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What size storage should you get for the MacBook Air (M1, 2020)?

Macbook Air M1
Macbook Air M1 (Image credit: iMore)

What size storage should you get for the MacBook Air (M1, 2020)?

Best answer: The amount of storage to buy on your new laptop mostly comes down to how you plan on using it and price, although not necessarily in that order. With the MacBook Air (M1, 2020), there are only two base choices, making it easy to select.Entry-level: MacBook Air (M1, 2020) 256GB (opens in new tab) (Starting at $999 at Apple)More: MacBook Air (M1, 2020) 512GB (opens in new tab) (Starting at $1,249 at Apple)

MacBook Air what storage size should I buy: What to consider

As I noted in other posts, when selecting new mobile devices, such as iPhone and iPad, I've always followed the practice of not choosing the one with the least amount of storage, nor the one with the most. That decision has served me well over the years. My thinking on storage for a computer is similar with some added context.

Unlike a phone (and, to a lesser extent, a tablet), your computer is going to spend many years with you. As such, you're likely going to accumulate many software titles and files throughout the device's life. You must have enough storage as your needs inevitably grow. Couple this with how Apple makes it impossible to swap out flash storage on MacBooks post-purchase, your choice of storage is a permanent one that you'll have to live with for a long time.

The choice

Apple offers the 13-inch MacBook Air (M1, 2020) with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of flash storage.

Because I never recommend going with the least expensive Apple device model, the 256GB option is out. Therefore, I would suggest that it's best to go with a 512GB MacBook Air (M1, 2020) version for most people.

Which one? You can select the least expensive MacBook Air (M1, 2020), change the storage from 256GB to 512GB, and pay $1,199. Or you can spend an extra $50 and get a slight upgrade, also with 512GB.

The two versions in this case are:

  • $1,199: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 7‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine, 8GB unified memory, 512GB SSD storage
  • $1,299: Apple M1 chip with 8‑core CPU, 8‑core GPU, and 16‑core Neural Engine, 8GB unified memory, 512GB SSD storage

As you can see, the extra Grant gives you an 8‑core GPU while leaving everything else the same.

MacBook Air what storage size should I buy: are you creative?

If you are a creative or photographer who needs to store lots of files on your MacBook Air (M1, 2020), bump up your storage to either 1TB or 2TB. However, if you must decide on more storage or better memory, but not both, go with more memory.

Need accessories?

Your MacBook Air will look better when put beside some nice accessories. Our favorites of the year include cases, headphones, backup drives, and more and come at various price points.

Bryan M Wolfe
Bryan M Wolfe

Bryan M. Wolfe has written about technology for over a decade on various websites, including TechRadar, AppAdvice, and many more. Before this, he worked in the technology field across different industries, including healthcare and education. He’s currently iMore’s lead on all things Mac and macOS, although he also loves covering iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch. Bryan enjoys watching his favorite sports teams, traveling, and driving around his teenage daughter to her latest stage show, audition, or school event in his spare time. He also keeps busy walking his black and white cocker spaniel, Izzy, and trying new coffees and liquid grapes.