Macbook Air Early 2020 Vs M1

By | 11/10/2022

At a Glance

Our Verdict

The addition of the powerful new M1 SoC could be a real turning point in terms of the Mac, with the hardware and software at present perfectly joined by Apple’south own silicon in the middle. If the specs that the company has released are correct, so the new MacBook Air Silicon will wipe the flooring with the models they supplant. But the best part? There’due south no additional cost. Somehow, Apple has added considerable gains in ability and operation, without jacking up the price. It’s certainly a breath of fresh Air.

Apple promised earlier this year that it would release new Macs before the cease of 2020 that would feature its own custom-made processors. These Apple tree Silicon models have now arrived, with the starting time out of the blocks beingness the New MacBook Air Silicon. We take a look at how information technology compares to the Intel-based model information technology succeeds and whether you should beginning saving now to enter the Silicon age.

Nosotros besides have a full review of the M1 MacBook Air.

Price and availability

With the fancy new M1 processor onboard (more on that below), you may wait that the prices for the new MacBook Air would ascent slightly. Well, you’d be wrong, and similar us yous’re probably shocked also. The truth is that Apple has announced that prices will kickoff from £999/$999 just as they did with the Intel-based Arrogance updated earlier this yr.

This ways the line-up looks like this:

MacBook Air Silicon

  • MacBook Air Silicon, Apple M1 fleck with 8-Core CPU and seven-Cadre GPU, 256GB storage, 8GB memory – £999/$999
  • MacBook Air Silicon, Apple M1 chip with viii-Core CPU and 8-Core GPU, 512GB storage, 8GB memory – £1,249/$1,249

These supersede the Intel-based MacBook Arrogance released at the start of 2020, which lined up like this:

MacBook Air (Intel, 2020)

  • MacBook Air (2020), ane.1GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Core i3, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD: £999/$999.
  • MacBook Air (2020), 1.1GHz quad-core 10th-gen Intel Cadre i5, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD: £i,299/$1,299

If you wait closely, you’ll even observe that the 512GB version has had a price cut on the Silicon model. With the release of the Silicon Airs, the previous models take now been discontinued, but you lot should still notice them selling through from various retailers, at to the lowest degree in the short term until stocks run out. Read our MacBook Air deals round up for the all-time offers.

The new Silicon powered Air models can be ordered immediately from Apple, with the release date set for 17 Nov 2020.

Design and features

There’south little doubt that the major changes that accept been made to the MacBook Air are all found on the electronic components rather than structure. The new model is practically identical to its predecessor, with the classic wedge-shaped chassis measuring 304.1mm 10 212.4mm x 4.1mm-16.1mm and weighing in at 1.29kg.


On the flanks there are 2 Thunderbolt iii / USB-C ports with support for USB 3.1 (Gen 2), but the newer models have the new USB 4 variant, presumably considering of Apple’due south departure from Intel. You’ll also find 3.5mm headphone jacks on either model and the Touch ID sensor for unlocking the device and using Apple tree Pay online.


There are a couple of differences though, in that while at that place’southward no change with the backlit Magic keyboard that dispels the problems that plagued Apple tree’s ill-conceived butterfly variant, the brandish has seen an upgrade on the new MacBook Air. It’s still a 13.3in LED IPS panel with a resolution of 2560 ten 1600 and Truthful Tone technology, but Apple has added Broad Colour (P3) support to bring out more vibrant hues on its new favourite son.

Macbook Air Silicon vs MacBook Air 2020: Display

Silent Running

Another pregnant upgrade is that this model comes with no-fan, allowing the new MacBook Air to offer silent running even when things get decorated, equally they are bound to when you see how the processor has been beefed up.

For a total in-depth wait at the new model, read our complete guide to the MacBook Air (Apple Silicon 2020).

Performance and specifications

There’southward no doubt that the headline feature in the new MacBook Air comes in the minor, square shaped processor that lies at the heart of the upgrade.

No gridlock on the M1

Apple’s debut silicon for the new age of Macs is the M1 SoC, and information technology looks to be a grandstanding manner to brainstorm. Boasting 8-Cadre CPUs (four high functioning and 4 loftier efficiency) and either 7-Core GPUs or viii-Core GPUs, depending on which model you purchase, information technology seems to be an absolute beast.

