Experiences of an English Language Teacher

Which M1 Apple Mac Should You Get for Online Teaching?

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A few weeks ago, Apple announced their new M1 silicone chip with their range of Macs. Essentially, they were updating their range of MacBooks and Mac Mini with the new silicone M1 chip, and removing the Intel chip. In the video above, I share my advice for your next investment.

The M1 Mac Mini

If you want a desktop replacement, then the Mac Mini will be a worthy replacement. But don’t forget that you will need to purchase a Mouse/Trackpad, Keyboard, and a Monitor. This will be an extra cost and you don’t need to go all out with an Apple Keyboard and Trackboard, as these are quite expensive and you can find cheaper alternatives.

Initial Mac Mini Setup:

For a total of just shy of £1380.00, you could have your next desktop Mac Mini setup for online teaching and other remote working purposes.

The M1 MacBooks

If you wish to have a device which you can move from room to room, then the MacBook Air or MacBook Pro should be for you. The difference between the M1 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro depends upon whether you need a laptop to help you with more intensive tasks such as video editing or other related chore (music production, etc.). My MacBook Pro, which I have had for over a year, has served me very well.

The biggest difference between them both is the lack of a fan with the MacBook Air. Apparently, you won’t need a fan with your Air and I am sure Apple will ensure your device does not overheat with some thermal throttling.

Initial MacBook Setup:

Each includes 256GB of SSD storage but if you wish to have a bit more storage then it will increase the cost. Compared to the traditional Intel range of Apple Macs, the latest range of Apple M1 Macs make it more affordable for others to make the switch to Apple.

Overall Opinion

If you wish to have a decent device for remote teaching or other work purposes, then an Apple M1 device is for you. However, if you wish to have a dedicated graphics card for your device, then perhaps a PC might be more suitable. Nevertheless, Apple has made their range of MacBooks and Mac Mini more affordable and there is no reason to hold off purchasing a new device if you need to.

An Apple device works well and I have never had any technical issues with my MacBook. It is incredibly reliable for remote teaching and you will not need to upgrade an Apple for a number of years. Just remember to get enough SSD as you will not be able to upgrade the storage in the future.


  1. David

    Hi Martin! I’m tempted to upgrade for next year as I think online learning will be something we have to get used to, and hopefully enjoy. Occasionally I toy with switching away from Apple but once you’re in their ecosystem, they do link up devices nicely. I’m still using my Air from Czech days, but might upgrade next year to a Pro. My storage is already full..I don’t have a desktop computer though, and that might up end being more practical, considering I’m back at home. Thanks 🙂

    • Martin Sketchley

      Thanks for the comment David. I made the final move to Apple last year with my purchase of a MacBook. It was an expensive move but I am very pleased with my decision.

      Obviously, the limit behind purchasing a Mac Mini or MacBook is you are unable to upgrade your hard disk but you can add external hard drives. One benefit of upgrading your system now to an M1 device is that there is at least a third saving from last year.

      I purchased my MacBook Pro for over £3,000 but if I were to get a similar M1 product is would be around £2,000. This is mostly associated with the fact that Apple can set their own price for their silicone chip and that they don’t have to mark up their price for Intel processors.

      Anyhow, I believe the next normal for teachers would be teaching remotely and I have not been in a classroom with my Uni for over 8 months now. I do hope that we return to normalcy but it won’t be for a long time now.

      • David

        Hi Martin!
        Thanks for your reply. I was just writing a reply and maybe I accidentally submitted ‘reply’ before reviewing it.
        Next time will write it on my laptop haha

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