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Top 5 reasons to BUY or NOT to buy the Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

Apple has always created standard-setting devices, in whichever way you want to look at them. The new MacBook Air offers the new M1 chip that is way ahead of other laptop CPUs and the fact that the Pro and Air models share the same SoC makes the MacBook Air a way more tempting option.

It has other things going for it as well, with a fantastic screen that is very well suited towards designers and creators and overall any color-sensitive work.

Today we are presenting you with LaptopMedia’s top 5 picks about the Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020).

Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020): Full Specs / In-depth review

4 reasons to BUY the Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

1. The Design and Build quality

The design on this MacBook remains the same as last years’ device which is great. The body is very sturdy and rigid, thanks to the metal unibody and we noticed no flexing or bends from either the lid or the base. Overall this is one of the best-built devices that we have ever had in our office. The design itself is very sophisticated, while the multiple color options give you the choice to spice up your own device.

The same applies to the keyboard and touchpad, which are just amazing to use. The keycaps are big enough and have satisfying and clicky feedback and while the travel is quite short the keyboard delivers a very pleasant typing experience. The touchpad has a decent size and is one of the best that we have used.

 

2. The Display

The MacBook Air features a 13.3-inch QHD panel with a 16:10 aspect ratio. It has great viewing angles, high maximum brightness, and a very good contrast ratio. It covers 100% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and has a great color coverage, making it ideal for designers and creators. The aspect ratio also helps it become a beast for productivity as the extra space on the vertical axis allows you to fit more apps on your screen.

Below you can see the results from our color coverage test.

In our color accuracy test, we measure the panel with the 24 most commonly used colors. Below you can see those results.

3. Battery and Speakers

The battery performance is exceptional with the MacBook Air’s relatively small 49.9Wh battery enduring through 24 hours and 20 minutes of Web browsing, 13 hours and 20 minutes of video playback, and 4 hours and 13 minutes of continuous video rendering.

The speaker setup is shared between the Air and Pro model, meaning that you get the same stereo setup, which produces clear and loud audio with very high quality. The speakers showed no deviations across the entire frequency range when we tested it.

4. The Performance

The new M1 chip is a fantastic piece of technology that is bound to change the way we look at laptop and desktop CPUs. This new SoC borrow many features and characteristics from smartphone processors in the way that it is ARM-based and features every component that the MacBook Air needs to be able to run all in one place, resulting in very low signal travel times, which helps boost performance. The CPU uses the very popular big.LITTLE architecture with four low-powered and four-high powered cores.

 

CPU Benchmarkssingle/multi Geekbench 5
Apple MacBook Air M11732/7574
Apple MacBook Pro 13 M11727/7564
Cinebench R23
Apple M1 (Apple MacBook Pro 13 (Late 2020))7782
Apple M1 (Apple MacBook Air (Late 2020))7688

The same could be said about the GPU, which can either have seven or eight cores depending on the configuration. Below we have benchmark results from the MacBook Air with the 7-core GPU and the MacBook Pro, which has the full 8-core GPU.

GPU Benchmarks3DMark WildlifeGFXBench Manhattan 3.0 (1080p offscreen)GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 (1080p offscreen)GFXBench Aztec Ruins OpenGL (1080p offscreen)
Apple MacBook Air M117698404 fps273 fps214 fps
Apple MacBook Pro 13 M117752407 fps274 fps215 fps

1 reason NOT to buy the Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020)

1. The Upgradeability and I/O

One way where the MacBooks fails to deliver though is in the upgradability, which should be expected, given that the laptop is powered by an SoC, in which the memory and storage are soldered directly next to the CPU and GPU. This means that if you want to future proof your MacBook you’ll have to open up your wallet and shell some more dollars for the extra RAM and SSD storage.

The I/O is also very limited with only two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm audio jack, which means that dongles are a necessary purchase.