RIP M1 MacBook Air — the wedge-shaped great that changed MacBooks forever

M1 MacBook Air 2020
(Image credit: Future)

The launch of the new M3 MacBook Air brings devastating news for one of Apple’s best Mac designs. The M3 Air slots into the lineup above the 13-inch M2 Air, while the M2 15-inch and the M1 MacBook Air are gone for good. It’s that last one that we’ll be pouring one out for in the office today.

The wedged design was an ode to the very MacBook Steve Jobs pulled out of an envelope back in 2008. A modernized classic, the wedge shape not only made the original Air and all subsequent models very thin but also incredibly comfortable to use.

While the design launched in 2018, it was the M1 chip that truly cemented this laptop in Apple’s Hall of fame. The M1 MacBook Air reinvented Apple’s most popular laptop with a leap in performance thanks to Apple’s first chip built on its own silicon.

The M1 chip took Apple’s most portable computer to the next level by providing huge battery improvements, with an 18-hour advertised battery life. While the design remained unchanged from the previous Intel model, the M1 chip allowed the portability of the thin and light chassis to really shine.

Goodbye, M1 MacBook Air. Your impact on the best MacBooks will never be forgotten (2020-2024).

Ding Dong! The wedge is dead

 In all seriousness, the newly announced M3 MacBook Air means Apple’s iconic entry-level laptop has been replaced with the M2 MacBook Air starting from $999. It’s a sad day for wedge lovers, but the M1 Air will continue to be sold through other channels like Apple’s Certified Refurbished store.

Ultimately, consumers should rejoice. Now, for the same price, as you could buy an M1 MacBook Air from Apple yesterday, you can now grab yourself an M2 model with a complete redesign and modern design language that makes it one of the best Macs on offer.

Now that the M1 Air has been discontinued, the long-standing wedge-shaped laptop design is gone from Apple’s ranks completely. While the Air design has changed over the years, the tapering from the hinge down to a thin, perfect point has existed since the very launch of the MacBook Air nearly 16 years ago.

Whether or not the wedge will return at some point in the future is anyone’s guess, but by discontinuing the M1 Air, we’ve moved into the next generation of Apple’s laptop offerings, where every MacBook has a bezel-less notched design.

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John-Anthony Disotto
How To Editor

John-Anthony Disotto is the How To Editor of iMore, ensuring you can get the most from your Apple products and helping fix things when your technology isn’t behaving itself.

Living in Scotland, where he worked for Apple as a technician focused on iOS and iPhone repairs at the Genius Bar, John-Anthony has used the Apple ecosystem for over a decade and prides himself in his ability to complete his Apple Watch activity rings.

John-Anthony has previously worked in editorial for collectable TCG websites and graduated from The University of Strathclyde where he won the Scottish Student Journalism Award for Website of the Year as Editor-in-Chief of his university paper. He is also an avid film geek, having previously written film reviews and received the Edinburgh International Film Festival Student Critics award in 2019. 

John-Anthony also loves to tinker with other non-Apple technology and enjoys playing around with game emulation and Linux on his Steam Deck.

In his spare time, John-Anthony can be found watching any sport under the sun from football to darts, taking the term “Lego house” far too literally as he runs out of space to display any more plastic bricks, or chilling on the couch with his French Bulldog, Kermit.