The MacBook Air M1 is officially dead — here's the new $999 MacBook now

Apple MacBook Air M1 (late 2020) review
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

RIP MacBook Air M1. Apple's most affordable MacBook has been discontinued as Apple has just announced the MacBook Air M3. That's one model gone from our best MacBook list — but I think it's justified. 

The "new" $999 MacBook in Apple's lineup is the MacBook Air M2. And this move makes a lot of sense. The MacBook Air M1 had a dated look with large bezels and the MacBook Air M2 offers a thinner design, larger 13.6-inch display (up from 13.3 inches) a sharper 1080p webcam and MagSafe charging.

Yes, you can still find the MacBook Air M1 on Amazon and other retailers for $749, but it's clear that Apple wants to sunset this laptop due to the introduction of a much more powerful M3 chip. The hope is that the MacBook Air M2 will see similar sales prices once M1 inventory dries up.

So what about the MacBook M3? It's telling that Apple touts how much faster it is than the MacBook Air M1 on a range of tests in its press release. In fact, Apple says the MacBook Air M3 is up to 60% faster than the MacBook Air M1 overall, and it points out several applications where the M3 is ahead.

For example, Apple claims games like No Man's Sky run up to 60% faster on the M3 vs M1, enhancing an image in AI is 40% faster and video editing in Final Cut Pro is 60% faster. In other words, some may want to consider jumping from the MacBook Air M1 to the Air M3. After all, the MacBook Air M3 starts at $1,099, which is only $100 more than the MacBook Air M2.

The MacBook Air M3 also boasts faster Wi-Fi 6E connectivity versus the MacBook Air M2 and it supports two external monitors at once, compared to just one for the MacBook Air M2. 

We will be testing and reviewing the MacBook Air M3 to see how it stacks up to the Air M2 and Air M1, as well as all the best laptops. Stay tuned for our full results. 

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Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.