Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

Apple silicon doesn’t have to be overly expensive.

It’s hard to believe, but Apple has been using its own chips on its MacBooks for a solid three years now. It all started with the MacBook Air—the 2020 model was the first to feature the Apple M1 in place of Intel’s Core chips, making the jump to ARM from x86. That laptop is still perfectly fine to use today, which is why Apple is still selling it. Now, you can net a nice discount on it, with it being Black Friday week and all.

You can now buy the M1 MacBook Air at Amazon and Best Buy for just $750, down from its usual $900 price point. It’s still not particularly cheap for a 3-year-old laptop (Apple hardware isn’t known to go down in price a lot, and this is especially true for the company’s computers), but given the package you’re getting here, we’d argue this is still very well worth buying. We have the M1 processor as well as 8GB RAM (which isn’t ideal, but it’s fine, especially given the price) and a 256GB SSD. We also have a 13-inch display, two USB-C ports, and a classic, notch-less design—the last MacBook Air to come without a notch. We’re also lacking things such as MagSafe charging, but those aren’t really “essential.”

This laptop is frequently discounted these days now that we have M2 MacBook Air models and we’ll certainly get M3 models down the road. Even then, the MacBook Air with the M1 SoC remains one of the most powerful and capable computers you can buy these days, and it still has plenty of support by Apple. So it’s definitely worth a purchase if you’re looking for something that’s good for working on the go and maybe even do some heavier tasks as well. The M1 processor means that it’s ultra-light and has excellent battery life that easily surpasses basically any x86-based laptop out there.

MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

The 13-inch MacBook Air with M1 chip is silent and mighty with great battery life and a gorgeous display. It’s a bit cheaper than comparable MacBook Pro models and is better suited to light use.

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By John P.

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