Apple’s cheapest notebook, the MacBook Air, has seen better days. While all the existing Mac lineups have totally evolved from what they look like the day they debut, the MacBook Air is literally stuck with its old aluminum body that was first seen in 2010. Not that we don’t like it, it’s just that it doesn’t wow us anymore. The thick bezel isn’t the most refreshing to look at, coming in with only a single tasteless pure aluminum color. And it’s just one of the major flaws of the Air lineup.
MacBook Air is also known for using TN panel which is not the most color accurate display panel in the world. This could mean disaster for creative individuals. Unlike the Retina display on the MacBook and MacBook Pro, the low-res 1440×900 panel (127 PPI) on the MacBook Air tends to wash-out the colors when viewed from a slightly different angle. That’s why no one should ever color correct, let alone color grade photos and video footages on the MacBook Air. Unfortunately, for some reason, there are ones who do. Especially the students who preferred this ultraportable notebook over the heavy MacBook Pros, and to the chicky and more expensive 12-inch MacBooks.
There has been news coming from different sources for the impending upgrade of the MacBook Air line-up, but none was confirmed until last night. During Apple’s New York event last night, the Cupertino giant launch the refreshed MacBook Air line-up. Finally giving justice to the world’s best-selling Mac line-up ever. Apple addresses all the issues from the previous MacBook Air. And unveil what could be the best Mac surprise we’ve ever seen since the launch of the first MacBook Air in 2008.
Finally a Retina display MacBook Air. The MacBook Air 2018 now features a Retina display, with the same perfect 13.3-inch size display. According to Apple, the new display “quadruples” the pixel count of the previous generation MacBook Airs. Boasting a 2560×1600 native resolution. A far cry from last year’s 1440×900 display resolution. The new display also promises “48 percent more color”, thanks to the new IPS LCD panel.
Apple has also shrunk the bezels by 50 percent, making it lighter at 1.25kg. The FaceTime camera remains HD, but the real upgrade for FaceTime users is the microphone. The new MacBook Air now has three microphone array for an improve sound input, and voice recognition for Siri.
Touch ID and Apple T2 Security Chip. Unlocking the new MacBook Air is now easier as unlocking our phones. For the first time, the Apple notebook features a Touch ID for identity and Apple Pay authentication. The T2 Chip is a dedicated security chip that will enable the new MacBook Air to be more secure from software to the hardware level. The Secure Enclave on the T2 will protect Touch ID information, and automatically check modified software during the bootup process. It also features an SSD controller with “on-the-fly data encryption” capability. The T2 chip also features an always-on processor which will enable “Hey Siri”.
3rd Gen Butterfly Keyboard and Force Touch Trackpad. While I like the tactile feedback of the “Scissor mechanism” keyboard on older MacBooks, there’s no denying that Apple’s “Butterfly mechanism” keyboard is the future of all Macs. It offers minimal key travel which other people may like. It will also allow Apple to design a thinner body for the Macs. Each key is individually backlit using low power LEDs.
The new MacBook Air now finally features a Force Touch Trackpad with pressure-sensing capabilities and haptic feedback. Finally allowing the use of more force touch and multi-touch gestures on the macOS. It is also 20 percent larger than the trackpad on the previous generation MacBook Air.
Ports and Power. The new MacBook Air ditch the well-loved MagSafe port in favor of two USB-C ports, supporting Thunderbolt 3. As far as the port is concerned, it’s all we get from the new MacBook Air, alongside the 3.5mm headphone jack.
The base model will come with 128GB PCIe-based SSD (configurable up to 1.5TB), coupled with 8GB LPDDR3 onboard memory (configurable up to 16GB of 2133MHz RAM). The CPU is a dual-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 CPU with base clock speed of 1.6GHz, with a Turbo Boost of up to 3.6GHz. For the graphics, the new MacBook Air comes with Intel UHD Graphics 617 with support for Thunderbolt 3–enabled external graphics processors (eGPUs).
Recycled Aluminum and three new colors. For nature lovers out there. The new MacBook Air enclosure is made from a custom, “Apple-designed aluminum alloy that enables the use of 100 percent recycled aluminum for the first time, which has the same strength, durability and beautiful finish as the aluminum”. This custom aluminum alloy, according to Apple, will help reduce MacBook Air’s carbon footprint by nearly 50 percent.
Unlike the previous generations, the new MacBook Air is now available in three different colors. It now comes in gold, silver, and space gray.
Price. Unlike the previous guess, the price of the new MacBook Air starts at $1199 and not $700. Still too expensive for many, but could be enough to convince current MacBook Air users to upgrade. Sale starts November 7.