The wait is over: Apple have launched an all new Macbook Air. And where else but New York. Some are underwhelmed, calling it more “catch up” than “cutting edge,” while others are impressed, saying, “This is the Macbook most people should get.”
The Pro’s skinny cousin, this revamped Macbook Air brings a stunning 13-inch Retina display, Touch ID, the latest processors and an even more portable design to the world’s most loved notebook. And with the three pastel finishes — gold, silver and space grey — you’re sure to want to use it all day, or at least show it off on the corner table of your nearest hipster cafe (hence the all day battery).
It’s also the most affordable Mac with a Retina display, a spacious Force Touch trackpad, fast SSDs, wide stereo sound, the Apple T2 Security Chip and Thunderbolt 3.
“The first MacBook Air revolutionised Mac with its thin wedge-shaped aluminium design. It forever changed the entire industry for portable computers and became the world’s most loved notebook,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing.
But have they done it again?
Whether you’re a die-hard Apple fan, or Android ’til you die, here is everything you need to know about the new Macbook Air, so that you can make up your own mind.
It’s Finally Got Retina Display
Whether you want to take higher quality screenshots, or you just want your screen to do justice to your favourite 4K Vimeo clips, the new MacBook Air features a stunning 13.3-inch retina display with over 4 million pixels of resolution—so text and images in macOS Mojave (the new operating software) look sharp and stunning. With 48 per cent more colour than the previous generation, images are more lifelike than ever.
There’s A Built In Face-Time HD Camera
Perfect for group FaceTime calls, the new Macbook Air’s built in Face-Time camera allows you to see your friends and relatives (and colleagues) in HD. Oh and this is combined with an array of three microphones—for better sound quality when making calls and improved voice recognition in Siri.
It Will Give Your Password-Remembering-Abilities Atrophy
Like the more expensive models before it, MacBook Air now includes Touch ID—a fingerprint sensor built into the keyboard—which allows you to conveniently and instantly unlock it; authenticate your identity; and make fast, simple and secure purchases using Apple Pay. To support Touch ID, MacBook Air comes with the Apple T2 Security Chip, making your laptop far more secure. The T2 Security Chip features an always-on processor that enables Hey Siri, letting you use just your voice to ask Siri for things like finding files or opening an app.
It Features The Latest Generation Keyboard and Top Of The Range Trackpad
The new MacBook Air’s keyboard has been redesigned so that each key is individually backlit using low-power LEDs for more accurate illumination. The industry-best Force Touch trackpad also delivers pressure-sensing capabilities and sensory feedback. It’s also 20 per cent larger than the trackpad on the previous-generation MacBook Air, offering a quieter and more capable trackpad experience.
It Has Better Speakers
With more advanced speakers and audio processing technology, this MacBook Air delivers a higher-quality audio experience and wide stereo playback that makes watching movies and listening to music more immersive than it has ever been. The speakers are 25 per cent louder with twice as much bass as the previous generation, for more vigorous range and tastier sound.
It Launches Apps More Quickly
With an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, Intel UHD graphics and faster 2133 MHz system memory up to 16GB, the new Macbook Air goes above and beyond the performance you need for everyday activities like browsing the web, editing photos, creating presentations, and watching videos. MacBook Air also features SSDs up to 1.5TB in capacity, that are up to 60 per cent faster than the previous generation and make launching apps and opening files feel snappier and more responsive.
It Has More Ports
The MacBook Air now comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, so you can charge your laptop; quickly transfer data via USB and Thunderbolt; output video in three formats; and connect to a whole host of devices including external storage, docks for additional ports, 4K and 5K displays, and eGPUs for faster graphics. In a sentence: it’s the most versatile port yet.
It’s More Portable
The Macbook Air comes in a new, distinctive wedge-shaped design that’s now even more compact and portable: taking up 17 per cent less volume than its predecessor. It’s 10 per cent thinner (measuring just 1.56 centimetres at its thickest point), and at just 1.25 kilograms it comes in 100 grams lighter than the previous generation.
It Has A Better Battery Than The Macbook Pro
It has arguably made Macbook Pros without touch-bars irrelevant for the average consumer, as it is priced in the same price range, contains much the same features and delivers up to 12 hours of battery life during wireless web use (and up to 13 hours of iTunes movie playback). Whether you use that for Netflix or ‘naughty’ movies is up to you…
— MacRumors.com (@MacRumors) October 30, 2018
It’s More Eco-Friendly
For this model Apple have designed a new aluminium alloy that enables the use of 100 per cent recycled aluminium for the first time, which has the same strength, durability and beautiful finish as the aluminium in all Apple products. Using this custom aluminium alloy helps reduce the MacBook Air’s carbon footprint by nearly 50 per cent, making it the ‘greenest’ Mac so far.
It Will (Try) To Give You Your Mojo Back
“Inspired by pros but designed for everyone,” is how Apple summed up the latest version of its desktop operating system: macOS Mojave. Dark Mode is a welcome new feature, which transforms the desktop with a dramatic new look that puts the focus on your content. In addition, the new Stacks feature organises messy desktops by automatically stacking files into neat groups.
It Costs Less Than A Touch-Bar-Less Macbook Pro
Starting at a recommended retail price of A$1849, the new MacBook Air is available to order today on apple.com/au (for comparison, a 13″ Macbook Pro without a touch-bar costs $1,899). The new Macbook Air will be available at Apple Store locations and through Apple Authorised Resellers starting on Wednesday, 7 November.
Our conclusion is this: it costs less, has more battery than, and is lighter than a touch-bar less Macbook Pro, while providing much the same features and speed. So for the average consumer it no longer makes sense to buy a standard Macbook or Macbook Pro.