Gadget

Apple’s M3 and M2 MacBook Airs have never been cheaper

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We consider Apple’s newest MacBook Air to be the best laptop for most people, and it’s now dropped to a new low of $999 at Amazon and B&H. This discount is for the entry-level 13-inch model, so you’ll have to make do with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, but it’s $100 less than buying from Apple directly and $50 less than the sale price we’ve seen on Amazon for the past couple of weeks. Just note that the deal only applies to the Midnight and Space Gray finishes, and that Amazon’s listing is showing a shipping delay. B&H says the offer will run through March 28.

Photo by Devindra Hardawar / Engadget

This is a new low for the entry-level version of the latest MacBook Air, which uses Apple’s M3 chip.

$999 at B&H Photo

A few other configurations are also on sale. For one, B&H has a model with 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD for $1,399, which is another $100 discount. If you’d prefer a bigger display, Amazon is also selling the 15-inch version of the M3 Air for $1,204. That deal has been around for the past few days, but it’s still a $95 discount and the best price we’ve tracked for this entry-level config since the new notebooks were released earlier this month.

If you can accept an older processor, meanwhile, B&H has the last-gen MacBook Air with Apple’s M2 chip on sale for $849. That’s another all-time low and $150 off Apple’s list price. Again, the retailer says this deal will only run through March 28. Lastly, a config of the 15-inch M2 Air with 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD is down to a low of $1,499 as well.

We gave the both versions of the M3-powered MacBook Air a score of 90 in our review. Like the M2 Airs before them, they’re slim, light and sturdy slabs, with comfortable keyboards and trackpads, accurate displays, 1080p webcams and more than enough battery life for a typical workday. Now, they each have a slightly faster chip, Wi-Fi 6E support and the option to connect to two external monitors (albeit only when the laptop itself is closed). Between the two sizes on sale, the 15-inch model has a slightly stronger GPU and more robust speakers alongside its roomier display. The port selection isn’t great on either, but there are two Thunderbolt USB-C ports, a MagSafe charging port and a headphone jack.

As my colleague Daniel Cooper has noted, though, the best thing about the new notebooks might be that they’ve made the M2 versions cheaper. The difference between the M2 and M3 Airs isn’t hugely noticeable in day-to-day use, so if you really want to save $150, the older model might be the better deal, especially if you’re upgrading from a more dated Air with an Intel chip. (Those coming from an M1 model will probably be better off jumping to the M3.) The base M3 Air technically has a faster SSD than its predecessor, however, so it may be worth it if you often work with large files. That said, you should only get these 8GB RAM/256GB SSD configurations if you’ll mostly stick to less demanding tasks. Go beyond that and they can start to run hot.

It’s worth noting that 2020 M1 version of the notebook is now going for $699 at Walmart, which is a great price. Unless you just want a competent MacBook for as little as possible, though, the M2 version is enough of an upgrade to be worth the extra cost for most. We’ll also highlight a hardware-level security exploit that was recently discovered for all M-series Macs, though the real-world risk of falling victim to that flaw is generally low. In any case, if you’re looking to make a MacBook upgrade, this looks like a decent time to take advantage.

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