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Apple’s discontinued M1 MacBook Air is still one of the best laptops you can get

Published May 29th, 2024 7:47AM EDT
Image: Apple

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When Apple announced the new M3 MacBook Air, the company also discontinued the M1-powered model. That shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, of course, since the M1 MacBook Air was released three-and-a-half years ago in November 2020. But despite the fact that this model isn’t officially in Apple’s lineup anymore, it’s still available in brand-new condition from several retailers. It also happens to still be one of the best laptops for many people.

Even back when it was priced at $999, this was the cheapest laptop in Apple’s lineup. Now that it’s on its way out, the M1 MacBook Air is on sale for just $699 at Walmart and at Best Buy. While it doesn’t have the latest-generation Apple Silicon chip, it still delivers plenty of power and excellent battery life. If you’re in the market for a new entry-level MacBook, today is the day you should finally pull the trigger.

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop - M1 chip - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop - M1 chip - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD $699 (reg. $999) $699 at Best Buy

Some people balk at Apple’s laptop lineup because MacBooks can be quite pricey. But most people who have one will tell you that it’s worth every penny.

Laptops like the MacBook Air deliver lasting power and performance that doesn’t dwindle after a couple of years, which is a problem that often plagues Windows laptops. Plus, you get sleek aluminum designs and all the great features that are baked into macOS.

For those of you who are concerned mainly with price, the best M1 MacBook Air deal just came back after disappearing earlier this month. It gets you Apple’s entry-level MacBook Air model for just $699 at Walmart. That’s a $300 discount compared to the old MSRP, and it’s the lowest price ever for this model.

As I mentioned earlier, this is probably your last chance to buy an M1 MacBook Air since Apple discontinued it. You can also get it from Best Buy for $699 if you’d rather shop there than Walmart.

Despite being one of the thinnest and lightest laptops Apple has ever made, the M1 MacBook Air delivers plenty of power courtesy of its M1 Apple Silicon chipset. It has an 8-core CPU that Apple says is 3.5x faster than the last Intel-powered MacBook Air that Apple made. That’s a massive power boost.

My favorite thing about the M1 MacBook Air is the fact that it delivers all that power without compromising on battery life. A single charge lasts for up to 18 hours of usage. That means you might not even have to charge your laptop every day.

As far as downsides, the only big one is that this laptop was first released in 2020, so it’s getting a little long in the tooth at this point. But the good news is that Apple’s newer M2 MacBook Air model is also discounted now that the M3 model is here.

Apple - MacBook Air 15-inch Laptop - M2 chip - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD Apple - MacBook Air 15-inch Laptop - M2 chip - 8GB Memory - 256GB SSD $999 (reg. $1,299) $999 at Best Buy

If you want something that’s a bit more future-proof and your budget can accommodate it, the newer 15-inch M2 MacBook Air is also on sale right now, following the M3 MacBook Air release on March 8, 2024. It used to retail for $1,299, but Best Buy has it for $999.99 now that Apple released the M3 update.

That is a terrific price for Apple’s M2 model. After all, the M3 version isn’t meaningfully faster or more powerful than the M2 model. According to Apple’s own press releases, the M2 MacBook Air is 12 times faster than the old Intel-based MacBook Air, and the M3 model is only 13 times faster.

Additionally, Apple says both MacBook Air models offer the same 18 hours of battery life. It looks like the only reason to get the M3 model over the M2 version is if you care about ray tracing.

Also of note, if you want the best of the best, several of Apple’s newest MacBook Pro models are currently on sale. There are also plenty of other Apple gadgets on sale right now, so be sure to check out our guide on the best Apple deals.

Maren Estrada Deals Editor

Maren Estrada has been the Editor of BGR Deals since it launched in 2013. She has more than 20 years of experience testing more than 1,500 products, and reviewing a wide range of consumer electronics including mobile devices, smart home products, computers, and home appliances.

Previously, she was a leading consultant specializing in copywriting, product development, and new product launches.