Earlier this month, Apple updated the MacBook Air lineup with True Tone support and lowered its price tag by $100 while at it. At first glance, it looked like these were all the changes that Apple had made. However, as testing by Consomac reveals, the 2019 MacBook Air features a slower SSD than the outgoing model.
As testing reveals, the 2019 256GB MacBook Air features read and write speeds of 1.3GB/s and 1GB/s, respectively. While that’s still pretty darn fast, the read speeds are slower by almost 35% when compared to the 2018 MacBook Air which is capable of reaching speeds of up to 2GB/s. Its read speeds are slightly lower at 920MB/sec though.
The SSD speed drop seems to be limited to the 256GB variant of the 2019 MacBook Air as the 128GB model performs about the same as its predecessor. It offered read/write speeds of 1.3GB/s and 500MB/s which is about the same as the 2018 model.
It is possible that Apple used an SSD with slower read speeds to reduce component cost and thereby help it in reducing the overall price of the machine.
While disappointing, the slower read speeds of the 2019 MacBook Air’s SSD is not going to have a major impact in real-life performance. The bottleneck will be first created by the low-power Intel processor instead of the SSD which still offers blazing-fast performance compared to the industry standard. Plus, it is the write speeds that usually matter the most and the slightly faster speeds in that regard should end up having a positive impact in certain scenarios.