The Apple MacBook Air has been one of the most popular Apple product in the market since Steve Jobs pulled it out of an envelope back in 2008. Since then, it has been the laptop of choice of creators, students, digital nomads and pretty much everyone else. It was an entry point in the Apple ecosystem for geek layman.
However, Apple had been resistant to update one of its most popular and beloved devices ever, until now. Apple has revamped and updated the MacBook Air from the inside out. It is now thinner, lighter, faster and better than ever.
A Slender Physique
The new MacBook Air 2018 is considerably smaller and lighter than its predecessor. In fact, it is even thinner when compared to the previous generation’s 11-inch model. Thanks to its thin-bezel screen, it maintains a 13-inch screen size in a much smaller package. And oh, did I mention that it is a Retina display with a resolution of 2560×1600 and a pixel density of 227 pixels per inch.
The new MacBook Air is significantly lighter as well, weighed at 2.75 pounds or 1.24Kg. Its 11-inch predecessor weighed 2.38 pounds or 1.07Kg while the more popular 13-inch predecessor weighed as much as 2.96 pounds or 1.34Kg.
It is made out of a unibody aluminum alloy. Apple is also taking a step towards a greener environment by using recycled aluminum to make the new MacBook Air. However, one can not say it is recycled by the fir and finish of it.
The new MacBook Air is not all sunshine and rainbows, though. Apple had to make some serious compromises to make the device so thin. There are no USB-A ports, just two Thunderbolt C ports on the left side of the device. The speed on the Thunderbolt C ports is 40Gbps. Although, there is a headphone jack on the right side of the device.
On the whole, it is a sleek package which is easier to carry around given its size and weight. It is available in 3 color choices- Gold, Space Grey and Silver. While Gold is the color that stands out of the bunch, Silver is the most reminiscent of the older MacBooks. Also, the glowing Apple logo is now replaced by a reflective one similar to those in MacBook Pro and MacBook 12-inch.
A Redesigned Keyboard and a Larger Trackpad
The new MacBook Air houses the third generation of the butterfly-switch keyboard. This is becoming the standard Apple keyboard nowadays since the release of MacBook Pro 2018.
The butterfly-switch keys are an opinion divider at large, wherein the majority is against it. The keys have an incredibly shallow travel which is not comfortable and takes some time to get used to. However, one will ultimately get used to it as the keys are not too cramped but comfortable placed.
Two speaker grills are housed on the edges of the keyboard. Apple says that it is the most powerful speaker on any Mac yet “offering a wonderfully wide sound stage thanks to the inclusion of two new base units”. The audio quality is generally pretty good and loud, but don’t expect to watch a movie with all your mates on it.
Coming to the trackpad, it does not disappoint, to say the least. It is smooth, giant and whip-smart. Apple claims it to be 20% larger when compared to the older models.
The old trackpad has been replaced by the Force Touch trackpad in the new MacBook Air, something that has become common in MacBooks along with butterfly-switch keys. What it basically means that it is not clicky, as compared to many other laptops in the market. As with the keyboard, the trackpad will also require some time to get used to. In the end, you can complain about it, though. It is huge and clicks evenly, as compared to older MacBook models. The force click has its own subtle features like force-clinking any word will provide you with its dictionary and thesaurus entries.
Another neat little feature on the keyboard is the inclusion of Touch id. The Touch id is housed in the power key on the top right corner of the keyboard itself, rather than an odd location on the trackpad or the laptop itself. So it means while the power key functions as a physical key, it also doubles as a Touch id fingerprint sensor which you can use to unlock your Macbook, immediately access locked documents, notes and system settings, without entering yet another password.
All New T2 Processor
The T2 processor is Apple new ‘to-go’ processor that is much faster and secure. The T2 cheap was necessary since Apple added the Touch id support to the new MacBook Air. It provides for a secure laptop, disc encryption and various other security features. The Air had a 2 core, 4 thread Core i5-8210Y CPU. Apple was reluctant to make it a quad-core processor, although it is ever so slightly faster and better than the previous MacBook Air models.
Pricing and Variants
The new MacBook Air still retains the title of Apple’s cheapest Macbook. However, there is a significant price bump as compared to the older generation. While the last generation’s MacBook Air starting price was $999, the new MacBook Air 2018 starts at $1,199
Here is the complete range of MacBook Air along with its prices.
- 8GB RAM, 128GB storage – $1,199
- 16GB RAM, 128GB storage – $1,379
- 8GB RAM, 256GB storage – $1,399
- 16GB RAM, 256GB storage – $1,579
- 8GB RAM, 512GB storage – $1,599
- 16GB RAM, 512GB storage – $1,779
- 8GB RAM, 1.5TB storage – $2,399
- 16GB RAM, 1.5TB storage – $2,579
– Sleek and Slender Design
– Premium Finish
– Limited Connectivity with only 2 USB-C Ports
– Higher Base Price
The 2018 MacBook Air is a redefined perfection. It houses premium feel with up to date features and security measures. The keyboard and trackpad may take some time to get used to but its smooth sailing from there. The price, although higher than expected, is still just when compared to the product.