Is the cheapest MacBook a good deal or is it best to avoid in 2022?

Is the cheapest MacBook a good deal or is it best to avoid (image via New York Times)
A look at the cheapest MacBook in 2022 (Image via New York Times)

When it comes to laptops, MacBooks offer some of the best options on the market. However, their prices can be quite high, especially for the features they offer.

The cheapest laptop you can get with the Apple branding is the Apple M1 MacBook Air, which sells for $899 at a lot of major retailers. So, is their cheapest option a good deal or is it best to avoid it?

Exploring the viability of Apple M1 MacBook Air in 2022


The 2020 M1 Air is one of the most affordable options when it comes to Apple laptops. It starts at just $899 and offers a lot of features that are normally found on more expensive models. For example, it has a retina display, a backlit keyboard, and a fingerprint sensor.

It was released in 2020 and is currently the cheapest option from Apple. However, there are a couple of things to consider before purchasing this model.

1) The 2020 Apple M1 Air is not the newest model on the market. It was released in 2020, so it is a couple of years old. Additionally, it is not clear how long Apple will continue to support this model, as they typically do so only for 5-7 years after products are released.

2) It is not the most powerful device on the market. It has an Apple M1 processor, which is not as powerful as the current-gen offerings from the company.

How does the M1 MacBook Air stack against the current generation M2?


Multiple benchmark testings have already verified Apple's assertion that the new M2 processor featured in the 2022 Air and MacBook Pro models is around 20% quicker than the M1. Even though these enhancements are greatly appreciated, an M1 Mac should work just fine for you.

Why should you consider an M1 Macbook Air?

With Apple's Silicon M2, Apple offers a wide range of Mac alternatives, including the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the Mac mini, and even the new Air, so why should a prospective buyer go for the older Gen M1 Air?

It can be stated with confidence that the M1 Air is still one of the most affordable computers on the market today.

For just $899, you receive a laptop that is extremely valuable for money. It is more powerful than the previous gen (Intel days) MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 CPU, and speedier than most laptops at that price range while being more efficient with its battery back-up.


However, it goes beyond mere performance. Given its extreme thinness and light weight of just three pounds, the M1 Air is still a stunning piece of technology.

It also has a fantastic 13-inch high-resolution Retina Display and a fantastic built-in touchpad. It even has two Thunderbolt 3 connections so you can use it as a desktop computer and connect it to a 4K display.

The new M2 Air has an edge-to-edge display and a faster CPU, and it has a more contemporary look, but the great majority of users won't likely notice the performance improvements just yet. In some ways, the M2 is way ahead of its time and the M1 is the best option to consider while looking for a laptop from Apple on a budget.

Final verdict


The MacBook Air has been a fan-favorite for years now. Apple discontinued cooling fans in the air tier, increased battery life, and boosted performance with the M-series CPUs.

There aren't many differences between the two computers in terms of longevity and overall performance. With either the M1 Air or M2 Air purchases, you can't go wrong; they are both wise decisions. Despite this, the M1 Air costs $280 less than the M2 Air. The return of MagSafe to the M2 Air might be a determining factor for many.

The M1 is easily beaten by the M2 in terms of performance. But as mentioned above, those changes won't be spotted by most users and are most certainly not worth the $280 upmarking in price.

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Edited by Abu Amjad Khan
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