Earlier this year, Apple introduced its next-generation MacBook Air packing an M2 processor. It also decided to keep the older model around for at least another year. The rare move means there are two current MacBook Air models to choose from this Black Friday.
Your default might be to go with the newer model, but you might not need to.
The MacBook Air (2022) is better than the MacBook Air (2020). This doesn’t mean, however, that the (much) more expensive newer model is for everyone. For some, the older model could be more suitable, especially when you factor in that the M1 MacBook Air is getting some huge Black Friday discounts. The M1 MacBook Air is still a very good buy for most typical users. I’ll explain why in detail.
Black Friday Apple MacBook Air deals
How to choose between the M1 and M2 MacBook this Black Friday
As we noted in our original MacBook Air (2022) vs. MacBook Air (2020) comparison guide, the 2022 MacBook Air is a significant update. Besides offering a more powerful chip, the 2022 model comes in a new design with a bigger and better display. In addition, the MacBook Air (2022) also features the return of the MagSafe charging port and more, like an updated FaceTime camera.
Here are the key differences between the two models:
|Header Cell – Column 0||MacBook Air 2022||MacBook Air 2020|
|Regular price||From $1,199||From $999|
|Display Size||13.6-inch (diagonal) Liquid Retina display||13.3-inch Retina display|
|Resolution||2560 by 1664 pixels||2560 by 1600 pixels|
|Brightness||500 nits||400 nits|
|CPU||8-core Apple M2 chip||8-core Apple M1 chip|
|GPU||Up to 10-core||7-core|
|Camera||1080p FaceTime HD camera||720p FaceTime HD camera|
|Sound||Four-speaker sound system||Stereo speakers|
|Audio support||Dolby Atmos
|Ports||Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, headphone jack||Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports, headphone jack|
|Battery Adapters||30W USB-C Power Adapter (included with M2 with 8-core GPU)
35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter (included with M2 with 10-core GPU and 512GB storage, configurable with M2 with 8-core GPU)
Fast-charge capable with available 67W USB-C Power Adapter
|30W USB-C Power Adapter|
|Battery life||Up to 18 hours||Up to 18 hours|
|Dimensions||0.44 x 11.97 x 8.46 inches||0.63 x 11.97 x 8.36 inches|
|Weight||2.7 pounds||2.8 pounds|
Besides price, deciding between the MacBook Air M2 (2022) and MacBook Air M1 (2020) comes down to three main factors and whether they are essential for your situation: design, chip, and display.
The newer model comes with a more modern hardware design (slightly lighter) that offers a better camera, spatial audio, and an improved sound system. The all-new Apple M2 chip is noticeably more advanced as it includes a 10-core GPU and the option for more memory. In addition, the newer model comes with a brighter 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display vs. the 13.3-inch Retina display found on the older model.
And yet, there are many ways the models are the same. Both, for example, provide the same battery life (18 hours) and storage options (up to 2TB).
The bottom line: Unless you’re heavy into video editing and want a slightly larger display, the MacBook Air (2020) remains a terrific choice. If you find one at a steep discount, go for it.
Black Friday deals extend beyond the MacBook Air, of course. Be sure to look at other deals we’ve uncovered on the hottest shopping day of the year, especially our live Best Apple Black Friday Deals page. Besides our main Black Friday page, check out ones on the best Black Friday iPad deals and Black Friday AirPods deals.