Best MacBook Air Prices

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Apple updated the entire MacBook line in Mid 2013. All new models use energy efficient and powerful Haswell CPUs and also include USB 3, which has 10x the bandwidth of USB 2.0 – and USB 3 drives tend to cost a lot less than Thunderbolt drives. They also include a FaceTime HD webcam and Intel HD Graphics 5000.

11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air

11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air

The entry-level Mid 2012 11″ MacBook Air has a 1.7 GHz dual-core i4 CPU, 4 GB of system memory (no more wimpy 2 GB version), and a 64 GB SSD. The “better” version has a 128 GB SSD for $100 more. You can have either built-to-order with 8 GB of RAM for an additional $100, and the 128 GB model with a 2.0 GHz CPU for $150. SSDs as large as 512 GB are also available.

The 13″ Mid 2012 MacBook Air is a bit faster with a 1.8 GHz CPU and includes a 128 GB SSD. A 256 GB version sells for $300 more. You can upgrade either to 8 GB of RAM when you order it, and for more speed, you can get a 2.0 GHz CPU in the 256 GB version. For our initial thoughts on the new models, see The Mid 2012 MacBook Air Value Equation.

Recent Models

Apple reinvented the MacBook Air (MBA) in late 2010, releasing the SSD-based MBA in 11.6″ and 13.3″ versions. And in July 2011, Apple went the next step, leaving behind the outdated Core 2 Duo CPU in favor of the up-to-date Intel Core i5 and i7. The Mid 2011 models look like the 2010 editions, but they are twice as powerful, have Thunderbolt expansion ports, use Intel HD 3000 Graphics, and once again have backlit keyboards.

2 GB of RAM was standard only on the $999 1.6 GHz entry-level 11″ MBA, which was also the only one with a 64 GB SSD; all the other models shipped with 4 GB of system memory and at least 128 GB of storage.

If Apple’s SSDs don’t provide the capacity you need or you want an even faster SSD, Other World Computing (OWC) has a line of SSD upgrades for the 2010 and 2011 MBAs (up to 22% faster, up to 480 GB capacity) as well as for the 2008 and 2009 models (up to 41x faster than the stock hard drive and up to 480 GB capacity). OWC does not yet have SSD for the 2012 MBA.

Earlier Models

The original 13.3″ MacBook Air weighs 3.0 lb. and is just 3/4″ thick at the back end – and 1/6″ thin at the front. It has 2 GB of RAM (not expandable), and that’s coupled with a 120 GB hard drive or a 128 GB solid state drive (SSD). In addition, the Late 2008 and 2009 versions have Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics (a big improvement over the Intel integrated graphics of the Early 2008 model), a Mini Display Port, and supports resolutions to 2560 x 1600 on an external display.

The current 13.3″ MBA is a bit lighter (2.9 lb.) and thinner (0.69″), while the 11.6″ version weighs in at a featherweight 2.3 lb. The newer 13-incher also has two USB 2.0 ports (USB 3 in the latest update), something users have been clamoring for since the original MBA was introduced.

Apple made a lot of compromises to make the original MacBook Air as thin and light as possible: It uses a 1.8″ iPod hard drive, has no RAM sockets, doesn’t include ethernet or FireWire ports, has a only one USB port, and uses integrated graphics. On the plus side, it has the same size screen and keyboard as the MacBook.

An older MBA, with its limited RAM and drive space, is a perfect candidate for the $29 upgrade to Mac OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which only supports Intel Macs and thus uses less drive space – a big factor on this little computer. Every MacBook Air except for the original 2008 model can run OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion, but you’ll probably be a lot happier with 4 GB of memory.

The best deals are marked in bold type in the listings below. Listings

Best Used Prices

  • 11″ 1.4 GHz Core 2, 2/128, $699, PowerMax
  • 11″ 1.6 GHz Core 2, 4/128, $759, PowerMax
  • 11″ 1.6 GHz i5, 2/64, $699, Mac of All Trades
  • 11″ 1.8 GHz i5, 4/128, $839, PowerMax
  • 11″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/64, $779, PowerMax
  • 11″ 2.0 GHz i7, 8/240, $1,099, PowerMax
  • 13″ 1.8 GHz Core 2, 2/80 HD, $719, PowerMax
  • 13″ 1.86 GHz Core 2, 2/128, $809, PowerMax
  • 13″ 2.13 GHZ Core 2, 2/128, $899, PowerMax
  • 13″ 1.8 GHz i5, 4/128, $869, PowerMax
  • 13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/256, $1,049, PowerMax
  • 13″ 2.0 GHz i7, 8/512, AppleCare, $1,299, Mac of All Trades

