Best Budget MacBook

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A comprehensive overview of budget-friendly Apple MacBook options.

Apple has certain MacBook models for sale that won’t break the bank.

Apple MacBook is a powerful and durable machine coveted by many, yet it usually comes with a hefty price tag. However, it is also considered a higher-quality laptop that you will be able to use for much longer. Apple also optimizes its operating system on a regular basis, so you can even purchase an older MacBook model and still be able to install the latest version of macOS. All in all, Apple has certain MacBook models for sale that won’t break the bank. We highlight best budget MacBook models below. Also, if you’re looking for best Apple student deals, read our recent article.

MacBook Air 13-inch with M1 chip

The first best budget MacBook model that comes to mind is Apple’s most recent MacBook Air with M1 chip. MacBook Air is the most affordable and lightweight laptop in the MacBook range. It’s slim and powerful, making it ideal for daily browsing and work. The laptop features an updated scissor-switch keyboard, easy-to-use trackpad, Touch ID login, 720p resolution webcam, and a beautiful Retina display. 

Perhaps the most prominent feature of this machine is the ARM-based M1 processor developed by Apple. It is much faster than the Intel processors in previous MacBook Air models and doesn’t require a cooling fan. That keeps the computer completely silent even at maximum performance capacity.

Also, add to the list an impressive battery life (up to 18 hours without charge, according to Apple) and you get the best budget MacBook. The basic model with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage costs $999, which is an absolute steal. 

MacBook Pro 13-inch with M1 chip

If you’re looking for an even more powerful device and don’t mind spending a bit more, than the 13” MacBook Pro with M1 chip is the right choice. This machine is ideal for creative or IT professionals performing heavy-duty tasks on a daily basis. The new M1 chip delivers significant performance gains, as well as the best battery life in a MacBook yet. 

This impressive device features Apple’s signature design, bright Retina display, studio-quality microphones, revamped Magic keyboard, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and faster Thunderbolt connectors with USB 4 support. The base 13-inch model with 8GB unified memory and 256GB SSD storage costs $1,299. You can take advantage of M1’s extraordinary performance at a relatively low price. So, this model is a good option if you’re looking for the best budget MacBook. 

Older MacBook Models

In addition to the latest Apple MacBook models, there are plenty of older MacBooks on the market for every budget. As we mentioned above, Apple keeps its software and operating system up-to-date, so an older computer can still be powerful and efficient. 

According to Apple, Big Sur (its latest operating system) will be available on the following models: 

  • MacBook Pro: late-2013 and newer
  • MacBook Air: mid-2013 and newer

That means you can purchase a 2013 MacBook or newer and still enjoy the benefits of the latest version of macOS. For example, Amazon offers a pre-owned 2017 MacBook Air 13-inch with 1.8GHz Intel Core i5 Dual Core Processor, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, and 12-hour battery life for $652. This is the best budget MacBook if you’re considering pre-owned models.

Similarly, you can buy a 2018 MacBook model with Retina display, 1.2GHz Intel Core m3 Dual Core Processor, 8GB RAM, and 256GB storage for about $800. Apple’s official store also has its official Refurbished section, but the MacBooks listed there are still quite pricey.

If you do decide to purchase a pre-owned MacBook, make sure to check for any physical damage, check the display condition, make sure the keyboard works properly, test all the ports, and check the battery’s capacity.


Despite being considered a premium brand, Apple has some budget-friendly MacBook models for sale, including the latest MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In addition, you can opt for a pre-owned MacBook. Apple computers are known for their longevity and durability, so you can find a great deal even on older models. Best budget MacBook is not too hard to find. And if you’re ready to MacBook trade in, Gadget Salvation is here to help! 

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