Apple MacBook Air 13-inch M1 review

Is the MacBook Air 13-inch M1 an overpriced luxury or technological breakthrough? We’re not 100% sold, but 99.9% is close

Apple MacBook Air 13-inch M1
(Image: © Rod Lawton/Digital Camera World)

Digital Camera World Verdict

There will always be things to complain about – like getting just two USB ports and a headphone socket for connectivity, for example, or the base model’s weird 7-core GPU, but honestly, if you look at the design quality, the performance, the screen and its everyday ergonomic finesse, the MacBook Air M1 is just phenomenal. And for what you get, it’s not even very expensive.


  • +

    Finish, design, weight

  • +

    Excellent Retina display

  • +

    Silent, fanless design

  • +



  • -

    No HDMI port or memory card slot

  • -

    8-core GPU model costs more

  • -

    Barely lighter than MacBook Pro

Why you can trust Digital Camera World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out how we test.

The MacBook Air 13-inch M1 is Apple’s thinnest and lightest notebook. Its wedge-shaped design looks super-slim and it feels light to pick up. If you need to carry your laptop around all day (and have the battery last all day) and be able to use it anywhere, the MacBook Air is ideal.

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Header Cell - Column 0 MacBook Air 13-inch M1MacBook Pro 13-inch M12013 MacBook Pro 13-inch
Single-core CPU score17221728401
Multi-core CPU score754775901114
OpenCL GPU score15967191483162
Metal GPU score1795321352422

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at