256GB vs 512GB for Students: Is the 2024 MacBook Air M2 with 256GB Enough?

256GB vs 512GB for Students: Is the 2024 MacBook Air M2 with 256GB Enough?

256GB vs 512GB for Students: Is the 2024 MacBook Air M2 with 256GB Enough?

Is 256GB Enough for Macbook Air for a Student?

As a student, you constantly need to store assignments, projects, presentations, and research materials. With the increasing file sizes of today’s digital world, the question arises: “Is 256GB enough for a Macbook Air if you’re a student?”

Evaluating Storage Requirements

Academic Programs:

  • Arts and Humanities: Students typically work with large media files such as images, videos, and audio files. 256GB may be insufficient if regular editing and storage of high-resolution content is required.
  • STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math): Students often handle large datasets, simulations, and software applications. 256GB may be suitable for basic tasks, but additional storage may be necessary for extensive data analysis or software development projects.

Personal Usage:

  • App Storage: Modern apps can consume significant storage space, especially media-intensive apps like Netflix and Spotify.
  • Photos and Videos: Students often capture and store photos and videos of lectures, notes, and social gatherings. 256GB can accommodate a decent amount of these files, but frequent video editing or storage of high-quality photos may require more space.

External Storage Options

If 256GB proves insufficient, you can consider the following external storage options:

  • USB Flash Drive: Portable and affordable, but limited in capacity and speed.
  • External Hard Drive: Offers larger storage capacities, but requires a separate power source and cable connection.
  • Cloud Storage: Provides online backup and remote access to files, but can incur subscription costs.

Macbook Air Canada: Midnight vs. M2

The Macbook Air comes in two variants: Midnight and M2.

  • Midnight: Midnight color option, available with 256GB or 512GB storage.
  • M2: Newer chip with improved performance and battery life, available with 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB storage.

Comparison: 256GB vs. 512GB for Students


  • Sufficient for basic academic tasks, everyday usage, and moderate storage requirements.
  • May become limiting for media-heavy academic programs or extensive personal usage.


  • Provides ample space for most academic and personal needs.
  • Allows for storage of large files, media libraries, and software applications.

Is 256Gb Storage Enough For Macbook Air

Macbook Air with M1 Performance Review

The MacBook Air’s performance — powered by the M1 processor and 16GB of RAM — is phenomenal. When I split its screen between 20 Chrome (Intel, not Universal) tabs and a 1080p YouTube video — plus Apple’s Mail and Photos app, Pixelmator (again, an Intel app) and 1Password (Intel, again) in the background, I never saw anything close to a hiccup. Oh, and in the background, 20GB of 4K video was being AirDrop transferred, while everything stayed smooth and stable.

During a group call, I even found time to play around with iOS apps, downloading and opening the Overcast podcatcher, HBO Max and the game Among Us. All while a 4K YouTube video of a chef cooking played on my laptop monitor, I played around in each of those apps, so I could start an Adventure Time episode, download a podcast and drag my lil Among Us guy around on screen. Multitasking is my forte.

The MacBook Air M1 was, for the most part, identical in performance to the Core i5 MacBook Pro 2020 I used when testing Big Sur or my 2017 Core i7 MacBook Pro laptop that I relied on. It was the same when I used an external monitor. Before this, I was a bit skeptical, even with Apple’s boasts of 3.5x improved performance vs the Intel MacBook Air released earlier this year, because I’ve always pushed my MacBooks to the limit, and needed a MacBook Pro, and not an Air, to do my work. This MacBook Air? This MacBook Air feels like a pro.

And let’s see how that shakes out in benchmarks — and I’ll note that not all of our tests were done with Universal versions of apps, and Intel versions aren’t optimized for the M1.

Air’s Geekbench (Intel), multi-core score of 5,962 was almost identical to the M1 MacBook Pro’s 5,925. On the Geekbench 5.2 equivalent test, the Air dominated the ZenBook 13 (5084) and the XPS 13 (5319) (both with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor and 16GB RAM). The old Intel MacBook Air Y-series Intel CPU mustered only 2,738.

What is this MacBook Air? This MacBook Air feels like a pro.

The MacBook Air completed the Handbrake video conversion test (which transcodes 4K to 1080p) in just 9 minutes, 15 seconds, while the MacBook Pro finished it in 7:44. (On a beta version of Handbrake optimized for Apple’s silicon). Those times obliterate those from the ZenBook 13 (17:51) and XPS 13 (18:22), as well as the 27:10 time from the Intel MacBook Air from earlier this year.

The MacBook Air scored a 653 on the PugetBench Photoshop (Intel) test, which beats the 588 from the XPS 13, but falls to the 743 from the ZenBook 13 (a rare win for the x86 crowd). The MacBook Pro came pretty close, with a 649.

You can also display this on your screen

Speaking of the display, this is where you’ll find the biggest differences between the MacBook Air 13.6-inch and the MacBook Air 15.3-inch, aside from the physical size. The MacBook Air that launched in 2022 has a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display. It offers pixel resolution of 2560 x 1664, which delivers a pixel density of 264ppi.

