Best MacBook Air Prices

When the original 13.3″ MacBook Air was introduced in January 2008, it created a new category of notebooks that were neither underpowered netbooks nor overly heavy laptops. Things have only improved from that point, particularly with the introduction of the 11.6″ model in October 2010.

11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air

11-inch and 13-inch MacBook Air

Apple most recently updated the MacBook Air in March. Both models have the same 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5 CPU on the low end, a chip that can Turbo Boost to 2.7 GHz. For those who demand more power, there’s a 2.2 GHz Core i7 with Turbo Boost to 3.2 GHz for $150 more.

Standard memory is 4 GB, which is barely adequate for OS X 10.10 Yosemite. We recommend you spend the extra $100 for the 8 GB version, keeping in mind that you cannot upgrade system memory after the fact.

The base model has a skimpy 128 GB SSD, so you may want to consider the 256 GB version for $200 more. If you need a lot of space, there’s a $300 option to install a 512 GB SSD on the 256 GB model.

Other Thunderbolt Models

The 11″ Early 2014 MacBook Air and 13″ Early 2014 have a base configuration of a 1.4 GHz Core i5 (2.7 GHz Turbo Boost), 4 GB RAM, and 128 GB SSD and runs OS X 10.9.2 Mavericks or newer. Upgrades include a 1.7 GHz i7 with 3.3 GHz Turbo Boost, 8 GB RAM, and higher capacity SSDs.

The 11″ Mid 2013 MacBook Air and 13″ Mid 2013 have a 1.3 GHz Core i5 with 2.6 GHz Turbo Boost, 4 GB RAM, and 128 GB SSD. They shipped with OS X 10.8.4 Mountain Lion. Upgrade options include 8 GB RAM, a bigger SSD, and a 1.7 GHz i7 with 3.3 GHz Turbo Boost.

The Mid 2012 MacBook Airs were the first with USB 3.0 support. These were also the first Airs with FaceTime HD webcams. The base 11-incher has a 1.7 GHz Core i5 (2.6 GHz Turbo Boost), 4 GB RAM, and a paltry 64 GB SSD. For $100 more, the 128 GB SSD was a no brainer.

The 13″ Mid 2012 MBA came stock with a 1.8 GHz Core i5 with 2.8 GHz Turbo Boost, 4 GB RAM, and 128 GB SSD.

Apple added Thunderbolt to the MacBook Air with the Mid 2011 models, providing a huge throughput jump over USB 2.0. The 11″ version came with a 1.6 GHz Core i5 on the low end, while the 13-incher usually shipped with a 1.7 GHz i5. Both models had a 1.8 GHz Core i7 build-to-order option. OS X 10.7 Lion was the standard operating system.

This was the last time Apple offered an MBA with just 2 GB of RAM, and then only on the least expensive 11″ model. 4 GB is the maximum, so you probably don’t want to run OS X 10.10 Yosemite on this one, as it is very demanding of resources.

Pre-Thunderbolt Models

The Late 2010 MacBook Air was the first to move completely away from hard drives and exclusively to SSDs. These were also the first ones that could be ordered with 4 GB of RAM instead of the 2 GB default. These were also the last MBAs to use Intel Core 2 Duo CPUs: The brand new 11″ model had 1.4 and 1.6 GHz options, while the 13″ MBA came with 1.86 or 2.13 GHz chips.

Apple boosted screen resolution on the 13.3″ display to 1440 x 900, the standard resolution of the 15″ MacBook Pro. The 11.6″ machine has a 1366 x 768 pixel display.

These were the last to ship with OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which is a plus for anyone who needs to run older PowerPC-only software. It was also the last version of OS X to run decently with just 2 GB of RAM. Looking forward, 4 GB was the way to go.

The Late 2010 models can run OS X 10.10 Yosemite, but even with 4 GB, don’t expect sprightly performance. OS X 10.9 Mavericks is probably the furthest you’ll want to go with a 4 GB model.

Hard Drive/SSD Models

The Mid 2009 MacBook Air was the last to only ship in a 13″ version, and 2 GB of RAM was the only option. The base version has a 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo CPU and a 120 GB UltraATA hard drive, while the better version ran a 2.13 GHz CPU and included a 128 GB UltraATA SSD.

