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Best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals for May 2021: bag a music production laptop bargain

Best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals for May 2021: bag a music production laptop bargain
(Image credit: Apple)

The Apple Macbook Pro M1 marked the single biggest evolution in the Cupertino firm’s pro laptop range since its launch, so much so that it went straight into our pick of the best laptops for music production. By integrating Apple’s new in-house ‘system on a chip’, it states these new machines perform nearly three times faster than before, and with a longer battery life to boot. That kind of performance doesn’t come cheap though, so we’ve found some of the best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals from around the web so you can get one for less than you may have thought possible. 

With faster performance, longer battery life and the high levels of design and usability we’ve come to expect, there’s good reason why this new breed of laptop has proven so popular, particularly among musicians. In this guide we’ll explain more about what the improvements are, and the effect they have on everyday computing, as well as highlighting some of the best deals online right now. 

The best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals

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The best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals

(Image credit: Apple)
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The best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals

(Image credit: Apple)
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The best Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple MacBook Pro M1

The Silicon Mac has arrived, promising sterling performance for music makers

Price: $1,299 - £2,299/£1,229 - £2,299 | CPU: Apple M1 (8 core) | Graphics: Integrated 8 core GPU | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3” Retina display | Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD | Ports: 2 x USB 4/Thunderbolt | Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0 | Camera: 720p FaceTime HD webcam | Weight: 3 pounds (1.4kg) | Size: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)

New chip delivers superior performance
Future-proofed music-making machine
Lush Retina display
Improved battery life

To look at the Apple MacBook Pro M1, you’d be forgiven for asking what was different. Certainly, on the exterior, this is the same design Apple has favoured in its Pro line-up for some time now. But it’s when you look under the hood, so to speak, that things start becoming wildly different. Where previous generations relied on Intel chips with separate graphics, now Apple has combined everything together into one with its new, internally-developed M1 chip. This, it claims, delivers far superior performance and better battery life, with everything having been optimised to within an inch of its life. 

For musicians, and particularly Logic Pro X users, this is a big deal. All those processes, renders, bounces and plugins can now function much more snappily, meaning you’ll spend less time watching progress bars and more time recording musical bars. While there have been slight hitches with compatibility from third party software brands, more are now coming on board and – for those that aren’t – Mac OS’ Rosetta software does a great job of bridging that gap. 

The MacBook Pro M1 still boasts a superb Retina display, while even the maligned Touch Bar is slowly growing in utility. If there is one downside it’s that Apple still thinks two USB 4/Thunderbolt ports are an acceptable number in 2021, but thankfully we’re all pretty accepting of dongles nowadays. 

Apple’s move to using its own in-house chip is a bold one. For years, the Apple/Intel combination has provided users with a gold-standard computing experience, so Apple must be confident this new system is better. In our experience, performance and battery life do seem noticeably improved from previous generations, so there are reasons to be optimistic. Add in fact the M1 chip also opens the possibility of using certain iOS apps on the system, and you can begin to see how the music-making experience can only ever be going to some exciting places now.

Apple MacBook Pro M1 deals: Alternatives

If you’re set on sticking with Mac OS but the Apple MacBook Pro M1 is out of your price bracket, we would happily recommend the MacBook Air M1. While it won’t cope with processor intensive applications in the same way the Pro will, the Air represents a great all-rounder that will be more than enough for most people. Or, if you’re unsure about how the M1 chip will affect your system and workflow, Apple still offers the MacBook Pro with an Intel configuration. From a Windows perspective, it’s hard to look beyond the ever-impressive Dell XPS 13 which is as close to the Apple experience as a Windows machine will ever be, at least from a design perspective.