By comparison, the MacBook Air launching in 2023 offers a 15.3-inch Liquid Retina display with a 2880 x 1864 pixel resolution. The pixel density is 224ppi. Although slightly less than the smaller version, the difference between the two should not be noticeable.

Apple True Tone, P3 Wide Colour Gamut, Support for One Billion Colors, and 500 Nits of Brightness are also included in both models. Both also have a notch at the top of their displays, which offers a 1080p FaceTime camera, though sadly no Face ID like the iPhone and iPad Pro models. Both models have the same size notch, so it looks slightly smaller on MacBook Air 15″ and also the 5mm bezels around the display. This means that the MacBook Air 15 inch has slightly higher screen-to-body ratio.

Both the MacBook Air models being compared here run on the M2 chip, which offers an 8-core CPU with 4-performance cores and 4 efficiency cores, up to a 10-core GPU, a 16-core Neural Engine and 100GB/s of memory bandwidth. The two models also come with a media engine so there are no differences in how they are able to handle tasks. The 15-inch version comes standard with a 10 core GPU. An 8-core option is not available.

When it comes to memory, both MacBook Air models come with a base of 8GB, though this is configurable on both up to 24GB, In terms of storage options, the base model of both has 256GB, configurable up to 2TB.

The MacBook Air 13″ model comes with a 4-speaker setup, while MacBook Air 15″ has six speakers. The MacBook Air 13-inch isn’t the strongest performer in terms of audio output so the extra couple of speakers on the 15-inch are likely to mean the larger model performs better in this department, though the 13-inch model is still good enough for what many will need it for.

Overall performance from the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is excellent. The MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is a laptop that handles everyday tasks well and we expect it to say the same thing about the MacBook Air (15-inch), when we review it fully. You can now read about our initial impressions on the larger MacBook Air.

Is 256Gb Storage Enough For Macbook Air

How much RAM and storage space is enough for a college student?

For a college student, the answer is yes. But if you are planning to run heavy games, then this laptop will not be able to handle it. This is because this laptop has an Nvidia GeForce 150 graphics card, and playing heavy games will cause frame drops and lag. However, if you want to watch movies or play some light games such as Fortnite, then this laptop can be used for them as well.

Most students don’t need to install too many programs on their laptops. If you really need more space, then you can increase the storage using an external hard disk or by installing an SSD into the available slot on this laptop.

If you’re a serious gamer, then investing in a GTX1050 Ti would be more sensible than buying this laptop. It won’t run games on max settings.
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How much storage does a student need on a laptop?

It depends. How much storage space you require will depend on your work and the number of files that you keep. If you’re looking at buying a laptop for school, whether it’s high school or college, there are plenty of options out there that have plenty of storage space.

If you only need to store documents, images, and videos, then 256GB will probably be more than sufficient. If you also need to store images or videos then 256GB may not suffice.

Is 256Gb Storage Enough For Macbook Air

Is 128Gb Enough For A Macbook?

Yes, Whether 128GB is enough storage for a MacBook depends on your usage and needs. For basic tasks and a few files, it may be sufficient. However, you may want to consider more storage for resource-intensive applications and storing many files. It’s generally best to buy a MacBook that has as much storage space as possible.

However, it is recommended to double the storage if possible for better MacBook performance.

Now, let’s get into details. Below I will review cases for college use, programming, gaming. You will learn how to increase the storage space on your MacBook.

Several years ago Apple started soldering laptop components. It meant that the components perfectly fit and this allowed to produce the slimmest MacBooks ever. This approach has the downside that MacBooks cannot be upgraded after purchase. One must decide whether to buy a MacBook with 128GB or 256GB.

  • System
  • Apps
  • Working documents
  • When assessing the amount of storage you need, you must know (predict), how much you’ll eventually require for each category.

    Is 256Gb Storage Enough For Macbook Air


  • The first-ever MacBook Air with Retina display
  • Still uses Apple’s trademark 16:10 aspect ratio
  • The new model displays 48% more colours than the previous model
  • The display on the Apple MacBook Air (2018) is where Apple has arguably made the biggest, and most welcome, updates. Despite the shrinking overall size of the Air – in comparison to previous models, the screen size remains the same at 13.3 inches.

    This was made possible by trimming the bezels around the screen. The new MacBook Air is not only smaller and lighter than previous models, it also has a larger screen.

    The screen keeps the 16:10 aspect ratio, but that’s where the similarity to previous MacBook Air screens ends. The MacBook Air (2018) is the first Air with Retina display, with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels, resulting in a pixel density of 227 pixels per inch (ppi). It’s a little sharper than the MateBook X Pro, and easily outshines the entry-level XPS 13.

