Unboxing the MacBook Pro M1 Max

The arrival of my new laptop was a roller coaster. I ordered on October 19th, and the original delivery estimate was December 3rd. Last week, I got a text and an e-mail, saying the estimate was pushed to December 14th – 21st. Then on Monday it dropped back to Dec. 3rd. Today I got a notification from DHL that it landed in Cincinatti, and it was on my doorstep by dinner, which is pretty amazing. So of course I had to unbox it right away:

Battery life looks amazing. I pulled this out of the box as is, never plugged it in, and I've been configuring this thing for over an hour. It still has over 10 hours left:

And after a full charge, it said 14:18 remaining:

Now, how reliable that holds up during normal usage, I don't know. But it's not like I'm traveling with this thing, so battery life isn't a high priority feature for me in our current state of affairs. But it's nice to know I can forget it on the couch overnight (or upstairs on a Sunday) and won't have to resuscitate.

Initial GeekBench metrics:

Some notable first impressions from a physical angle:

  • It's lighter than I expected (but of course slightly heavier than Nicole's M1 Air).
  • The vents on the sides are… a little different, a bit more pronounced, and will probably take a little getting used to.
  • The lid groove has marginally sharper corners than the previous model.
  • The feet seem a little more resilient (most of my MacBooks have eventually lost their feet, some much sooner than others… seems to be a constant iteration thing).
  • The thinner bezel is kind of amazing, notchwithstanding. Allowing this slightly larger screen to fit into almost the exact same physical attributes as older models makes the notch an easy trade-off for me. The only annoyance I've found so far that is notch or menubar related is that iStat Menus render a pixel or two away from the menubar, which may be an iStat problem because I don't notice it with any other panels.

(I'll come back later when I figure out how useful it is to compare performance on docker containers when SQL Server can only run on M1 in its Azure SQL Edge flavor.)

Aaron Bertrand

I am a passionate technologist with industry experience dating back to Classic ASP and SQL Server 6.5. I am a long-time Microsoft MVP, write at SQLPerformance and MSSQLTips, and have had the honor of speaking at more conferences than I can remember. In non-tech life, I am a father of two, a huge hockey and football fan, and my pronouns are he/him.