See, that's your problem, you fit your expectations to what Apple tells you you need. I don't work like that. I know what my needs are and I find a spec that matches them. So my answer to your question would be that the Surface Pro 4 I recently paid Au$550 (US$420) for fails to meet my needs better than an M1 MB Air does in that it runs all the software I need it to in an ultraportable form factor. It has many of the same compromises as an MB Air but I haven't had to update any of my software since I bought it, just so things will run on it, nor will I have to worry about compatibility with any of my peripherals, now or at any time in the future.
It's faster than a two year old CPU, so what? The M1's multi-core performance, in the 3rd party benchmarks I've seen, is on par with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5. But everyone knows that AMD currently has the fastest processors, so if raw power mattered, I wouldn't even be running an Intel CPU. Graphics performance is more important for my work, which is what I buy computers for, and the M1 Air doesn't have serious graphics and, therefore, is completely useless to me.I'm guessing you have the Dell G7, with a 6 core i7-10750H? Here is the performance difference.
Single core: 1140 vs 1740 (52% faster)
Multi core: 5470 vs 7640 (39% faster)
Here again, you demonstrate dumb-ass Apple style thinking. Nobody pays full retail price for any PC. My G7, for example, had a list price of Au$2799 when I bought it. But the new CPUs were about to be released and everyone was trying to sell out the 8th gen models, so bargains could be had for under Au$2000. So I shopped around, which is something you can do in the PC world, and discovered that Dell were offering a 9th gen G7 with a similar discount, so I got it for just Au$1580, more than Au$1200 less than retail. Of course, since then I have upgraded it substantially, swapping the secondary drive, a spinning HDD, for an SSD and quadrupling the RAM. I am about to update the primary SSD, too, to double it's capacity. That should keep it humming along for a few more years, at least until the next day, on-site warranty runs out in 2023.The MacBook Air is $375US cheaper, is faster by about 2 entire generations, is silent and doesn't look like a piece of crap from the 90s. I feel sorry for you man. You got scammed.
The other thing is that I had a choice of a 15" or 17" screen, with or without touch and I think there were two different resolution options for each size, so I was able to get exactly what I wanted, pretty much no compromises required, at a price Apple want three times as much for.
The question you need to ask, of course, is if the M1 chip is so good, why did Apple stick it in their entry-level consumer-oriented laptop first and not into their pro-sumer models? Could it be that Apple are fully aware that the M1 is not suited to professional, or semi-professional use?