    The Retina screen gives this MacBook Air four times the resolution of the previous models. The leap from the 900p resolution of older MacBook Airs to the Retina resolution really is stunning, and it’s likely the first thing you’ll notice when you power on the new Air. Anyone who felt the lower resolution of previous MacBook Air models were a bit cramped when working will no doubt enjoy the improvement.

    Apple also improved viewing angles on the MacBook Air this year. This was one of Apple’s biggest problems with older MacBook Airs. We couldn’t see the screen if we tilted the screen away from us. This is fixed in the 2018 MacBook Air. It was only at the most extreme angles that we saw a lot of reflection from the anti-glare glass protecting the LCD screen.
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    There’s also been a boost to color accuracy for the MacBook Air 2018, with a wider color gamut capable of displaying 48% more colors than the previous Air – it means that photos in particular look brighter and more vibrant on the new MacBook Air’s screen.

    The new MacBook Air display is arguably the most impressive update, and the higher resolution gives this entry-level MacBook a premium feel, while also making media and photos look better than ever.

    Is 256Gb Storage Enough For Macbook Air

    What’s the difference between the 256Gb and 512Gb Macbook Air?

    Why would the Air base have slower flash storage? Apple’s greedy move to get us to buy more expensive configurations? It more likely has to do with the ongoing supply chain and chip shortage issues.
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    Apple spokesperson Michelle Del Rio told The Verge:

    The new MacBook Air, and 13-inch MacBook Pro have a performance boost thanks to M2, making them incredibly quick compared with Mac laptops that use the M1 processor. The new system uses a higher density NAND chip that can store 256GB on a single device. The 256GB SSD’s performance may be different from the older generation based on benchmarks, but in real-world activities it is even better.

    In summary, the M2 MacBook Air base model has one NAND chip. The higher storage configurations (512GB+) have two NAND chips resulting in speeds that are nearly doubled. Blackmagic’s Disk Speed Test application was used by The Verge to test the performance of flash storage on both the 256GB base model and the 512GB version of the MacBook Air M2. According to the results, the base Air has slower flash storage with write speeds that are 15-30% slower than the 512GB version and read speeds of 40-50% slower.

    Is 256Gb Storage Enough For Macbook Air

    Price And Availability

  • Released October 30, 2018 and debuting October 2018.
  • Intel Core i5/128GB SDD/8GB RAM $1,199
  • Intel Core i5/256GB SDD/8GB RAM: 1,399 dollars (Australian$2,149, PS1,399).
  • Here is the MacBook Air configuration sent to TechRadar for review:

    The MacBook Air 2018 is pricier than any previous model. While this MacBook Air 2018 doesn’t cost $999 like its predecessor did, it is still Apple’s cheapest laptop for 2019.

    This might be of little comfort to anyone who is dismayed at Apple’s (and increasing) high prices. MacBook Air (2018) was priced at $1,199 when this review was written (PS1,199 or AU$1,849).

    Note that the 2017 MacBook Air is still available at a lower price on third-party. Third-party vendors are selling the 2017 MacBook Air for the same price of $999 (PS949 or AU$1,499). You’ll have to give up new features like the fingerprint sensor and the higher resolution display, but it’s $200 off, so decide for yourself if it’s a worthy trade-off.

    However, if you want the latest rendition, you’ll be happy to know that it’s now $100 cheaper at $1,099 (PS1,099, AU$1,699). At the moment, that price includes an Intel Core i5 8th generation, Intel UHD Graphics, 8GB memory, and a SSD with 128GB. You can configure it with more memory and storage, but the MacBook Air will obviously get pricier from there. Up to 16GB RAM is available, along with a 1TB solid-state drive.

    The highest-configured MacBook Air costs $1,299 ($1,299 PS, AU$1,999), and comes with 256GB SSD. Everything else is the same. This is a $200 increase (AU$300, PS200) in price for a larger SSD. Upgrade to a 512GB model from the base will set you back $400 (PS400 or AU$600). Upgrading to 1TB costs $1,200.

    Apple has a price hike that is absurd, especially when you consider that for that amount of money you could get an external SSD that can store up to 2TB. You’re better off sticking with the 128GB SSD and purchasing an external storage drive separately. If you want to configure your MacBook Air, it’s best to double the RAM to 16GB at 2,133MHz for an extra $200 (PS180, AU$320).

    Apple MacBook Air 2018 is not configurable, so you are stuck with the processor and graphics integrated. The above costs also highlight Apple’s crazy-expensive prices for storage. Although we haven’t disassembled the MacBook Air, it would be difficult to install a cheaper and larger SSD.

    The MacBook Air, which was once the best laptop in this price range without a doubt, is now fighting to win back that crown.

    Of course, the XPS 13 and MateBook X Pro are only viable alternatives if you’re not married to the macOS. If you’re wedded to macOS and Apple’s ecosystem, then the Apple MacBook Air (2018) offers the most affordable way to get a new MacBook – and its latest refresh, as well as drop in price, definitely gives it better value.

    256GB vs 512GB for Students: Is the 2024 MacBook Air M2 with 256GB Enough?