Is this a good time to purchase a MacBook Air? Or a terrible time? I’ve lost track of when it came out and thus when a new version might arrive. I’m ready to move on from my older MacBook Pro but can wait a few months if needed.
Any suggestions on “wait” or “don’t wait” would be highly appreciated.
Will the current Air meet your needs? If so then it’s a fine time to buy. If you think the next generation will have more RAM or better screen or other features and you want them, then wait if you can. The M1 is a great processor and is sufficient for most moderate tasks.
While we were waiting for the first Apple Silicon Macs it was good advice to hold off buying the then-current-generation Intel Macs because we were expecting the ASi transition to be huge. (And they were rightfully so)
The M1 MacBook Air is due for a refresh likely early next year, but the upgrade is most likely not going to be as monumental as the Intel-M1 upgrade was. (Well, maybe a new design if you care a lot about that) If you want a machine now the M1 Air is a perfectly great machine, and I expect it to still be for many years to come.
If you consider historical trends, the iPhones (our only long-term example of Apple ARM currently) aren’t getting twice as fast each year anymore. Benchmarking on the A series chips indicates noticeable but modest performance gains year-over-year, in the range of 10-15% faster.
If that translates to the M1, the next chip (M2?) is likely to be faster, but not monumentally.
Another way they could really “juice” the Air, performance-wise, is to add cores - either primary or GPU. And it seems to me that Apple’s historical pattern is to either stick with the existing core count or slightly increase at a single level in the lineup.
RAM is the other potential upgrade, and again - Apple has stuck to its guns on the RAM limits being consistent across a product line. Even with the Intel MBA, the Air had the lower RAM ceiling and the Pro pulled out all the stops. Since the RAM is part of the SOC, I wouldn’t expect the next version to support 32 or 64 GB of RAM. That both increases SKUs and drives up price, and if somebody wants that type of config the MacBook Pro seems to be Apple’s intended product for them.
All that to say, I would be shocked if the “M2” dropped and it didn’t basically look like a slightly-faster version of the M1. Unless there’s a very specific non-SOC hardware feature you believe to be coming in the next revision, I don’t see a good reason to not buy one now.
I have a M1 MacBook Air and I love everything about it. I have nary a complaint. It is an absolute speed demon! A charge could probably last 3 days. The keyboard is wonderful. IMHO, it is a true bargain!
Thanks for all your replies! I don’t need a new laptop for probably another 4 to 6 months. Great to hear about all the positive experiences. I think I’ll purchase after the holiday rush. My main computer is an iMac so the laptop is secondary, except when I travel then it’s my “everything” computer.
It seems that even if I purchase shortly before the new version comes out I’ll still be in good shape.
I just celebrated having my M1 MBA for one year a few days ago, and it’s as fast as the day I got it, battery life is still off the charts. As other have mentioned, it depends on what you need it for, and unless it’s meant for intensive work purposes, then getting one now would be a great thing.
Buy! Despite the 2022 Air rumors I just bought the M1 Air as an upgrade to an older MacBook Pro and I couldn’t be happier. Light but sturdy. Amazing keyboard. Comes to life the instant you open the lid. I can write, edit, watch videos and stay organized very well with the current Air. Will the next Air look cooler? Probably. Will it be so much more powerful that I’ll get my work done even 10% quicker. Nope. If your have an older Mac you’ll be very satisfied.
BTW some suggest waiting for the 2022 Air because it might have Magsafe. I really like USBC. It’s universal and I can share the adapter and cord with my other tech, like my iPad.
I had no choice, because my 2016 MB Pro’s battery swelled and I didn’t want to replace it. The toolbar was fried (probably because of the swelling) and other annoying quirks were cropping up. I replaced it with a MacBook Air in September and couldn’t be more satisfied. I say - go for it!
If a MacBook Air-class machine was ever going to satisfy your computing needs, the 2020 MacBook Air certainly will satisfy them. It is better than any other Mac I’ve used going all the way back to my old Mac IIci on up to my most recent 2018 15-inch MacBook Pro.
I would wait if you don’t need it right now. The first M1 Air was basically the Intel case with new insides. The rumors all suggest a fully redesigned/rethought enclosure around the ASi architecture along with changes such as ports (MagSafe maybe?), color choices a la the iMac, possibly better screens integregrating the mini-LED backlights, and likely the M2, any combo of which are pretty compelling reasons to hold off on buying the year-old model at this point. I just told my mom to hold off from upgrading her old Intel Air for these reasons.
I agree completely. I’m a developer and I have the 16GB, 8 core.
With this, I can run Docker for development and with four or five containers running (as I do a lot of data streaming work). I never get the spinning rainbow. I have heavy IDEs running at the same time (WebStorm and PHPStorm) and the Air more than copes.