Today, Apple announced the new MacBook Air for 2020 – it looks exactly the same on the outside, but this is the first MacBook to have the new M1 chip, Apple’s in house silicon for the Mac. The new MacBook Air is the same price as the outgoing Intel models, at £999 in the UK and $999 in the US – and you can order it from today, with availability in a few weeks time on 17th November.

The M1 chip comes in a couple of flavours, in the base spec £999 MacBook Air, the M1 chip has a 7-core GPU and 8-core CPU, whereas in the £1,249 model it has a 8-core GPU and 8-core CPU. RAM is called “unified memory” on the new models and comes with 8GB as standard, with the upgrade up to 16GB as an option. Base model also comes with 256GB SSD as standard, with lots of options up to 2TB available.

All MacBook Airs come in Gold, Silver and Space Grey – like the old model and the keyboard is the upgraded Magic Keyboard, but as Mark Gurman on Twitter has pointed out, some of the function keys are different, we now have dedicated buttons for Spotlight, Dictation and Do Not Disturb which replace the old Launchpad and Keyboard brightness keys.

Now that the MacBook Air is using Apple Silicon, the battery life is an area which has been greatly improved. The Intel model had a quoted 11 hours of battery life for wireless web browsing, that has increased to 18 hours on the new one. Video playback in the Apple TV app has also increased from 12 hours to 18 hours.

Order for the new MacBook Air are being taken from today, with the first units being available on the 17th November.