Compared: New Apple Silicon MacBook Air versus Intel MacBook Air

Apple’s new M1-based MacBook Air could be the next portable workstation for Mac users, but how does it measure up against the long-standing Intel-based version? We compare the specifications between the two lightweights.

The MacBook Air has been the go-to for anyone wanting to have a MacBook that is thin and highly portable. Add in that it is the cheapest MacBook money could buy in the entire range, and you can easily see why it has become such a popular model.

With the introduction of the M1-based model and Apple’s overall shift away from Intel processors in favor of Apple Silicon, there’s a new attractive Mac on the roster that could drag prospective MacBook buyers in its direction.

To do so, the new MacBook Air has to not only offer compelling physical attributes, but also provide enough performance for users to get things done.


M1 MacBook Air Intel MacBook Air (2020)
Starting Price $999 $999
Dimensions (inches) 0.16-0.63 x 11.97 x 8.36 0.16-0.64 x 11.97 x 8.36
Weight (pounds) 2.8 2.8
Processor Eight-core Apple M1 10th-Gen 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3
10th-Gen 1.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5
10th-Gen 1.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7
Graphics 7-core Apple GPU
8-core Apple GPU
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
RAM 8GB 16GB 8GB, 16GB
Networking Wi-Fi 6
Bluetooth 5.0
802.11ac Wi-Fi
Bluetooth 5.0
Storage 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, 2TB
Display 13.3-inch 2560×1600 LCD with IPS and True Tone 13.3-inch 2560×1600 LCD with IPS and True Tone
Ports Two Thunderbolt 4 ports
3.5mm headphone jack
Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
3.5mm headphone jack
Biometrics Touch ID Touch ID
Touch Bar No No
Battery 49.9Wh, 30W USB-C charger 49.9Wh, 30W USB-C charger

M1 MacBook Air versus Intel MacBook Air – External Appearance

The MacBook Air’s signature aspect is its appearance, with the design of the notebook keeping it quite thin in terms of size. While at its thickest it’s a fairly conventional 0.64 inches, the thinnest edge of the Intel-based version tapers down the body to just 0.16 inches, a move which cuts considerable physical volume from the notebook.

In terms of its overall footprint, it is 11.97 inches wide and 8.36 inches deep when closed.

As it is largely an internals switch, the M1-based version has almost identical…