Revealed alongside a new MacBook Pro and Mac Mini back in 2020, the new MacBook Air was one of the first devices to be powered by Apple's new M1 chipset.
As our review and many others have proven, shifting to its own silicon has been a big success for Apple - there have been significant strides forward in both performance and battery life.
The MacBook Air is available to buy from a variety of retailers in the UK and US, with many offering steep discounts. Here's everything you need to know about buying one.
Best MacBook Air M1 UK deals
Here's where you can buy the new M1 MacBook Air right now in the UK:
- Apple - from £999 (256GB), £1249 (512GB) - no discounts
- Amazon - from £889, £149.03 off 512GB model
- Very - from £949, £100 off 512GB model
- Currys - from £889, £132 off 512GB model
- John Lewis - from £899, £149.03 off 512GB model
- Box - from £949, £101 off 512GB model (shown as £97 off previous price)
- Scan - from £951.79, £59.02 off 512GB model
- KRCS - from £949.05, £62.45 off 512GB model
- Argos - from £999 (256GB), £1249 (512GB) - no discounts
Best MacBook Air M1 UK deals
In the US, check out the following:
- Apple - from $999 (256GB), $1249 (512GB) - no discounts
- Amazon - from $949 (256GB), $100 off 512GB model - takes a few days longer than usual to ship
- Best Buy - from $999.99 (256GB), $1249.99 (512GB) - no discounts
- B&H Photo Video - from $949, $150 off 512GB model
- Walmart - from $874.97 (256GB, open box), $50 off 512GB model
Should I buy refurbished?
The only place you'll see bigger discounts on the M1 MacBook Air is if you buy refurbished. Some might see this as another word for 'second hand', but in reality many of these devices have barely been used at all.
Remember, if a product has been used for demonstration purposes or returned as an unwanted gift, retailers must classify them as 'refurbished' despite looking and performing just like new. It's true that there are situations where a fault has been fixed, so it's worth checking the description for any device you're considering buying.
There are two key places to go if you're looking for a refurbished Apple Watch. The first is the Apple Refurbished Store, with devices refurbished to an excellent standard. MusicMagpie is a great alternative though, and typically offers a greater range to choose from.
See more in our guide to refurbished tech.
What’s so exciting about the MacBook Air and its Apple M1 chip?
The M1 is Apple’s first designed and manufactured chipset for its Mac range – and it’s a big deal. Apple has started the transition away from Intel-powered Macs, a move that makes sense considering how well Apple has done with creating the A-series chipsets for its iPhones and iPads.
The key highlight of the new M1 is just how much of a boost in performance it provides compared to the Intel chips it used in MacBooks earlier this year. Apple claims a 3.5x jump in the CPU department and a 5x jump in the GPU department when it comes to the MacBook Air, two incredible improvements considering the relatively minor year-on-year gains on offer from Intel chipsets.
There’s also a dedicated Neural Engine packed onto the SoC, bringing a massive 15x improvement to ML actions like automatic image enhancement or facial recognition.
Despite the impressive performance gains, the 5nm process means that the chipset is incredibly energy efficient, offering 15-18 hours of battery life on the MacBook Air depending on what you’re up to. It’s also a lot cooler in operation, meaning Apple could actually ditch the fan in the MacBook Air for a truly silent machine.
Believe it or not, those are only the highlights of what the M1 brings to the MacBook Air in 2020 – there’s plenty more on offer under the hood. For more on why it’s such an exciting release, take a look at the latest details on the new MacBook Air with M1, and our full Apple Silicon explainer might be of interest too.