Apple has lost the appeal of the student laptop. The new MacBook Air is to blame

Year after year on these dates it is normal for all of us who are technology consultants to walk around the house (surely you too, dear Xataka reader ) to receive a very common question: what laptop do I buy my son for back to school? Variant: for the return to the university.

Apple has lost the appeal of the student laptop. The new MacBook Air is to blame
Apple has lost the appeal of the student laptop. The new MacBook Air is to blame

A question that until now had, in many cases, a clear answer: a MacBook Air . If it has always been a great option for its mix of performance, autonomy and price, the jump to Apple Silicon suited it even better. However, something has been broken since the last keynote . The MacBook Air M2 is a great laptop, but the price variable has fallen out of the magic triangle.

35% more expensive from one generation to another

The 1,519 euros that the basic version of the new MacBook Air costs represents a 35% increase over its previous generation . Almost 400 euros. One possibility to maintain that attractiveness is to suggest buying the same model, but from the previous generation, the one that includes the M1 chip.

This alternative has two asterisks. In the first place, we are not talking about a laptop not even from 2021, but from 2020. Buying it in 2022 as a laptop is bought for a student, expecting it to last more years than the notch on the iPhone, does not seem like the option more advisable.

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Also, that same laptop counterintuitively went up in price . We do not remember a precedent in which Apple increased the PVP of a 14-month-old product (which the M1 had when it increased its price in February) at the gates of launching its renewal.

Here are the prices for the base models:

  • MacBook Air M1 (2020 release): 1,129 euros.
  • MacBook Air M1 (price increase in 2022): 1,219 euros.
  • MacBook Air M2 (2022 release): €1,519

300 euros difference between the M1 at its updated price and the M2. Apple offers discounts for students who want to buy a Mac or an iPad in addition to giving a gift card to those who purchase them in the months prior to the start of the course . To be fair in an article where we talk about students as the destination of this computer, these are the prices of the base models with this discount applied:

  • MacBook Air M1 : 1,104 euros.
  • MacBook Air M2 (2022 release): €1,404

Here the difference is reduced to 300 euros, but it is still a dissuasive price compared to the time when a MacBook Air, scratching a discount here or there, came out for less than 1,000 euros.

Inflation and a dollar-euro exchange rate that has evolved to reach parity have led, among other consequences, to this situation . One less argument to recommend the latest Air to a student to start the course. Except, of course, for those who can afford it.

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