Would appreciate some advice.
Currently still running on the previous (c/o Marco Arment) “best Apple laptop”, being a BTO 2015 15" 16GB, 1TB SSD MBP.
It is my second Mac laptop. I tend to keep them running for long.
Whilst I have thankfully skipped the entire butterfly keyboard range, I was nonetheless a bit sad on missing out on the Touch Bar (contrary views aside, I think I would’ve BetterTouchTool(ed) the heck out of it).
My current machine, whilst much loved – is starting to show its age. Battery service is recommended – and it would probably benefit from a nuke & pave, since it’s starting to creak a bit (very slow to wake with multiple monitors plugged in, and just “slower” in everyday tasks).
I have a 2020 11" IPP, and would arguably benefit from a M1 with the closer integration (screen-sharing wise) between the laptop and iPad.
I am in higher education, in the social sciences (law) side of things. I do occasional video editing, and virtually zero photo editing – but do have large storage needs due to large PDF/research databases, and storage of video files (lectures/seminars etc.). Currently have about 250GB free, of the 1TB SSD.
Whilst I don’t do that many CPU intensive tasks, I regularly have many, many apps open at any given time, with multiple widows (Preview; Safari with many, many open tabs; Firefox; DEVONthink with many, many windows; Excel; Word, lots of open docs; Outlook with many open emails; MS Teams; Miro; Scrivener; Bookends; etc. etc).
Budget came in for a laptop upgrade, to be purchased via Employer. Keep in mind, we pay quite a hefty Apple tax these parts.
We have the option to purchase the laptop back, at discounted price, after 4 years. I also have the option to “top-up” on the amount the employer provides, to get a better-specced machine.
Further caveat: We have to include the pricey local equivalent of Apple Care onto any machine we purchase (this to cover the Apple users, given the Dell service care options that come with the pc’s purchased via the employer).
Budget, as is, will just cover an 2020 M1 MBP, the M1 CHIP 8C CPU/GPU version – with 512GB SSD, but 8GB’s of RAM (nice on SSD, worried about RAM) – Option 1.
Or, Option 2: 2020 M1 MBP, 16GB 512GB, with me adding quite a bit on top of employer’s contribution.
Option 3: 2020 M1 MBA, 16GB 512GB (nice on SSD and RAM, bit worried about if it has enough “grunt”, considering my needs?)
Option 4 (mentioned reluctantly): Blow my budget out of the water, and look at 2021 14" MBP. I shouldn’t even mention this as an option. The price disparity between the 2020 and 2021 model, is significant.
But… The only(?) real benefit – apart from the fact that the 2021 models are so awesome – would be that when I buy it back in 4 years, I can comfortably get more life out of it. But is the difference between the 2020 and 2021 models that significant?
** Oh wait. Option 4 is also more tempting because it involves possibly less dongles. University = HDMI.
What should I do, given my needs and budget? What would you do?