Hey there, tech enthusiasts! Are you in the market for a new laptop, but not sure which one to get? Maybe you’re considering the latest MacBook Air M2, but you’re also wondering if there are any other options that offer better value for your money. Well, you’re in luck, because in this video, we’ll be sharing five laptops that we think are a better value than the MacBook Air M2. From affordability to performance, we’ve got you covered. So sit tight and let’s get started!
Let’s be clear: the MacBook Air M2 is a fantastic ultralight laptop that can handle anything from productivity to entertainment. It’s even powerful enough for content creators. However, it comes at a steep starting price of $1,199 for the base model with an 8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and just 256GB of storage.
Most people will likely want to upgrade to the second-tier model, which includes an 8-core CPU, 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage, for a total cost of $1,499. For content creators or power users, the 16GB RAM version may be necessary, which brings the total price to $1,699 or more. Add in AppleCare or other upgrades, and the cost can quickly become prohibitive.
But for those who only need a laptop for daily tasks like web browsing, productivity, and entertainment, there are many more affordable options available that still offer great performance.
To help you out, I’ve consulted with my team of tech experts and put together a list of five laptops that are just as capable as the MacBook Air M2 but won’t break the bank. Whether you’re a student or simply trying to save money, you’ll want to stick around to see these fantastic alternatives to the MacBook Air M2.
Acer Swift 5 (2022)
Let’s start with the Acer Swift 5 (2022). I add this in my first of my list because this laptop has been making waves in the tech community for its impressive combination of performance and value.
One thing that immediately stands out about the Swift 5 is its appearance. Our reviewer couldn’t stop raving about the Mist Green aerospace-grade aluminum system, proclaiming it “the most attractive notebook I’ve seen this year.” But the Swift 5 is more than just a pretty face.
Powered by a 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processor with integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, the Swift 5 held its own against its competitors in overall performance and file transfer tests, easily sailing past the category average. It even scored an impressive 9,859 on the Geekbench 5.4 test, thanks to its powerful processor.
But what really surprised us was the notebook’s integrated graphics performance. The Swift 5 notched 26 frames per second on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI benchmark, making it an excellent choice for gamers on a budget. It also boasts a bright, vivid 14-inch display and a healthy smattering of ports.
While the Swift 5 didn’t make our longest-lasting laptop page, it still delivered over 11 hours of battery life, which is nothing to scoff at. However, we did dock it some points for the amount of bloatware and its relatively weak speakers. Nevertheless, we crowned the Acer Swift 5 as our laptop of the year for 2022, and for good reason. It’s an outstanding Windows 11 laptop that provides excellent performance and value for its price point.
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Dell XPS 13 Plus
Next up, we have the Dell XPS 13 Plus, I add this in my list because this laptop sleek design and fantastic keyboard make it one of the top contenders in the market. While its appearance may be divisive, it’s hard to ignore the powerful performance and stunning optional 4K display that the laptop has to offer.
The XPS 13 Plus delivers excellent power and performance, surpassing the premium average with a score of 10,621 on the Geekbench 5.4 test. It’s perfect for individuals who need to handle multiple documents and browser tabs at once. The XPS 13 Plus is also great for video transcoding with a time of 8 minutes and 17 seconds to transcode a 4K video to 1080p, beating the category average of 9:47.
While the laptop lacks a discrete GPU, making it unsuitable for modern gaming and heavy content creation, it more than makes up for it in productivity performance. And with apps like Pixlr and Photopea available for free, you can still handle most of your photo editing needs.
Overall, the Dell XPS 13 Plus is a top-performing laptop that is perfect for busy workers who need to stay productive while on the move. Its minimalist styling may not be for everyone, but its powerful performance, fantastic keyboard, and optional 4K display make it a solid choice for anyone looking for a great laptop.
MacBook Air M1
While we’re talking about laptops that offer better value than the MacBook Air M2, we have to mention its predecessor, the MacBook Air M1, Of course, the MacBook Air M1 is on this list, which is an excellent choice for those who prioritize portability and battery life. You can get the base model for $999, which comes with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage. Despite its compact size, the M1 chip is still a powerful processor that can handle photo and video editing while also multitasking with documents and spreadsheets.
For those who need more storage and memory, you can upgrade to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of storage for $1,399, which is still $300 cheaper than the same configuration of the M2 Air. The Retina display on the MacBook Air is always improving, with the addition of True Tone, and in our testing, we found it to have an average brightness of 435 nits and cover 78.3% of the DCI-P3 color gamut.
