Apple has recently revived the M1 MacBook Air Right Now

Around the beginning of this year, Apple ultimately decided to stop selling the M1 model of the MacBook Air computer. Following the debut of the M3 as well and the subsequent decrease in price of the original M2 the MacBook Air, I was finally ready to quit endorsing it.

However, after the WWDC announcements this week, the appeal of the M1 MacBook Air has significantly increased. This is because new Apple Intelligence features—from the M1 Macs—have been available for several generations.

M1 MacBook resumes operation

Apple MacBook Air 2020

Every year, when a new macOS comes out, Apple updates old Macs can handle. But with the latest macOS Sequoia release, compatibility now extends to 2020. On the other hand, MacOS Sonoma worked on Macs from as early as 2018. But here’s the kicker – the neural engine, an AI booster baked into M1 CPUs, brought older Macs up to speed with new Apple Intelligence features.

While some may wish Sequoia went further in Mac support, it’s impressive that Apple added AI features to four-year-old laptops. Unlike Microsoft’s Copilot+ launch that only works on new laptops, Apple’s move is remarkable.

Sure, the M1 MacBook Air won’t match the M3 model in speed due to AI features, especially in graphics. The design might not be as modern as the recent models either. Still, the AI upgrades help keep those old notebooks feeling fresh. For most tasks meant for MacBook Air, the performance difference between M2 and M1 won’t matter much.

Questions linger on how well these new AI features compare to M3 and M1 MacBook Airs. Apple boasts a 60% faster neural engine in the M3 than in the M1 – that could explain some performance gaps.

Despite this, the lower price of refurbished M1 MacBook Airs remains attractive – under $500 for a device packed with cutting-edge AI. Amazing what you can get at that price!

However, why?

One may wonder why Apple would allow these functionalities in the first place. It would be a simple way to market some new gadgets.

The fact that Apple isn’t selling any new MacBooks is one of the issues. Although the M4 is now available for the iPad Pro, an M4 MacBook Air will probably not be released until 2025. Apple could have limited the functionality to the M3 MacBooks alone, but as we all know, the M4 delivers the actual AI performance boost.

Apple’s more giving strategy, however, has a deeper motive. Unlike Microsoft, it doesn’t seem like Apple will use AI to boost laptop sales this quarter. It demonstrates that the Mac hasn’t lagged and is investing in its long-term future.

The outcome of Apple’s announcements has been a huge success thus far. Following its statements, Apple’s stock has already surpassed Microsoft’s, regaining its position as the most valuable corporation in the world. Microsoft is currently having to adjust Recall, its most ambitious new feature, due to backlash against its own new AI features.

Ultimately, Apple could turn the M1 MacBook Air into a legitimate AI PC because the company has advanced AI rather than lagged. Apple has been investing more in AI acceleration than Microsoft or any of its partners for years now, despite the marketing spin. It can travel back in time and offer these outdated devices new capabilities in a way that Windows machines cannot because of that long-term commitment. Not that Windows devices won’t have AI capabilities; they won’t have the new Copilot+ features and will mostly run on the cloud instead of on-device.

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