Apple unveiled the M1 MacBook Air at its November Mac hardware event in 2020. It was part of the company’s transition to using in-house designed chips based on the ARM architecture from the traditional x86 Intel designed silicon. The M1 not only brought improved performance but also improved efficiency.
The major change internally was the removal of fan; the M1 MacBook Air runs fanless without generating any major heat. Chips based on the ARM architecture have been used in smartphones for long but the technology has begun gaining traction in the PC world only recently. The advantages are obvious: higher power efficiency, less heat generation, and higher performance.
The MacBooks have always had high quality displays; the same continues with the MacBook Air. The display on the M1 MacBook Air is unchanged from the model since 2018, however the display now supports P3 wide color gamut. The brightness is decent at 400 nits – perfectly readable indoors but struggles slightly when directly under the sun.
As the M1 chip brings higher power efficiency to the Mac, the battery life has improved dramatically. The laptop easily lasts for a whole day without requiring to be plugged in. While the M1 MacBook Pro lasts even longer, the MacBook Air is nothing less. Also, the convenience of USB-C is a cherry on the top.
The webcam on the MacBook Air is unchanged – it’s practically the same as the one found on the 2018 model. However, the company introduced some software and M1 specific features that improve the image quality of the camera. However, given the fact that the MacBook Air is not supposed to be used for “Pro” level tasks, the “not so good” camera quality can be ignored.
The M1 MacBook Air starts at $999 (USD). It’s the best value for money laptop for basic tasks.