The base model of Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air with the M2 chip has returned to a record low of $949 at B&H Photo and Best Buy. The price has dipped this far before, but this is still a rare sale — and a good buy as the 13-inch Air is our current favorite Apple laptop. The list price for this configuration is $1,099 (Apple dropped the MSRP by $200 when the 15-inch MacBook Air came out earlier this summer), making this a tidy, $150 discount. You get 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD and Apple’s latest M2 system-on-a-chip, which improves both the machine’s speed and battery life. The discount applies to all four colorways, instead of just one or two.
While the M2 chip is currently Apple’s latest processor, it’s worth noting that new M3-equipped Macs will probably debut this fall, along with the expected iPhone 15, both of which we anticipate hearing about in September. As the company has done in the past, Apple will likely keep the M2 machines in its lineup, though the price may come down even further. That said, if you’re in the market right now for a solid ultraportable for college or nomadic work, this is a good deal.
Despite the release of the 15-inch MacBook Air, we still think the 13-inch model is the best Apple laptop for most people, and it’s the top recommendation in our guide. Engadget’s Devindra Hardawar gave it a high score of 96 in his review, praising it’s speed and versatility. The quad speakers can fill a room without distortion and the three-mic array does a good job of clearly picking up your voice on calls. The M2 chip makes it plenty fast enough to handle streaming and cloud gaming and does a great job with Apple Arcade games.
Despite being less than a half-inch thick, the M2 MacBook Air retains its headphone jack, provides two Thunderbolt ports and a MagSafe connector for charging. And the battery lasted for 16 and a half hours in our rundown tests. We think it’s a great laptop for everyday use and standard productivity, though if you want to do intensive video editing, you may want to step up to a Pro model. The base model of that machine is $200 off at B&H Photo, but will still run you $1,799.