For those aiming to minimize expenses on a MacBook, the Apple MacBook Air M1 proves to be just as effective as its newer counterpart, the M2. Despite the M2 being approximately 10% swifter than the M1, this difference won’t significantly impact the routine tasks carried out by students, writers, teachers, and others on a daily basis.
The MacBook Air M1 maintains the same aluminum build and Retina display that garnered our approval in the earlier 2020 Intel MacBook Air model. Given that post-purchase upgrades are unavailable for M1 MacBooks, we suggest considering a model with a minimum of 512GB storage capacity.
Boasting an astonishing battery life of nearly 12 hours, superior performance compared to most Windows laptops, and an exceptionally responsive trackpad and tactile keyboard, it’s no wonder the MacBook Air M1 has gained such popularity. Unless you specifically require Windows 11, the MacBook Air stands out as an excellent choice for late-night study sessions, essay writing, and streaming high-resolution videos.
- Processor: Apple M1 8-Core Processor, with 7-core integrated GPU (8-core GPU also available)
- Memory: 8 GB RAM (16 GB RAM upgrade also available)
- Storage: 256 GB RAM (512 GB, 1 TB, 2 TB also available)
- Display: 13.3” LED-backlit IPS display at 2560p x 1600p resolution
- Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3; 3.5mm headphone jack
- Keyboard and Trackpad: Magic Keyboard with backlighting; Force Touch trackpad; Touch ID sensor
- Camera: 720p webcam
- Graphics: 8-Core Integrated GPU
- Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6; Bluetooth 5.0
- Battery: 49.9 Watt-hour battery
- Weight: 2.8 lbs
- Dimensions: 0.63” x 11.97” x 8.36”
- Warranty: 90 days of complimentary technical support and a one-year warranty
Good battery life
If you indulge in a marathon of the extended edition movies from the Lord of the Rings trilogy, your time spent in Middle Earth will encompass 11 and a half hours. If you opt to view these movies on a fully charged M1 MacBook Air, you’ll still have a little over an hour left to spare for tweeting about your cinematic journey—just enough time to revisit and safeguard the Shire. Indeed, the MacBook Air demonstrated an endurance of 12 hours and 49 minutes on our battery test using Google Chrome. This impressive duration surpasses the HP Spectre x360 14, the lengthiest-lasting Windows laptop we’ve assessed thus far, by almost 4 hours.
The only factor preventing the Air from seizing the title of the longest-lasting battery is its M1 counterpart, the MacBook Pro 13, which provides nearly 14 hours of usage per charge. This difference can be attributed to the slightly larger battery in the MacBook Pro, as both laptops consume similar power. Nevertheless, both the M1 Air and the M1 Pro exhibit significantly superior longevity compared to the mid-2020 Intel MacBook Pro 13, which faltered after a mere 7 hours.
Another laptop with good battery life is the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5i (2023)