The unthinkable has happened (and no I’m not talking about the Mac mini upgrade). Instead of just discontinuing the MacBook Air, Apple just gave it an honest-to-god update. It finally has a Retina display and the same iconic design!
Here’s everything you need to know about the 2018 MacBook Air upgrade.
Let’s start with the feature we were all waiting for. The new MacBook Air has a 13.3-inch display with four times the pixels. The resolution strikes in at 2560 by 1600 and packs 4 million pixels. The display doesn’t have True Tone but it has vivid colors, with 48% more color than the previous generation.
The display is still at 16:10 aspect ratio. But the iconic aluminum bezel is gone. Instead, it’s a black bezel, which is half the size it used to be.
The aluminium is made for 100% recycled material.
The MacBook Air retains the iconic wedge shape, but everything else about this design is brand new. The new MacBook Air is just 15.6 mm thick. And it weighs only 2.75 pounds. That’s a quarter of a pound lighter than the previous generation MacBook Air.
Thanks to the smaller bezels, the new MacBook Air’s footprint is 17% smaller than the previous generation.
The MacBook Air is the first MacBook without a Touch Bar to have a Touch ID sensor. Apple managed to squeeze it in in the function row. The Touch ID system is powered by the T2 chip. It runs the Secure Enclave and the Secure Boot. And thanks to the T2 chip, you also get access to Hey Siri functionality on the MacBook Air.
The MacBook Air still only comes with a 1.5 GHz dual-core Core i5 processor, but that’s all you need for your day to day tasks. It’s the 8th generation chip from Intel, coupled with Intel UHD 617 graphics. You can add external graphics processors using the Thunderbolt port.
This might not seem like much but the new Intel processors should handle all the usual tasks you throw at it – watching Netflix, browsing the web, working in Excel, and more.
The default is 8 GB RAM but you can configure it to up to 16 GB.
The base model still comes with 128 GB SSD but you can configure it all the way up to 1.5 TB.
The battery life is still the same. It’s still rated for 12 hours of web browsing. But it can now last for up to 13 hours of video.
Thunderbolt USB-C Ports
The MacBook Air was the last holdout with USB-A ports. Now, it’s all gone. The MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt USB-C ports on the side, and that’s it. If you want to connect to accessories, you’ll need to use dongles.
3rd Generation Butterfly Keyboard
The same keyboard from the latest MacBook Pros and the MacBook comes to the MacBook Air. The original MacBook Air had one of the best keyboards of any laptop ever. And this new keyboard has a lot to live upto.
Of course, we know that this Butterfly mechanism isn’t the most reliable or universally loved. But Apple did recently take steps to make it harder for debris and dust to get below the keys.
The keyboard is going to be a subjective experience. You should go into the store and type on it before buying the new MacBook Air.
20% Larger Force Touch Trackpad
The old trackpad makes way for the Force Touch trackpad, which uses haptic feedback instead of a physical click mechanism. The trackpad surface is also 20% larger compared to the older model.
If you spend a lot of time watching movies on your MacBook Air, you’ll love the new speaker setup. It’s more than 25% louder and has twice the bass.
Three Color Options
Also a first for the MacBook Air range. You can choose between Space Grey, Silver and Gold finishes for the MacBook Air. The Gold looks especially good with the Air’s wedge-shaped design.
Are You Buying One?
The new MacBook Air starts at $1199 for the 128 GB SSD model. That’s $200 more than the usual MacBook Air price (but still $100 cheaper than the 12-inch MacBook). But you do get a lot for the extra money. You can pre-order it now and it starts shipping on November 7.
Are you sold on the new default MacBook for everyone? Will you easily recommend it to your friends and family? Share with us in the comments below.