MacBook AirSource: Rene Ritchie / iMore

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 (2020), there are only two base choices, which makes it easy to make a selection.

What to consider

As 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 its 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 (2020) with 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB of flash storage.

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

Which one? You can select the less expensive MacBook Air (2020), change the storage from 256GB to 512GB, and pay $1199. Or you can spend an extra $100 and get a slight upgrade, also with 512GB.

The two versions in this case are:

  • $1,199: 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz, 8GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory, 512GB SSD storage, Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • $1,299: 1.1GHz quad-core 10th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz, 8GB 3733MHz LPDDR4X memory, 512GB SSD storage, Intel Iris Plus Graphics

As you can see, the extra Benjamin gives you a better Intel processor while leaving everything else the same.

Are you a creative?

If you are a creative or photographer, who needs to store lots of files on your MacBook Air (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.

Entry-level goodness

MacBook Air (2020) 256GB

Save some cash

Remember, we're recommending you upgrade this model to 512GB of storage.

Slight upgrade

MacBook Air (2020) 512GB

Things are getting serious

With this model, you get a better Intel processor. Add more storage or memory, if possible.

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