MacBook Pro M1 Max Review: Developer Perspective

Arek Nawo
8 min readNov 12, 2021

As a software developer, I don’t usually do hardware reviews. However, I felt like the latest MacBook Pro deserved an exception. TL;DR: It’s a game-changer!


For a long time, Windows was a bit underwhelming for me. Its UI inconsistencies, bugs, and poor development experience left me searching for an alternative in the Linux world. Although development and customizability were top-notch, the software side was lacking for the creative work I do on the side.

I started to see macOS as an ideal OS for me. It felt like a combination of the best things I liked from both the Linux and Windows worlds. Beautiful, consistent UI out-of-the-box, good development experience with access to Unix terminal and support for creative software from likes of Adobe. macOS’s main drawback for many — the lack of games — didn’t affect me since I’m in the minority of those who simply don’t game.

So, with the announcement of Apple Silicon transition at WWDC 2020, it was the perfect time to make the switch.

MacBook Pro 13” M1

My first Mac ever was MacBook Pro M1 with 16 GB of RAM and 1 TB of storage — basically “maxed-out” M1 except for storage.

It was a questionable decision since my previous Windows laptop had a larger screen (15.4” vs. 13.2”), more RAM (32 GB), more storage (2 TB), and a dedicated GPU. Still, it started to show its age, and its plastic body reflected that pretty well, and loud fans reflected that pretty well.

I’m happy to say that from today’s perspective, it was one of the best hardware picks I’ve ever made:

  • Having a silent laptop with no fan noise whatsoever was a transformative experience to my comfort of work;
  • The battery was something that I’ve never experienced in a laptop, lasting a day and a half of my typical workflow and over a week of light use;
  • The screen, though a bit small, was great. Pairing it with an external monitor made it into a great workstation and highly-portable device when you needed it;
  • Build quality and trackpad was top-notch. It was the first time I could comfortably use a trackpad and started even to prefer it over a…
Arek Nawo

Hobbyist. Programmer. Dreamer. JavaScript and TypeScript lover. 👍 World-a-better-place maker. 🌐