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Apple MacBook Air M1 (Late 2020) Review Rundown

ApplePublished on 22 Mar 2021Last Edited on 27 Sep 2021Written by Dr Jiulin Teng w/ Neosummarizer*
Rundown of external reviews is now integrated to the product page in the External Reviews section.
We will no longer publish Rundowns separately.
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Overview

Neoscore* 0%
Pros**
  • Sleek, minimalist design
  • Quiet, silent operation
  • Long battery life
  • Great keyboard and touchpad
Cons**
  • Nothing in particular

Summary

The Late-2020 MacBook Air is the first to feature Apple's proprietary M1 chip in the long line of the company's most popular Mac model. Apple boasts 3.5x faster CPU and 5x faster GPU performance.
This rundown provides our analysis on 8 third-party reviews. The sentiment scores, summaries, and key takeaways that we select are based on these reviews and may differ from the original publication.

Rundown

androidauthority[1]

Sentiment Score[*] 78%
Reviewers from androidauthority have found the following[***]:
There was hope that Apple would upgrade the camera in the new MacBook Air, but it didn't. The basic HD definition is not worthy of 2020. The M1 MacBook Air has the same basic audio setup as the last Intel-based generation. For some people, $999 or $1,249 is too much for a laptop.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Excellent performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Excellent keyboard
Cons[**]
  • No Thunderbolt 3

digitaltrends[2]

Sentiment Score[*] 89%
Reviewers from digitaltrends have found the following[***]:
The MacBook Air M1 boasts the new Magic Keyboard that Apple created to replace the ill-fated butterfly keyboard on previous models. The keyboard is perhaps my favorite of all the laptops I've used and the only one that beats out the excellent version that HP puts in its Spectre lineup. If you're a creative professional and need the widest color gamut, go with the Pro line.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fast performance
  • Excellent keyboard
  • Excellent speakers
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • Only one external display
  • Only one Thunderbolt 3 port

macworld[3]

Sentiment Score[*] 94%
Reviewers from macworld have found the following[***]:
The M1-based MacBook Air lasted 82 percent longer than the Intel-based one from earlier this year. While I'm suitably impressed with the performance of this 8GB model, I suggest getting 16GB, since it can never be upgraded. Apple missed a good opportunity to make real improvements to the MacBook Air beyond the 720p webcam.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Fantastic performance
  • Sleek design
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • Only 8GB of RAM and 7-core GPU

notebookcheck[4]

Sentiment Score[*] 81%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following[***]:
The new M1 processor with ARM architecture makes an impressive debut in the MacBook Air. In CPU as well as GPU performance, comparable chips from Intel and AMD are surpassed in terms of the theoretical raw performance. With maturing software, probably no one will miss the Intel chips in the Mac in the future.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Very bright display
  • Very good battery life
  • Very fast SoC
  • Good speakers
Cons[**]
  • No Thunderbolt 3

notebookcheck[5]

Sentiment Score[*] 88%
Reviewers from notebookcheck have found the following[***]:
The new MacBook Air 2020 is probably the most balanced MacBook we have seen in the last couple of years. The performance is now similar to the MacBook Pro 13 with two Thunderbolt ports, and the annoying chassis fan of previous model was finally removed. Apple also improved the display as it now covers the wider P3 color gamut and the PCIe SSDs are much faster than before.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Higher performance than the entry-level model
  • Very good battery life
  • Great display
Cons[**]
  • Only 256 GB SSD
  • Display hinge is creaking
  • Only 512 GB SSD

pcmag[6]

Sentiment Score[*] 91%
Reviewers from pcmag have found the following[***]:
The M1's performance is twice as good in some places, and comfortably superior elsewhere. At higher settings, the MacBook Pro hangs close, but as before, the 2019 MacBook Air is left in the dust. The battery life on this laptop is nothing short of exceptional. It ran for 29 hours and 1 minute on our battery rundown test.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Super-portable design
  • High-quality build quality
  • Long battery life
  • Excellent graphics performance
Cons[**]
  • No Thunderbolt 3 port

t3[7]

Sentiment Score[*] 85%
Reviewers from t3 have found the following[***]:
The MacBook Air M1 can run iPhone and iPad apps as well as Mac. So if you have a favourite iOS app that doesn't have a good Mac equivalent, you can just download the iPhone version from the App Store instead. It's a nice option to have, but as much as we've wanted to make good use of it, we've struggled during our time with Air.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Sleek design
  • Great battery life
  • Good speakers
Cons[**]
  • No Thunderbolt 3
  • No external GPU

techradar[8]

Sentiment Score[*] 96%
Reviewers from techradar have found the following[***]:
Apple claims the new MacBook Air is three times faster than other laptops in its class, and faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the past year. With the M1 chip using similar architecture to iPhones, you can now run any iOS app or game as well. iOS apps and games are more feature-rich and graphically impressive than ever before. We played a few iOS games, and they ran perfectly on the MacBook Air – suddenly, the MacBook has become a decent gaming machine.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Long battery life
  • New M1 chip
  • Great performance
Cons[**]
  • No Touch Bar
  • No Thunderbolt 3

tomsguide[9]

Sentiment Score[*] 93%
Reviewers from tomsguide have found the following[***]:
The MacBook Air's 4.8 x 3.2 glass Force Touch trackpad offers accurate input recognition and smooth scrolling. Apple continues to substitute haptic feedback for clicks, a decision that seems to have been a success. When you’re making video calls, the trio of built-in microphones means that Siri can hear you.
Find the original article here.
Pros[**]
  • Slim bezels
  • Great performance
  • Slim and light
  • Great battery life
Cons[**]
  • M1 chip will not natively run applications
  • No Thunderbolt 3

References

1. ^ Apple MacBook Air (M1) review: Apple's silicon for Apple's laptop. androidauthority. 2020-12-20 Retrieved 2021-10-13.
2. ^ Apple MacBook Air M1 review: Fast, fanless, and absolutely fantastic. digitaltrends. 2020-12-23 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
4. ^ Apple MacBook Air 2020 M1 Entry Review: Apple M1 CPU humbles Intel and AMD. notebookcheck. 2020-12-05 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
6. ^ Apple MacBook Air (M1, Late 2020) Review. pcmag. 2020-11-17 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
8. ^ Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020) review. techradar. 2020-11-19 Retrieved 2021-03-22.
9. ^ MacBook Air with M1 review: A computing revolution. tomsguide. 2021-04-16 Retrieved 2021-04-17.
*. Neoscore is our sentiment analyzer based on natural language processing (NLP). Scaled in the range of 0 to 100, Neoscore eliminates scoring biases from each publisher; it likely differs from the publisher\'s own rating, if available, as a result.
**. Neoanalyzer is our summarizer based on NLP. It identifies key takeaways from each third-party review. The takeaways that it produces likely differ from the publisher\'s own bullets points, if available, as a result.
***. Neosummarizer is based on NLP. It extracts summaries from third-party reviews. It likely that these summaries differ from the publisher\'s own, if available.
****. This page contains affiliate links to third-party merchants such as Amazon, eBay, and Rakuten. When you make a purchase using the supplied links, we will receive a commission.

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