During our testing, the MacBook Air M1 scored 5,882 on the Geekbench 5.0, which is higher than the premium laptop average score of 4,215. While it may not be as high as the current premium laptop average of 7,068, it’s still plenty powerful. Additionally, the MacBook Air M1 performed well in the Sid Meier’s Civilization VI: Gathering Storm benchmark, notching 29 fps, beating the 28-fps category average.
Overall, the MacBook Air M1 is an excellent choice for those who prioritize portability and battery life. With its powerful M1 chip, you can easily edit photos and videos while multitasking with documents and spreadsheets, making it a great option for on-the-go productivity and content creation.
Asus Zenbook 14 (Q409ZA) OLED
Moving on, we have the Asus ZenBook 14 (Q409ZA) OLED, I can add this laptop in this list because Asus Zenbook 14 is a sleek all-aluminum laptop with a stunning 90Hz OLED 2.8K display that feels larger thanks to its 16:10 aspect ratio. It covers a fantastic 96% of the DCI-P3 color gamut while averaging 377 nits of brightness, which is higher than the category average. You can talk about this laptop’s beautiful display and how it enhances the overall user experience. If you make videos or work with photos, this display is ideal for accurate color representation.
The laptop also comes with the Asus NumberPad 2.0, a touchpad that doubles as a numeric keypad, making it ideal for on-the-go number crunchers. You can launch the Calculator app and use the touchpad for input. You can talk about this feature as an unexpected bonus that could be useful for people who work with numbers.
The Zenbook 14 easily surpassed the mainstream laptop average in performance tests, with a multi-core score of 8,590 in the Geekbench 5.4 score. During the Handbrake video transcoding benchmark, it averaged 8 minutes and 40 seconds while converting 4k video to 1080p, which was faster than the category average. You can mention how this laptop’s solid performance makes it great for multitasking and handling intensive tasks.
Although it has integrated Intel Iris Xe graphics, which are not ideal for gaming or heavy video editing, they are more than adequate for watching content, web browsing, or productivity work. During the 3DMark Night Raid benchmark, the Zenbook scored 14,618, which fell slightly below the category average. You can mention that this laptop is not designed for gaming but is still capable of handling most productivity workloads.
Lastly, when you take into consideration its gorgeous display, solid performance, amazing 16-hour plus battery life, and $800 cost, the Zenbook 14 is a great affordable option. You can talk about how this laptop provides great value for its price and is perfect for anyone looking for an affordable but capable laptop.
Acer Chromebook Spin 714
Lastly, we have the Acer Chromebook Spin 714. The Chrome OS has come a long way and with Google Workspace constantly improving, it’s a great option for those looking for something lightweight yet potent. The Spin 714 is equipped with a 12th Gen Intel Core-i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 256GB SSD, making it powerful enough to handle document pushing, photo editing, and even some short video editing.
The Spin 714 boasts a lovely 14-inch, 1920 x 1200 WUXGA touchscreen display with a 16:10 aspect ratio that immerses you in your work or content. Its all-aluminum slate blue design is eye-catching and its 360-degree, 2-in-1 display is supported by sturdy chromed-out hinges. During testing, the display covered almost 80% of the DCI-P3 color gamut while averaging 358 nits of brightness, surpassing the 294-nit Chromebook average.
In terms of performance, the Spin 714 is impressive. It registered a score of 4,415 on the Geekbench 5.0 synthetic overall performance test, obliterating the Chromebook average of 2,666. During our Jetstream 2.0 benchmark, it hit 220.84, which is above the Chromebook average of 110.78. The Spin 714 also has great battery life, averaging 10 hours and 45 minutes, which is longer than the Chromebook average of 9 hours and 34 minutes.
Overall, the Acer Chromebook Spin 714 is a solid option for those who need a laptop for basic productivity tasks and content watching. With its $800 price tag, it’s a great affordable option for those who don’t require a workstation during their travels or when working from home.
In conclusion, we have shared our top five laptops that offer better value than the MacBook Air M2. However, before making a final decision, it’s crucial to assess your needs and budget and research thoroughly.
Thank you for watching, and we hope this video was helpful. Don’t forget to like and subscribe to the channel for more tech-related content, and let us know in the comments which laptop you think offers the best value for its price.