Best Close-Out 2011 & 2012 Prices

  • 11″ 1.6 GHz i5 2/64, $1,050, Amazon.com
  • 11″ 1.7 GHz i5 4/64, $900, Amazon.com
  • 11″ 1.8 GHz i7, 4/256, $1,249, PowerMax
  • 11″ 2.0 GHz i7 4/128, $1,399, PowerMax

Best 2013 Prices

  • 11″ 1.3 GHz i5 4/128, $985, Amazon.com, B&H, MacMall (Low End Mac earns more when you buy from MacMall)
  • 11″ 1.3 GHz i5 8/128, $1,075, MacMall
  • 11″ 1.3 GHz i5, 4/256, $1,139, Amazon.com, B&H, MacMall (Low End Mac earns more when you buy from MacMall)
  • 11″ 1.7 GHz i5 4/128, $1,149, B&H
  • 13″ 1.3 GHz i5 4/128, $1,049, Amazon.com, B&H, MacMall (Low End Mac earns more when you buy from MacMall)
  • 13″ 1.3 GHz i5, 8/128, $1,175, MacMall
  • 13″ 1.3 GHz i5, 4/256, $1,235, Amazon.com, B&H, MacMall (Low End Mac earns more when you buy from MacMall)
  • 13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/128, $1,249, B&H

Best Mac OS X Prices

Be sure to factor in shipping costs and possible sales tax. Your best value depends on whether you need/want a printer, case, etc.

Unless otherwise noted, there is no surcharge for credit card purchases, and shipping is not included. Vendors are listed in alphabetical order. Be sure to visit their sites for full details.

Prices may be limited to quantity on hand. Not responsible for typos. Buying through some of these links benefits Low End Mac. Buying at these prices benefits you.

Profiles

All models since the Late 2008 MacBook Air are compatible with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and will be able to run OS X 10.9 Mavericks when it ships in late 2013.

  • Early 2008: Intel graphics, 1.6 GHz with 80 GB hard drive or 1.8 GHz with 64 GB SSD, OS X 10.5.1 through 10.7 (not compatible with 10.8 and later)
  • Late 2008: Nvidia 9400M graphics, 1.6 GHz/120 GB hard drive, 1.86 GHz/128 GB SSD, OS X 10.5.5 and later
  • 13.3″ 2009: Nvidia 9400M graphics, 1.86 GHz/120 SSD, 2.13 GHz/128 GB SSD, OS X 10.5.7 and later
  • 11.6″ 2010: Nvidia 320M graphics, 1.4-1.6 GHz, 64-128 GB SSD, OS X 10.6 and later
  • 13.3″ 2010: Nvidia 320M graphics, 1.86-2.13 GHz, 128-256 GB SSD, OS X 10.6 and later
  • 11.6″ 2011: Intel HD 3000 graphics, 1.6 GHz i5 or 1.8 GHz i7, 64-256 GB SSD, OS X 10.7 and later
  • 13.3″ 2011: Intel HD 3000 graphics, 1.7 GHz i5 or 1.8 GHz i7, 128-256 GB SSD, OS X 10.7 and later
  • 11.6″ 2012: USB 3, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 1.7 GHz i5 or 2.0 GHz i7, 64-512 GB SSD, OS X 10.7 and later
  • 13.3″ 2012: USB 3, Intel HD 4000 graphics, 1.8 GHz i5 or 2.0 GHz i7, 128-512 GB SSD, OS X 10.7 and later
  • 11.6″ 2013: USB 3, Intel HD 5000 graphics, 1.3 GHz (2.6 Turbo) i5 or 1.7 GHz i7, 128-256 GB SSD, OS X 10.8 and later
  • 13.3″ 2013: USB 3, Intel HD 5000 graphics, 1.3 GHz (2.6 Turbo) i5 or 1.7 GHz i7, 128-256 GB SSD, OSX 10.8 and later

New MacBook Air

Prices include free ground shipping unless marked “+ sh”.

