I really want to buy a crazy-fast M1 MacBook Pro. Here’s why I’m not

The reviews for the new M1 MacsBooks are here and they’re spectacular. They’re not just faster than the previous Intel machines, they’re among the fastest Apple laptops ever made, with some tests besting even the flagship 16-inch MacBook Pro. And I really, really want one.

I’ve made no secret of my intention to hold off on buying a new Mac until Apple started using its own silicon inside, and the day finally arrived. The Apple Store was down, the event clock was ticking down, and I was ready to buy my first new MacBook in nearly a decade.

Except I’m not. At least not yet, anyway. While there’s a lot to like about the speed and battery life claims in the new M1 chip in the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, there are just as many reasons to hold off on the purchase, especially if you’re coming from an older high-end machine. It’s not so much that I’m disappointed with the first M1 Macs as much as my curiosity is piqued.

In a nutshell: I want what’s coming next.

apple m1 core Apple

My issue isn’t with the design, which is a carbon copy of the Intel models. Sure, an edge-to-edge screen would be nice, as would a smaller footprint, Face ID, light-up Apple logo, and MagSafe integration, but the current design is plenty nice.

While there’s no doubt that these machines are crazy fast for their prices—though there’s some doubt that they’re faster than the 98 percent of PCs as Apple claims—there’s also reason to believe that Apple is only scratching the surface with what it will deliver.

Take the ports. On the previous MacBook Pro lineup, Apple offered a $1,799 step-up option that delivered four USB-C type Thunderbolt 3 ports rather than two on the base model. That’s the configuration of my work machine and I use every one of the ports on a daily basis, as do a lot of users. But like the MacBook Air, the new M1 MacBook Pro and Mac mini only have two Thunderbolt 3/USB 4 ports.

That’s likely because the M1 chip only has a single Thunderbolt 3 controller—which also explains why both ports are on the same side—but it also means you can’t buy an M1 Mac without being seriously hampered when it comes to USB ports. Assuming you’re using one for charging, you’re probably going to need a hub, which is an inelegant solution.