M1 MacBook Air vs. M2 MacBook Air: Cost Of Ownership


When it comes to choosing between the M1 MacBook Air and its successor, the M2 MacBook Air, many factors come into play. Among the most crucial is the cost of ownership. This comparison isn’t just about the upfront price; it’s about understanding the total investment over the device’s lifespan. With technology advancing rapidly, it’s essential to consider how long Apple supports its products and the implications for users.

M1 MacBook Air: A Retrospective

The M1 MacBook Air, released in November 2020, marked a significant shift in Apple’s approach to laptop design and performance. As we stand in 2023, and looking ahead to 2024, this device has shown its resilience but also faces the inevitable – the countdown towards the end of Apple’s support. With an estimated two years of support left, the base model M1 MacBook Air, initially a cost-effective choice, now represents a more substantial yearly investment. At an average cost of $500 per year over its lifespan, users need to weigh the benefits of this once-revolutionary technology against its decreasing shelf life.

M2 MacBook Air: The Next Chapter

June 2022 saw the unveiling of the M2 MacBook Air, a leap forward in terms of performance and efficiency. As of now, this device boasts approximately five years of expected support from Apple. This longevity translates into an appealing yearly cost of ownership of around $200, assuming a linear depreciation over its lifespan. This figure is notably lower than its predecessor, making the M2 an economically sound choice for long-term users.

M1 Macbook Air Video

Trade-In Values: A Bitter Truth

Apple’s trade-in program offers a way to recoup some of the initial investment. However, the reality for end-of-life devices like the M1 MacBook Air is sobering. Users can expect to receive only about 10-13% of the original purchase price, a figure that barely makes a dent in the overall cost of ownership. This low return rate underscores the importance of considering longevity and support in the purchasing decision.

The Bigger Picture: Stability, Economy, and Environment

Opting for a device with a longer support lifespan isn’t just about saving money. It’s about stability – the assurance that your device will remain functional and supported for a considerable time. Economically, it translates to lower annual costs and a more predictable technology expenditure. Environmentally, longer device lifespans mean less electronic waste and a smaller carbon footprint. By choosing a model like the M2 MacBook Air, users are investing in a device that promises a better balance of performance, cost-effectiveness, and environmental responsibility.


The comparison between the M1 and M2 MacBook Airs isn’t just a tale of two laptops. It’s a story about how we value technology and its impact on our wallets and the world. While the M1 MacBook Air was a game-changer in its time, its decreasing support life makes it a less viable option for future-proofing. On the other hand, the M2 MacBook Air stands as a testament to the benefits of investing in longevity, both for personal finance and for the planet. As consumers, our choices extend beyond the product specs; they reflect our values and our vision for a sustainable, technologically advanced future.

Additional Resources

Affiliate Disclosure
Other M1 Macbook Posts