Amazon.com B&H MacMall PowerMax
11″ / 13″
2011 MacBook Air
11″ 1.6 GHz i5, 2/64 $1,049.99 + sh
11″ 1.8 GHz i7, 4/256 $1,249
2012 MacBook Air
11″ 1.7 GHz i5, 4/64 $899.99 + sh
11″ 1.7 GHz i5, 4/128 $1,029.99 + sh
11″ 2.0 GHz i7, 8/256 $1,399
2013 MacBook Air (Haswell CPUs)
11″ 1.3 GHz i5, 4/128 $984.99 $948.99 $948.99 $989
11″ 1.3 GHz i5, 8/128 $1,099 $1,074.99
11″ 1.3 GHz i5, 4/256 $1,139 $1,139 $1,139 $1,179
11″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/128 $1,149
11″ 1.7 GHz i7, 8/128 $1,249
11″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/256 $1,644 $1,349
13″ 1.3 GHz i5, 4/128 $1,048.99 $1,048.99 $1,048.99 $1,079
13″ 1.3 GHz i5, 8/128 $1,199 $1,174.99
13″ 1.3 GHz i5, 4/256 $1,234.99 $1,234.98 $1,234.99 $1,279
13″ 1.3 GHz i5, 8/256 $1,349 $1,369.99 $1,399
13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/128 $1,249
13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 8/128 $1,349 $1,349
13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 4/256 $1,449 $1,449
13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 8/256 $1,549 $1,519.99 $1,549
13″ 1.7 GHz i7, 8/512 $1,849 $1,819.99 $1,849
SuperDrive $79 $79 $79 + sh
  • Amazon.com collects sales tax on orders shipped to KS, KY, ND, NY, and WA.
  • MacMall collects sales tax on orders shipped to CA, IL, MN, TN, and WI.

Used Core 2 Duo

Used and store refurb units are covered by a store warranty and are not eligible for AppleCare. Also look on eBay for used MBAs.

PowerMax 11″ / 13″

Ground shipping may add $23 or more.

  • used 11″ 1.4 GHz Nvidia graphics, 2/128 SSD, $699
  • used 11″ 1.6 GHz Nvidia graphics, 4/128 SSD, $759
  • used 13″ 1.8 GHz Intel X3100 graphics, 2/80 HD, $719
  • used 13″ 1.86 GHz Nvidia graphics, 2/128 SSD, $809
  • used 13″ 2.13 GHz Nvidia graphics, 2/128 SSD, $889
  • lots of other configurations listed

Used Core i5/i7

All Core i models use SSD. Used and store refurb units are covered by a store warranty and are not eligible for AppleCare. Also look on eBay for used MBAs.

PowerMax 11″ / 13″

Ground shipping may add $23 or more.

  • used 11″ 1.6 GHz i5, HD 3000 graphics, 2/64, $749
  • used 11″ 1.8 GHz i5, HD 3000 graphics, 4/128, $839
  • used 11″ 1.8 GHz i5, HD 3000 graphics, 4/256, $909
  • used 11″ 1.7 GHz i7, HD 4000 graphics, 4/64, $779
  • used 11″ 1.8 GHz i7, HD 4000 graphics, 4/128, $879
  • used 11″ 1.8 GHz i7, HD 4000 graphics, 4/256, $909
  • used 11″ 2.0 GHz i7, HD 4000 graphics, 8/240, $1,099
  • used 13″ 1.8 GHz i5, HD 4000 graphics, 4/128, $869
  • used 13″ 1.7 GHz i7, HD 4000 graphics, 4/256, $1,049
  • lots of other configurations listed

Mac of All Trades

Ground shipping averages $30. Add $9 for Apple Remote. Mac of All Trades collects sales tax on orders shipped within FL. It has the highest product turnover of any used Mac dealer we track.

  • used 11″ 1.6 GHz i5 Mid 2011, 2/64, $699
  • used 13″ 2.0 GHz i7 Mid 2012, 8/512, AppleCare to 11/5/15, $1,299

Small Dog Electronics 11″ /13″

Flat rate $4.99 shipping.

  • none listed at present

TechRestore

  • none listed at present

MacBook Air Upgrades

Other World Computing

OWC has a wide range of 6G SSDs for various MacBook Air models. Each includes a USB enclosure for your pulled SSD.

Mercury Aura Pro Express for 2010/11 models

  • 120 GB 6G, $185
  • 240 GB 6G, $317.99
  • 480 GB 6G, $579.99

Mercury Aura Pro MBA for 2008/09 models

  • 60 GB, $119.99
  • 90 GB, $125
  • 120 GB, $179.99
  • 240 GB, $295.99
  • 480 GB, $529.99

Mercury Aura Pro for 2010 models

  • 120 GB, $185
  • 240 GB, $265
  • 480 GB, $525

Mercury Aura Pro for 2011 models

  • 120 GB, $185
  • 240 GB, $317.99
  • 480 GB, $579.99

Mercury Aura Pro for 2012 models

  • 120 GB, $185.99
  • 240 GB, $299
  • 480 GB, $579

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