The M1 MacBook Air is the best choice for students, and here's why

macbook air keyboard against blue background
(Image credit: Future)

Parents are constantly looking for the best computer or best laptop for their kids but at a budget-friendly price, especially when it comes to back to school 2023 season. And even more important than specs or even cost is its longevity. A PC that breaks down in two years is hardly worth the purchase after all. 

When considering what fits the bill for all those aspects, including the last one, it's a knee-jerk response to go with one of the best Chromebooks. And Chromebooks can be excellent in their own right, offering much cheaper prices while generally lasting long due to a simpler OS that isn't vulnerable to security exploits and malware.

However, if you want all of that, plus a laptop that has solid specs and great build quality, then the best move is nabbing an M1 Apple MacBook Air when it's on sale. The normal MSRP is already decently affordable at $999.99 / £999 / AU$1,599, but at times the price will drop to a svelte $799.

This time around, however, there have been some great back to school sales and Apple's 2020 MacBook Air is cheaper than ever at $749 (was $999) on Amazon, the lowest price we've ever seen it at. Currently, all three colors — Gold, Silver, and Space Gray — are in stock at the same discounted price.

If you're a parent, take it from someone who's used the best Windows laptops and Chromebooks my whole life. This is the best MacBook, and the best laptop that you can possibly get for your student — one that's reliable, efficient, well-built, and long-lasting.

Apple MacBook Air (M1): $999 $749 at Amazon

Apple MacBook Air (M1): was $999 <a href="" data-link-merchant="Amazon US"" target="_blank">now $749 at Amazon
If you're looking for an affordable MacBook, Amazon has slashed the price of the 2020 MacBook Air down to $749 — the lowest price it's ever been. This 13-inch laptop delivers excellent performance thanks to Apple's M1 Chip and includes an ultra-thin design and an impressive battery life.

Better than the rest

What first sets this MacBook Air apart from the older models is the M1 CPU, Apple's own silicon that revolutionized its Mac machines. The efficiency and power that the M-series chips possess make them some of the best productivity machines on the market. And I can personally attest to this, once I made the switch to my own M1 MacBook Air, purchased at a deep discount, as my primary work machine.

When I say that this laptop never overheats, never stutters or freezes, never lags even when three separate browsers are open, I mean it. And the chassis is pure aluminum, meaning that a hard fall means nothing to it, and believe me that was tested out involuntarily as well.

It has some exceptionally loud speakers with excellent audio quality, a nice keyboard with a satisfying snap, and a bright high-quality screen, though its touchpad could be better. And its thin and light clamshell design makes it a breeze to carry around all day in most medium-sized bags while giving it a distinctive look.

One of the best features of the MacBook Air is its battery life. I can use my laptop for two days before needing to recharge, and this is with constant video streaming while balancing other productivity work.

I've written about what makes the M1 MacBook Air such a great purchase in detail before, but it feels like students are never recommended this excellent laptop, even though it ticks off every important point for the best student laptops. If you're a student or a parent of one, this laptop has everything you could possibly want in a laptop for schooling purposes.

Make sure to take advantage of deals for the M1 MacBook Air when they happen, whether it's back to school sales or the upcoming Black Friday 2023 deals. It's an excellent investment that will last students for years to come.

More MacBook deals

For more great deals, check out more laptop offers with our best laptop deals and the best MacBook deals that are happening now.

Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.