SEARCH

Apple MacBook Air (2018) announced



Apple has unveiled a new MacBook Air during their "More in the Making" event in New York. The refresh comes for the first time since June 2017 and is a worthy successor in every form.

Design

Apple has significantly reduced the size of the MacBook Air boasting a 10% thinner device with 17% less volume. The new laptop is bit smaller and lighter than the previous model, in fact 7% lighter than its predecessor weighing in at 2.75 pounds (1.25kg).

The industrial design, which is thicker at the hinge and tapers to the front edge, remains the same, although it’s .14 mm thinner in the back and .11 mm thicker in the front, making for a bit less of a wedge.

The new MacBook Air is now made entirely of 100% recycled aluminum.

Retina Display

Apple has blessed their new MacBook Air with a Retina Display for the first time, offering a 2560 by 1600 pixel resolution and 227 ppi pixel density. This is definitely a leap from the 1440 by 900 pixel resolution of the previous model and will likely be a big selling factor for the new MacBook Air.

Apple MacBook Air (2018) - Retina Display

Hardware

Apple has packed in eighth-generation 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processors with Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz and 4 MB of L3 cache. While Apple doesn't offer an upgraded processor option, they claim the setup is ideal for “delivering the performance you need for everyday activities like organizing your photos, browsing the Web, creating presentations or viewing and editing videos.”

An integrated Intel UHD Graphics 617 GPU takes care of your basic graphics needs. However, those who want to participate in some gaming would have to connect an eGPU (external GPU) via Thunderbolt 3.

Your base model will come with 8GB of RAM (clocked at 2133 MHz) and you can get 16GB for an additional $200 if you want an additional buffer.

Apple has outfitted the new MacBook Air with SSDs that are 60% faster than the previous model, which will speed up launching apps and opening large files. Customers can pick their storage from 128GB on the base model all the way up to 1.5TB.

In terms of connectivity, Apple has replaced the USB-A, Thunderbolt 2, MagSafe 2, and an SDXC card slot from the previous model with Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side. Just like on the MacBook Pro, you’ll use the Thunderbolt 3 ports for charging and connectivity. Those Thunderbolt 3 ports support either one 5K external display or two 4K displays.

The 3.5mm headphone jack has thankfully been retained and moved to the right side. When you are not busy working at the coffee shop, you can take advantage of the redesigned stereo speakers on the MacBook Air which are 25% louder and have twice the bass.

Apple has retained the 720p FaceTime camera, and while the company has included a TouchID scanner, we are disappointed they didn't use this opportunity to introduce FaceID for the MacBook. We will likely have to wait for a major macOS release for that implementation in the future.

Keyboard and Trackpad

The MacBook Air features the butterfly-switch keyboard, with each key backlit with its own low-power LED for more accurate illumination. With how controversial this keyboard was on MacBook Pro due to key failures, we are curious to see if Apple has addressed these issues on the MacBook Air.

Apple has also included the new Force Touch trackpad on their newest laptop. It is 20% larger than the Multi-Touch trackpad in the previous model and provides additional capabilities.

Security

The new MacBook Air features a Touch ID sensor in the upper-right corner of the keyboard. That will improve security. To make Touch ID possible, the MacBook Air includes Apple’s T2 security chip with a Secure Enclave. Although the T2 could in the future prevent repair by shops that aren’t authorized by Apple, it offers some very real security improvements right away. It ensures that software loaded during the boot process hasn’t been tampered with, encrypts all data stored on the SSD, and enables “Hey Siri.”

Release and Availability

The MacBook Air (2018) is available for order alongside the new Mac mini starting today and will be shipped out on November 7, 2018.

Prices start at $1199 for a configuration that includes 128 GB of storage and 8 GB of RAM. You can pick between the space gray, gold, and silver colors.
READ RECOMMENDED ARTICLES
comments powered by Disqus

Matched Content