Apple MacBook Air with M1 Chip- Reviews – 2024

The MacBook Air has long been the epitome of portable computing, evolving through years to meet the growing demands of efficiency, power, and sleek design. The late 2020 iteration, equipped with Apple’s groundbreaking M1 chip, marked a significant leap forward. This model not only carried the legacy of its predecessors but also set a new benchmark in the realm of lightweight computing. The introduction of the M1 chip, a marvel in its own right, represents a pivotal moment, emphasizing Apple’s shift from Intel processors and highlighting a future where power and portability coexist without compromise.

The Apple M1 Chip: A Game Changer Laptop

The M1 chip, Apple’s first silicon chip designed specifically for Mac, brings a profound change in how computers operate. Integrating CPU, GPU, and memory into a single chip, the M1 offers a unified architecture that significantly boosts performance and efficiency. Unlike the Intel processors that powered MacBook Airs of the past, the M1 chip enables faster processing speeds, better energy efficiency, and superior thermal management, making the device cooler and quieter under load. These advancements translate to a quantum leap in performance, with the M1 MacBook Air outperforming its predecessors in every measurable aspect, from application launch times to complex video editing tasks, all while extending battery life and minimizing heat generation.

Apple M1 Chip Design & Build

The late 2020 MacBook Air retains its iconic 13.3-inch form factor but is enhanced by the space gray finish, which adds an element of sophistication and modernity. The device’s build quality remains unmatched, with its lightweight and sturdy aluminum chassis emblematic of Apple’s dedication to design and portability. Despite its thin profile, the MacBook Air is robust, designed to withstand the rigors of daily use while maintaining its aesthetic appeal. The choice of space gray offers a sleek, professional appearance that complements its cutting-edge internals, making it a favorite among discerning users who value both form and function.

Performance & User Experience Of Apple M1

The M1 chip redefines what’s possible with the MacBook Air, delivering performance that rivals desktops in a portable form. With an 8-core CPU and up to an 8-core GPU, users experience a significant boost in computing tasks, gaming, and video editing. This leap in capability ensures that the MacBook Air can handle demanding applications with ease, offering a seamless experience even in intensive workloads. The silent operation and instant wake from sleep further refine the user experience, emphasizing efficiency and convenience. Whether it’s for professional tasks, multimedia creation, or everyday computing, the MacBook Air with M1 chip exceeds expectations, setting a new standard for what users can expect from a lightweight laptop.

Memory & Storage of 2020 Apple Macbook

Equipped with 8GB of RAM, the MacBook Air balances multitasking and professional use adeptly. For users with extensive multitasking needs or demanding applications, this memory configuration provides a smooth and responsive experience. The 128GB SSD storage might seem modest, but it’s designed for speed and efficiency, complementing the cloud storage solutions and external storage options available to users. This approach encourages a streamlined, efficient computing experience, suitable for a range of users from students to professionals.

Battery Life & Connectivity

The MacBook Air shines in its battery performance, offering up to 18 hours of use on a single charge, a significant improvement over previous models. This endurance, combined with support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, ensures that users remain connected and productive throughout the day, without the constant need for a power source. The transition to USB-C ports emphasizes versatility and future-readiness, although the absence of legacy ports may require users to invest in adapters for older peripherals.

Software and Ecosystem Integration

Running macOS Big Sur, optimized for the M1 chip, the MacBook Air offers a smooth and integrated user experience. The ability to run iOS apps natively is a notable feature, bridging the gap between macOS and the iOS ecosystem. This integration enhances the MacBook Air’s appeal to users already invested in Apple products, offering a cohesive and interconnected user experience across devices.

Comparing the late 2020 Apple MacBook Air models, one with the revolutionary M1 chip and the other with Intel processors used in earlier versions, highlights the substantial shifts Apple made in its approach to computing power, efficiency, and user experience. Here’s a detailed comparison:

Chip Architecture and Performance

M1 Chip: The Apple M1 chip represents a paradigm shift with its 8-core CPU and up to 8-core GPU, all integrated into a single chip. This architecture allows for a more efficient process management and significantly boosts performance across all tasks. The M1 chip, built on a 5nm process, brings about enhanced speed and power efficiency compared to Intel processors.

Intel Chip: Earlier MacBook Air models were powered by Intel’s Core i3 or i5 processors, based on a 10nm process for the latest before the M1 transition. While they provided reliable performance for everyday tasks and some level of multitasking, they lagged in handling more intensive applications and multitasking demands compared to the M1.

