256GB Vs 512GB MacBook Air Comparison 2021

Customers have always said that Apple laptops are way too expensive for someone on a budget, and frankly, we agree too. Even the base models of the MacBook cost over $1500, with the MacBook Pro prices going as high as $2000. But, Apple has addressed or tried to address this complaint by releasing the cheaper models in the form of the MacBook Air.

A MacBook Air brings the power, feature, and performance of an Apple laptop within reach of every customer. Of course, a MacBook Air is not as powerful as the MacBook Pro, but it’s more than good, considering the price you are paying. It uses the same hardware, with a little less powerful configuration. But the user experience and the performance doesn’t go down too much.

256GB Vs 512GB MacBook Air

Let’s make it clear that we are comparing the two storage options of the same MacBook Air 2020 (M1). We will be comparing the 256GB Vs 512GB MacBook Air, so you can decide which option suits you the best. We will discuss the similarities and differences and also talk a closer look at the performance and what the MacBook Air 2020 (M1) has to offer.

256GB Vs 512GB MacBook Air Comparison and Buying Guide

Specification MacBook Air 2020 (M1)
CPU Apple M1 Chip Octa-Core
GPU Apple 8-Core Graphics
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB/512GB
Display Size 13.3 inches
Display Resolution 2560 x 1600
Display Type IPS LED
Operating System macOS Big Sur
Dimensions 11.97 x 0.63 x 8.36 inches
Weight 2.8 lbs

Similarities

Because we are comparing the two storage options of the same MacBook Air 2020, you can guess that there are a lot of similarities between 256GB Vs. 512GB MacBook Air. They have the same build, same hardware, and they both offer great performance. There are other models on offer as well, so-called upgraded models which offer bigger hardware configuration but they cost more too.

Anyway, we won’t go down that rabbit hole. Instead, let’s see what the MacBook Air 2020 brings to the table in terms of design and performance.

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13”...
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed...

Design

If you know Apple, you know that they are not a fan of changing the design and outlook of any of their device every year. They would milk a beautiful design for as long as they can, and we don’t think there is anything wrong with that. The MacBook Air has a beautiful, sleek, and elegant design, which doesn’t really need any changes.

So, Apple has continued the same unibody aluminum design in the MacBook Air 2020 as well. The 0.6 inches thin body looks sleek and feels good to hold. We think the superior craftsmanship of Apple and the use of premium-quality material is why the old design still looks handsome.

Perhaps the one thing that Apple doesn’t change between the MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is the design. Because when you hold the MacBook Air or the MacBook Pro, you don’t feel any difference. Even though the MacBook Air costs much less, it just feels like you are holding a $2000 laptop. All this is just with the laptop closed.

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2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13”...
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed...

When you open the lid, you get to see the true beauty of the device. The minimalist deck with black keyboard keys and the classic super-wide trackpad just feels right. There is still no Numpad on the keyboard, even though users have been pleading with Apple for it. However, we think that a Numpad would just make the whole keyboard look congested and ruin the elegant look Apple has worked so hard to achieve.

One thing that plays a huge role in making the deck look so good is the hinges. The strong hinges are so well-designed that they aren’t even completely visible. Another very well-done part of the design is the speakers. There are two speakers grills on either side of the keyboard that provides high-quality and loud sound. So, even with the thinner body, the speakers are unchanged.

Sadly, the no changes to the design policy mean we are stuck with the same thick bezels. With more and more competitors switching to the thinner bezels, slimming the bezels on the MacBook Air would have been great as well.

When it comes to colors, the MacBook Air comes in three different ones. You can buy the silver one, the space grey one, or go for the more stylish rose gold finish. The MacBook Air looks beautiful in all three colors, but we prefer the space grey one. The darker finish looks more bold and beautiful with the black keys and screen bezels than any other color.

Both the 256GB and the 512GB model of the MacBook Air have exactly the same design. From color options to keyboard and trackpad style and size to the position of speakers, everything is the same.

2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13”...
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed...

Performance

The previous MacBook Air models weren’t the best of the performers, with underpowered CPUs and GPUs. They were most suitable for day-to-day light tasks like documentation and internet surfing. But, the new MacBook Air 2020 with the M1 chip has been a very welcome upgrade. The M1 chip has completely transformed the MacBook Air from an entry-level Mac to a powerhouse good enough for pros.

It’s not like you are getting the performance like that of a $2000 MacBook, but it’s much better than the previous models. You wouldn’t feel any sluggishness or twitches while running the basics, and it holds pretty well under some heavy workload too. We aren’t just saying all that; we put it to some real-time tests to back our claims.

Chrome is one of the most demanding programs on any device unless you use some professional software. So, we ran about 20 different Chrome tabs at the same time, running videos, live streams, and reading some Quora answers at the same time. The M1 chip handled all that pretty well but started to show signs of trouble when we increased the number of tabs and opened a few native iOS apps.

