Apple officially discontinues the M1 MacBook Air and retires an iconic design

M1 MacBook Air
(Image credit: Future)

Apple just unveiled the sleek new M3 MacBook Air, but it came with a catch – the M1 MacBook Air is discontinued as of March 4, 2024. 

This is a normal part of Apple’s process for cycling in new products, so it doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Still, it’s the end of an era for one of Apple’s most iconic designs. Some Mac fans may be wondering when exactly the M1 MacBook Air was discontinued and what they should purchase instead. 

Here’s what we know so far.

M1 MacBook Air officially discontinued with launch of M3 Air 

On March 4, 2024, Apple made a surprise announcement revealing the M3 MacBook Air. It features the flat MacBook chassis design first seen on the M2 MacBooks and comes in two sizes, 13-inches and 15-inches. While we haven’t gotten our hands on it yet, we are closely following all the latest news and info from Apple. 

When the M3 MacBook Air announcement went live this morning, Apple updated its MacBook Air page to remove the M1 version. That means you can no longer purchase a new M1 MacBook Air directly from Apple. 

Sadly, this is the end of an iconic design era in Apple’s Mac line-up. The M1 Air was the last MacBook Apple sold with the classic wedge chassis design. That design goes all the way back to 2008, when Steve Jobs revealed the first MacBook Air to the world by pulling it out of an envelope in a MacWorld presentation. It’s amazing to think that design lasted nearly 20 years. 

It’s time to let the M1 MacBooks go, though. Apple took a big leap by switching to its own chips, which has clearly paid off with the arrival of these powerful M3 MacBooks. With the wedge design in the rear-view mirror, Apple has officially closed the door on the first era of MacBooks.

What should you buy instead of an M1 MacBook Air? 

If you are considering buying a MacBook, hearing that the M1 MacBook Air is discontinued might throw off your plans. Luckily, there are some great alternatives. While the M1 Air might have been the least expensive of the MacBooks on Apple’s roster, it wasn’t exactly the best value option. 

The M2 MacBook Air starts at $999, which is the same price that the M1 Air originally launched at, but you’re getting a newer, more powerful device. Even if you are trying to minimize the cost of your new MacBook, it’s also worth considering the newly announced M3 models. The 13-inch M3 Air starts at $1,099, just $100 more than the 13-inch M2 Air. 

Both of these devices have much faster chips than the M1 Air did. Plus, they’ll get more MacOS updates. Not to mention, when you’re ready to upgrade again, they’ll go for a higher trade-in value. If you are trying to decide between the 13-inch M2 Air, the 13-inch M3 Air, and the 15-inch M3 Air, it may be worth choosing an M3 model. 

The M3 chip has ray tracing capabilities, which is a major upgrade for many users, especially anyone who likes gaming or performs many graphics-intensive tasks. The M3 MacBooks also have a 16-core Neural Engine, Wi-Fi6E, support for up to two external displays (with the lid closed), and support for AV1 decoding, which enhances video performance. 

All of those features are major upgrades over M1 and M2 MacBooks, which could make the M3 Air worth paying a little extra for depending on how you use your laptop. 

We'll be covering all the latest info about the new M3 MacBooks. So, stay tuned for our review of the M3 MacBook Air, and make sure to check out our full review of the M2 MacBook Air in the meantime. 

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