This machine shipped with OS X 10.5 Leopard and can run everything since, although with only 2 GB of RAM anything beyond 10.6 Mountain Lion is not recommended.

The Late 2008 MacBook Air made a big step forward by adopting Nvidia GeForce 9400M graphics over the Intel Integrated Graphics of the original model. The 1.6 and 1.86 GHz Core 2 Duo CPUs have a larger data cache and a faster memory bus, giving them a 30-40% performance boost over the Early 2008 MBA. This is also the first MBA to use a SATA hard drive or SSD instead of the older, slower Parallel ATA.

The Early 2008 MacBook Air introduced Apple’s super-slim notebook to the world. 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).

Apple made a lot of compromises to make the original MacBook Air as thin and light as possible: The Early 2008, Late 2008, and Mid 2009 models use a 1.8″ iPod hard drive. MacBook Airs have no RAM sockets, doesn’t include ethernet or FireWire ports, and the earliest models have only one USB port. On the plus side, the 13″ MBAs havew the same size screen and keyboard as the 13.3″ MacBook.

This model also shipped with OS X 10.5 Leopard and is a perfect candidate for the $19 upgrade to OS X 10.6 Snow Leopard, which only supports Intel Macs and thus uses a bit 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, 10.9 Mavericks, and 10.10 Yosemite, but you’ll be a lot happier with 4 GB of system memory with anything newer than Snow Leopard

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 2014 Prices

  • 11″ 1.4 GHz i5 4/128, $798, PowerMax
  • 11″ 1.4 GHz i5 4/256, $919, B&H
  • 11″ 1.7 GHz i5 4/128, $899, B&H
  • 13″ 1.4 GHz i5 4/128, $819, Amazon.com, B&H
  • 13″ 1.4 GHz i5, 4/256, $1,029, MacMall

Best 2015 Prices

  • 11″ 1.6 GHz i5 4/128, $799, B&H
  • 11″ 2.2 GHz i7 4/128, $1,049, B&H
  • 11″ 2.2 GHz i7 8/128, $1,144, B&H
  • 13″ 1.6 GHz i5 4/128, $899, B&H
  • 13″ 1.6 GHz i5 4/256, $1,099, B&H
  • 13″ 2.2 GHz i7 4/128, $1,149 B&H
  • 13″ 2.2 GHz i7 8/256, $1,444, MacMall

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 in Brief

All models since the Late 2008 MacBook Air are compatible with OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion and can run OS X 10.9 Mavericks and 10.10 Yosemite.

  • 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 3.0, 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 3.0, 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 and 13.3″ 2013: USB 3.0, 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
  • 11.6″ Early 2014 and 13.3″ Early 2014: USB 3.0, Intel HD Graphics 5000, 1.4 GHz (2.7 Turbo) i5 or 1.7 GHz i7 (3.3 Turbo), 128-512 GB SSD, OS X 10.9.2 and later
  • 11.6″ Early 2015 and 13.3″ Early 2015: Thunderbolt 2, USB 3.0, Intel HD Graphics 6000, 1.6 GHz (2.7 Turbo) i5 or 2.2 GHz (3.2 Turbo) i7, 128-512 GB SSD, OS X 10.10 and later

New MacBook Air

Prices include free ground shipping unless marked “+ sh”. (“a/r” indicates price after mail-in rebate.)