Energy Efficiency and Battery Life

M1 Chip: One of the most significant advantages of the M1 MacBook Air is its energy efficiency, translating into remarkable battery life — up to 18 hours of web browsing or video playback. This is a substantial improvement over previous models.

Intel Chip: MacBook Air models with Intel chips typically offered up to 12 hours of battery life. While respectable for daily use, the efficiency gains with the M1 chip are undeniable, offering longer usability periods between charges.

Heat Management and Noise

M1 Chip: The M1 MacBook Air operates quietly and stays cool under most workloads, thanks to the efficient thermal management of the M1 chip. Remarkably, this model does not even require a fan for cooling.

Intel Chip: Intel-based MacBook Air models sometimes struggled with heat management, becoming warm and activating the cooling fans under heavy loads, which could be distracting in quiet environments.

Software Compatibility and Performance

M1 Chip: With the introduction of the M1 chip, Apple also launched Rosetta 2, a translation process that allows users to run apps made for Intel-based Macs on M1 machines without noticeable performance issues. Additionally, the M1 chip can run iOS and iPadOS apps natively on macOS.

Intel Chip: MacBook Airs with Intel processors run macOS apps designed for Intel architecture natively. They don’t support iOS or iPadOS apps directly on the Mac, lacking the cross-platform application capability that M1-based models offer.

Future-Proofing and Value

M1 Chip: The MacBook Air with the M1 chip is considered more future-proof, thanks to its advanced chip architecture, better performance, and efficiency. It represents a better long-term investment for users looking for a machine that will remain capable and efficient in the coming years.

Intel Chip: While still capable for many tasks, the Intel-based MacBook Air models might not offer the same longevity in terms of performance and software support as Apple continues to optimize its ecosystem for the M1 and subsequent Apple silicon chips.

Price and Value Proposition

Competitively priced, the late 2020 MacBook Air offers significant value, especially when considering its performance enhancements, build quality, and battery life. For students, professionals, and casual users alike, the MacBook Air stands out as an attractive option, providing a balance of power, portability, and price. Its value proposition is further strengthened by its longevity and compatibility within the Apple ecosystem, making it a wise investment for those looking for a reliable and high-performing laptop.

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Here are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) that might accompany the article on the late 2020 Apple MacBook Air with the M1 chip:

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can the MacBook Air with M1 chip run Windows?

Yes, but with limitations. While traditional Boot Camp support is not available on M1 Macs, users can run Windows for ARM through virtualization software such as Parallels Desktop. Performance and compatibility may vary, and it’s advisable to check software specifics for updates.

Is the MacBook Air’s 8GB of RAM sufficient for professional work?

For many professionals, especially those who work with web-based applications, writing software, and light photo editing, 8GB of RAM proves to be sufficient. However, for more RAM-intensive tasks like professional video editing or 3D modeling, upgrading to a model with more RAM would be beneficial.

How does the MacBook Air with M1 chip handle gaming?

The M1 MacBook Air represents a significant improvement in gaming performance over previous Intel-based models due to its powerful GPU capabilities. While it’s not designed as a gaming laptop, it can handle many popular games at decent settings. The availability of games compatible with macOS is the primary limitation.

Can I use my old Mac accessories with the new MacBook Air?

Most accessories that connect via USB-C, Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi will work seamlessly with the new MacBook Air. For accessories designed for USB-A, HDMI, or other ports, you will need an adapter or a docking station to connect them.

How does the MacBook Air with M1 chip support iOS apps?

The MacBook Air with M1 chip can run iOS apps natively, allowing users to download and install them directly from the Mac App Store. Not all iOS apps are available, as developers have the option to offer their apps on macOS.

What is battery life like in real-world usage?

The MacBook Air with M1 chip offers up to 18 hours of battery life for web browsing and video playback, which is a significant increase over previous models. Real-world usage varies, but many users report all-day battery life under typical workloads.

Is it worth upgrading from an older MacBook Air?

For users with MacBook Air models that are several years old, upgrading to the M1 model presents a significant improvement in performance, battery life, and efficiency. If your current device struggles with your workflow or you desire a more modern computing experience, upgrading is worthwhile.

Can the internal storage and RAM be upgraded after purchase?

No, both the SSD storage and RAM in the MacBook Air with M1 chip are not user-upgradable post-purchase. It’s important to choose the configuration that best suits your needs at the time of buying.


The late 2020 MacBook Air, with its M1 chip, is a testament to Apple’s innovation and commitment to pushing the boundaries of portable computing. Its standout features, including unmatched performance, sleek design, and seamless ecosystem integration, position it uniquely in the market.