But, all-in-all the M1 chip and the macOS Big Sur update hold the device together pretty well, providing solid and stable performance. We should mention that when we used Safari in place of Chrome, the performance was much better. So, maybe if you can make certain changes to your way of doing things, you can enjoy seamless and smooth MacBook Air performance.

The fact that the MacBook Air has 8GB RAM and uses SSD also plays a big part in enhancing the overall performance. The 256GB or the 512GB SSD hard drive provides much better speeds than the older models. According to Apple, the MacBook Air 2020 has twice as fast SSD as the previous models; and it is completely true.

Aside from the CPU’s performance, a laptop has to perform well in two other aspects as well; graphics and battery. The MacBook Air 2020 M1 excels in the battery life department but just falls short in graphics for gaming.

Apple made some big claims that the M1 chip will allow MacBook Air users to enjoy intense games with full settings, but that’s not the case. The 8-Core GPU can run some mid-range games, but when you go for the higher tier, the MacBook Air 2020 starts to struggle. The frame rate drops down, and the device starts to heat up pretty quickly. So we wouldn’t suggest the MacBook Air 2020 for gaming.

The battery life, on the other hand, is fantastic. Even with some heavy-duty processing and multi-tasking, it lasted a little over 14 hours with a single full charge.

Using and comparing the 256GB Vs. 512GB MacBook Air, we didn’t see any difference in the performance at all. You would think that the 512GB SSD will have better speeds, but that’s not the case. The 512GB SSD only adds to storage space. So, if you are only focusing on performance, both the 256GB and 512GB offer the same levels of power. However, if storage is a big concern for you, the winner is pretty clear.

Connectivity

A laptop should be able to connect with all sorts of accessories and workstations. For that, a laptop needs versatile ports, so you can attach it to multiple monitor setups, attach extra accessories and make your perfect workstation. However, the MacBook Air 2020 M1 lacks versatility in ports. It not only has a limited number of ports but also has the same types of ports as well.

There are only 2 USB Type-C ports(Thunderbolt) on the left side and one headphone jack on the right. You have to use the Type-C cables for power, for data transfer, and for connecting other devices as well. So, you either need to keep a lot of convertor cables or buy the dongles from Apple. Either way, it’s not fun, and Apple should have considered this before deciding on the limited ports.

As for wireless connectivity, the MacBook Air excels at that. Both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity is solid, stable, and smooth. With 802.11 Wi-Fi 6 and IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatibility, your internet connections will be much more stable, and you will finally get to enjoy the full speed of your internet connection. Even with an increasing number of device connections, your MacBook Air will have the best internet speed.

The Bluetooth connections are more stable as well, with the Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology. Using wireless accessories like a mouse, keyboard, and headphones was a smooth and seamless experience. There was no audio lag, no delays between mouse clicks and actions, and no laggy typing.

The ports and the wireless technology are also the same on both the 256GB and the 512GB MacBook Air. Stable connections, smooth operations, and a bigger wireless connectivity range.

Difference

As you know that the 256GB Vs. 512GB MacBook Pro are the same models; there aren’t too many differences between them. They both have the Apple M1 chip CPU and 8GB of RAM. The keyboard, the trackpad, the speakers, the display size, and the overall design is exactly the same.

There are only two hardware differences between these two models; one is storage space, and the other is GPU. In the 256GB model, the GPU is Apple 7-Core, and in the 512GB model, the GPU is Apple 8-Core. However, it’s not a significant change to convince you to change the models.

But, the storage difference is significant enough to make you change your mind.

Storage

Storage space is a significant aspect of any computing device, whether it’s your mobile phone, desktop computer, or laptop. For Apple devices, choosing the right storage option holds more importance because it is near impossible to increase their storage space. The same goes for their laptops.

Other laptops allow you to change and upgrade the storage spaces by changing the hard drives with ease. In the case of MacBooks, you can’t do that. So, we suggest you clearly think about your storage needs before making the decision. The MacBook Air 2020 is available in two storage options, 256GB and 512 GB. Both have SSD drives, so the speeds are the same, but the storage space is different.

We always suggest going for the bigger storage option because you never know how your needs would evolve in the future. Similarly, people from certain fields like programmers, graphics designers, editors, etc., require much more storage space than, let’s say, students who only need to store academic data and some entertainment.

Which MacBook Should You Buy?

After comparing the 256GB Vs. 512GB MacBook Air, one thing is for sure, there is no difference in performance, features, capabilities, and overall user experience. They both have the same hardware with a slight change in GPUs, they both look exactly the same, and no matter which one you buy, you will definitely enjoy using it for years to come.

To decide which one should you buy, you only need to ask yourself one simple question, How much storage space do I need? If you need to keep a lot of important files accessible offline at all times, you should go with the 512GB MacBook Air. If you can make do with your data on the cloud, the 256GB model is good enough too.

One more thing that might affect your decision is the cost. The 512GB MacBook Air costs $100 more than the 256GB model. When you think about it, the 256GB model is the more economical option.

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2020 Apple MacBook Air Laptop: Apple M1 Chip, 13”...
  • All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life.
  • Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to action-packed...