Amazon.com B&H MacMall PowerMax
11″ / 13″
Early 2015
11″ 1.6 GHz i5, 4/128 $889.99 $799 $889.99 $899
11″ 1.6 GHz i5, 8/128 $994 $994
11″ 1.6 GHz i5, 4/256 $1,089 $1,089 $1,089  $1,099
11″ 2.2 GHz i7, 4/128 $1,049
11″ 2.2 GHz i7, 8/128 $1,144
13″ 1.6 GHz i5, 4/128 $984.99 $899 $984.99 $999
13″ 1.6 GHz i5, 8/128 $1,094 $1,094
13″ 1.6 GHz i5, 4/256 $1,179.99 $1,099 $1,179.99  $1,199
13″ 2.2 GHz i7, 4/128 $1,149
13″ 2.2 GHz i7, 8/256  $1,444
Early 2014
11″ 1.4 GHz i5, 4/128 $789.99 $789.99  $798
11″ 1.4 GHz i5, 4/256 $919  $929  $998
11″ 1.7 GHz i5, 4/128 $899.99 $899
13″ 1.4 GHz i5, 4/128 $819 $819 $898
13″ 1.4 GHz i5, 4/256 $1,029 $1,029  $1,028
SuperDrive $79 $75.99 $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.

  • 13″ 1.8 GHz, Intel X3100 graphics, 2/120 HD, $649
  • 13″ 1.6 GHz, Nvidia 9400M graphics, 2/128 SSD, $669
  • 13″ 1.86 GHz, Nvidia 9400M graphics, 2/120 HD, $679
  • 13″ 2.13 GHz, Nvidia 9400M graphics, 2/128 SSD, $739
  • 13″ 1.86 GHz, Nvidia 320M graphics, 2/128 SSD, $749
  • 13″ 1.86 GHz, Nvidia 320M graphics, 2/256 SSD, $809
  • 13″ 2.13 GHz i5, Nvidia 320M graphics, 4/256, $899

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.

  • 11″ 1.7 GHz i5, HD 4000 graphics, 4/128, $729
  • 11″ 1.8 GHz i7, HD 3000 graphics, 4/128, $749
  • 11″ 1.3 GHz i5, HD 5000 graphics, 4/256, $799
  • 11″ 1.7 GHz i7, HD 5000 graphics, 8/128, $969
  • 13″ 1.7 GHz i7, HD 3000 graphics, 4/128, $849
  • 13″ 2.0 GHz i5, Nvidia 9400M graphics, 2/128, $879
  • 13″ 1.8 GHz i5, HD 4000 graphics, 4/128, $909
  • 13″ 1.3 GHz i5, HD 5000 graphics, 4/256, $929
  • 13″ 1.7 GHz i5, HD 3000 graphics, 4/256, $939
  • 13″ 1.4 GHz i5, HD 5000 graphics, 4/256, $949
  • 13″ 1.7 GHz i7, HD 5000 graphics, 8/256, $1,209

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.

  • 11″ 1.6 GHz i5 Mid 2011, HD 3000 graphics, 4/128, $599
  • 13″ 1.8GHz i5 Mid 2012, HD 4000 graphics, 4/128, $949
  • 13″ 1.7 GHz i5 Mid 2011, HD 3000 graphics, 4/256, $899
  • 13″ 1.3 GHz i5 Mid 2013, HD 5000 graphics, 4/128, $799

Small Dog Electronics 11″ /13″

Flat rate $4.99 shipping.

  • none listed today

TechRestore

  • none listed today

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.

ZIF Solid State Drive for 2008 models

  • 64 GB, $159
  • 128 GB, $239.99

Mercury Aura Pro MBA for Late 2008/09 models

Up to 3x faster than factory SSD, 41x faster than factory hard drive.

  • 60 GB, $97.99
  • 120 GB, $129.99
  • 240 GB, $207.99
  • 480 GB, $334.99

Mercury Aura for 2010 models

  • 120 GB 6G, $89
  • 240 GB 6G, $144.99
  • 480 GB 6G, $284.99
  • 1 TB, $529

Mercury Aura Pro for 2010 models

  • 240 GB, $197.99
  • 480 GB, $329.99

Mercury Aura for 2011 models

  • 120 GB 6G, $89
  • 240 GB 6G, $144.99
  • 480 GB 6G, $284.99
  • 1 TB, $529

Mercury Aura Pro for 2011 models

  • 240 GB, $197.99
  • 480 GB, $329.99

Mercury Aura for 2012 models

  • 120 GB, $89
  • 240 GB, $144.99
  • 480 GB, $284.99
  • 1 TB, $529

Mercury Aura Pro for 2012 models

  • 240 GB, $197.99
  • 480 GB, $354.99

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