I watched the Apple Event last week to find out a little more about their new M1 chip. Apple is in the process of abandoning the Intel x86 technology that has powered the Mac for more than a decade.

And it just so happens that I’m at the point of replacing my MacBook Pro and I need a new computer for the shack. I’ve debated going back to Linux in the ham shack but figured I’d first take a closer look at Apple’s new silicon.

So I ordered a new MacBook Air to replace my current laptop and when it arrives, a day or two from now, I’ll test several ham radio related applications to make certain these run well on the new chip.

Specifically, MacLoggerDX and MacDoppler.

If these run without issue on the new M1, then I intend to order a new Mac mini for the ham shack. With two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI 2.0, Wi-Fi 6, and Gigabit Ethernet it should easily manage the shack hardware. And I’ve already tested these applications on the latest version of macOS - Big Sur and find no issues.

The size, performance, and price all make it look like a great solution for what I want in the shack, and the fact that they gave me a hefty trade allowance on my 2017 MacBook Pro (with the slowly failing keyboard) made for an easy decision.