Apple Reveals First MacBook Air Powered by Its New M1 Processor

Apple today revealed its first ARM processor for the Mac, the Apple M1. You can read all about the new processor here. As promised, though, Apple is today revealing the first MacBook device powered by the M1 processor.

And that’s the new MacBook Air. Apple says the new MacBook Air comes with a 3.5x faster CPU than the previous generation. It also offers up to 5x faster graphics thanks to the 8-core integrated graphics unit on the M1 processor. Apple says you will be able to edit 4K Pro Res videos without dropping a frame thanks to the new M1 processor.

The company also said that the new MacBook Air is 3x faster than the best-selling Windows laptop in its class, and faster than 98% of PC laptops. The device comes with 2x faster SSD storage, as well as improved battery life: up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing, 18 hours of video playback.

Thanks to the new M1 processor, there is also no fan on the device, which means it’s completely silent, even when dealing with compute-heavy tasks.  The new MacBook Air also comes with built-in ISP on the webcam, which will apparently offer noise reduction and improved dynamic range for when you are making FaceTime calls.

The new MacBook Air starts at $999, and $899 for education customers. Here is the full breakdown:

Disclosure: I worked as a software engineering intern with the Windows on Snapdragon (ARM) team at Qualcomm in Summer 2020. Any opinions or comments expressed in this article do not represent my past or future employer. 

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Conversation 12 comments

  • David Lowndes

    10 November, 2020 - 4:12 pm

    <p>No touch screen? Is that a joke?</p>

    • Saarek

      10 November, 2020 - 4:26 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#592013">In reply to DRL42:</a></em></blockquote><p>It's a bit of a joke that you'd want a touch screen on a laptop! Why would you want finger prints all over the display? There's not a thing you could do by reaching out and touching the screen that you cannot do quicker with a gesture on the trackpad or press of a button.</p>

      • Paul Thurrott

        Premium Member
        11 November, 2020 - 8:49 am

        Please, guys. This was decided years ago. Touchscreen laptops make sense.

        You can scroll with a keyboard too. That doesn’t make a trackpad pointless. Pardon the pun.

      • David Lowndes

        11 November, 2020 - 9:16 am

        <blockquote><em><a href="#592021">In reply to Saarek:</a></em></blockquote><p>Once you use a touch screen laptop you don't want to go back to using gestures. </p>

        • Paul Thurrott

          Premium Member
          11 November, 2020 - 9:29 am

          Well. You at least have the choice.

          • waethorn

            11 November, 2020 - 3:37 pm

            <blockquote><em><a href="#592230">In reply to paul-thurrott:</a></em></blockquote><p>Not many choices left. Aside from Microsoft, most tier-1 OEM's aren't offering touchscreens on the majority of their laptops anymore. It's a far cry from when Microsoft all but mandated touchscreens for Windows 8 PC's.</p>

    • waethorn

      10 November, 2020 - 4:48 pm

      <blockquote><em><a href="#592013">In reply to DRL42:</a></em></blockquote><p>I don't think the razor-thin glass on a MacBook Air would hold up to finger presses. Apparently on the new models, if you try to open the lid from one side of the screen instead of the top-middle, it easily cracks.</p>

    • jfgordon

      11 November, 2020 - 2:58 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#592013">In reply to DRL42:</a></em></blockquote><p><br></p><p>macOS is not designed to be operated with a finger. And may I add, that is a good thing, because it does not make sense to extend your arm and touch a screen when you can move the mouse, which is faster, more accurate, and more comfortable, or type on the keyboard, which is also faster, more accurate, and more comfortable.</p>

    • spiderman2

      11 November, 2020 - 5:26 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#592013">In reply to DRL42:</a></em></blockquote><p>"but but nobody wants a touchscreen on pc" (apple fans when talks about windows)</p>

    • Paul Thurrott

      Premium Member
      11 November, 2020 - 8:50 am

      No, it’s a Mac. The joke’s on customers!

  • anoldamigauser

    Premium Member
    10 November, 2020 - 4:21 pm

    <p>It would be interesting to know what best selling Windows laptop in its class they are using for comparison. Is it a low end chip, 4GB of RAM, and a spinning disk?</p>

  • illuminated

    10 November, 2020 - 7:27 pm

    <p>Touchscreen would have been great for iPhone and iPad apps. </p><p>Maybe Apple is going to invent the laptop with touch screen next year.</p>


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