MacBook Air Silicon vs MacBook Air 2020: M1

Apple tree states that the new processor bests the Intel version in the previous MacBook Air in a number of ways. These include the following capabilities:

  • Consign a project for the web with iMovie upwardly to 3x faster.
  • Integrate 3D effects into video in Last Cut Pro up to 5x faster.
  • For the showtime time, play back and edit multiple streams of full-quality, 4K ProRes video in Final Cutting Pro without dropping a frame.
  • Export photos from Lightroom up to twice as fast.
  • Utilise ML-based features like Smart Conform in Last Cut Pro to intelligently frame a clip up to 4.3x faster.
  • Watch more movies and TV shows with upwardly to xviii hours of bombardment life, the longest e’er on MacBook Air.
  • Extend FaceTime and other video calls for up to twice as long on a unmarried charge.

That’south a pretty compelling list, particularly when yous consider that Apple tree is eviscerating its own previous product rather than that of a rival. The claims don’t terminate at that place though, as Apple tree says that due to the M1’s storage controller, SSD performance can be up to twice every bit fast equally the quondam MacBook Air, while machine learning (so facial recognition and the like) are upward to nine times the speed. CPU performance is three times faster, graphics are five times faster, and all of this while battery life has been extended and then that you tin can become up to 15 hours of spider web browsing or xviii hours of video playback.

Macbook Air Silicon vs MacBook Air 2020: Specs

The M1 even gives the deplorable 720p FaceTime Hard disk drive webcam a boost by reducing noise and improved photographic camera image quality, something that has go an essential chemical element in these days of countless Zoom calls.

MacBook Air Silicon vs MacBook Air 2020: Video Calling

There are another improvements hither and there, with WiFi 6 now standard and the tight integration with macOS Big Sur meaning that older apps should run on the new hardware without issue. The older MacBook Air will also be able to take reward of new feature in macOS Large Sur, just information technology’s clear that Apple is now gearing things towards the M1 powered devices, with the newly announced Mac mini Silicon also now available. We look at the M1 Mac mini vs Intel Mac mini in a separate article.

Of course, nosotros’ll need to exam these claims in our own full review, but Apple is normally pretty authentic when comparing its own products, then expect the new MacBook Air Silicon to evangelize some truly impressive results compared to the Intel-based version of 2020. Early on benchmarks for the MacBook Air are promising and then we take high hopes.

For more information virtually Apple Silicon read our Guide To Apple tree Silicon And Apple’s ARM Mac plans. Nosotros also have this comparison of Intel vs Apple Silicon. We also compare the M1 MacBook Pro and the 2.0GHz MacBook Pro.

Hither’s a breakup of specifications for both models:

MacBook Air Silicon MacBook Air (2020)
Display xiii.3-inch LED IPS display; 2560-past-1600 resolution, 227ppi pixels, 400 nits effulgence, Wide color (P3), True Tone technology thirteen.three-inch LED IPS display; 2560-past-1600 resolution, 227ppi pixels, True Tone technology
Processor M1 SoC, 8-cadre CPU with 4 perform­ance cores and 4 efficiency cores, 7-core GPU, sixteen-cadre Neural Engine 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-gen Intel Cadre i3
Retentivity 8GB (configurable to 16GB) 8GB (configurable to 16GB)
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB or 2TB
Affect ID Yes Yes
Graphics M1 seven-core GPU Intel Iris Plus
Ports 2xThunderbolt iii /USB-C (USB4). 3.5mm headphone jack 2xThunderbolt three/ USB-C, 3.5mm headphone jack
WiFi WiFi half dozen WiFi 5
Bluetooth 5 5
Camera 720p FaceTime HD 720p FaceTime Hard disk
Battery 49.9‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery 49.9‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer bombardment
Speakers Stereo Stereo
Operating organisation macOS Big Sur macOS Big Sur
Dimensons 304.1mm ten 212.4mm x 4.1mm-16.1mm 304.1mm x 212.4mm x 4.1mm-16.1mm
Weight 1.29kg 1.29kg
Price £999/£1249 £999/£1299


The new MacBook Air Silicon models look to be a huge step forward for the range, without adding higher prices or changing the classic, sleek design. There are possible teething problems ahead, as with whatsoever major change of hardware, but if the M1 processor lives upwards to even half of its potential then the new Airs will indeed fly.