review, and it looks like a similar story as far as the Pro and Mini are concerned.
The M1 revolution is showing no signs of slowing down, with a new iMac and iPad Pro added to the lineup at Apple's April 2021 'Spring Loaded' event. However, the focus of this event is those three devices announced in 2020. There are already some great deals available - here's everything you need to know.
When did the M1 Macs go on sale?
The MacBook Air 13in, MacBook Pro 13in and Mac mini are available to buy from Apple and a host of other retailers, having gone on sale on 17 November 2020.
Apple indicates that delivery takes between 3-5 business days, but with demand still high this may take longer. If you're looking for alternatives, check out the other options below.
Where to buy MacBook Pro 13 with M1 chip
- Amazon - £150 off
- Box - up to £141 off (displayed as £137 off)
- Currys PC World - up to £141 off, plus 5 months' free Apple Music, Arcade & News+ for new customers (existing customers get 2 months of Apple Music and 4 months of Arcade & News+)
- John Lewis - up to £141 off
- KRCS - up to £74.95 off
- Very - up to £150 off
- Best Buy (US) - $150 off 256GB and 512GB models
Where to buy MacBook Air 13 with M1 chip
- Amazon - up to £149.03 off
- Box - up to £101 off (displayed as £97 off)
- John Lewis - up to £132 off
- Currys PC World - up to £132 off, plus 5 months' free Apple Music, Arcade & News+ for new customers (existing customers get 2 months of Apple Music and 4 months of Arcade & News+)
- KRCS - up to £72.45 off
- Scan - up to £86 off
- Very - up to £150 off
- Best Buy (US) - up to $100 off
Where to buy Mac mini with M1 chip
- Amazon - up to £89.02 off
- John Lewis - up to £50 off
- Currys PC World - up to £50 off, plus 5 months' free Apple Music, Arcade & News+ for new customers (existing customers get 2 months of Apple Music and 4 months of Arcade & News+)
- KRCS - up to £54.95 off
- Scan - up to £130 off
- Best Buy (US)
How much do the M1 MacBook Pro, Air, and Mac mini usually cost?
The good news is the new Mac devices don't get a price hike, despite the M1 upgrade. You also get 10% off with Apple Education pricing across all the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro models. Here's the full breakdown:
MacBook Pro 13in
- MacBook Pro 13in with Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 8‑Core GPU (256GB) - £1299/$1299/AUD$1999
- MacBook Pro 13in with Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 8‑Core GPU (512GB) - £1499/$1499/AUD$2299
Alternatively, see if you can pick up a deal on an existing MacBook Pro: MacBook Pro deals
Find out how the M1 MacBook Pro compares to the Intel model here: 13in MacBook Pro (M1) vs MacBook Pro (Intel).
MacBook Air 13in
- MacBook Air 13 with Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 7‑Core GPU (256GB) - £999/$999/AUD$1,599
- MacBook Air 13 with Apple M1 Chip with 8‑Core CPU and 8‑Core GPU (512GB) - £1,249/$1,249/AUD$1,949.00
Education pricing on the MacBook Air 13in with the M1 chip starts at £899/US$899.
Want to know more read our comparison of the new and old MacBook Air: New MacBook Air (Silicon) vs MacBook Air (Intel).
Alternatively, see if you can pick up a deal on an existing MacBook Air: MacBook Air deals
- Mac mini with Apple M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU 256GB Storage - £699/$699/AUD$1099
- Mac mini with Apple M1 Chip with 8-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU (512GB) - £899/$899/AUD$1399
Alternatively, see if you can pick up a deal on an existing Mac mini: Mac mini deals
What is the Apple M1 chip? Is it better?
The M1 is armed with an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU on a single system on a chip (SoC) – which means you can expect great leaps in speed, graphics, and machine learning performance. If you're after quantifiable numbers, that translates to 3.5 times better CPU performance, up to 6 times faster GPU performance, and up to 15 times faster machine learning.
What does that mean in practice? The M1 will allow much faster and smoother video and photo editing, gaming, and software development on the new Macs. This works in tandem with the optimisations on macOS Big Sur, the latest version of Apple's desktop operating system.
The M1 chip is also much more power-efficient. Apple boasted that the M1 offers the "world's best CPU performance per watt". This means battery life gets a boost too, with Apple claiming the new MacBook laptops to last up to twice as long. Thankfully, the upgrades come without a leap in price.
Read more about the M1 chip here: How good is Apple's M1 chip really?