At long last, Apple has finally updated its iconic MacBook Air, bringing a revamped design and Retina display to the aged model. Until now, it has been perceived as the most sluggish — performance- and design-wise — out of the Cupertino brand's laptop range.
It comes as the first "proper" refresh of the laptop since its unveiling a decade ago. To be clear, Apple does update the MacBook Air from time to time, but such upgrades are mostly on internals, and it's fair to say the model has languished since the company introduced the prettier baseline MacBook in 2015. In effect, the MacBook Air sort of became the budget option being that it's the only $1,000 model.
The New MacBook Air
That changes now, of course. The 2018 MacBook Air boasts 50 percent thinner bezels, making its new design similar to the aforementioned MacBook released in 2015. It sports a 13.3-inch Retina display, two USB Type-C ports, and — thankfully — a 3.5 mm headphone jack. It's also a tad bit lighter than the previous model at just 2.75 pounds.
Like the newer MacBook Pro models released in the past couple of years, the MacBook Air now also has Touch ID for secure logins, powered by the same T2 chip found on last year's MacBook Pro and iMac Pro models. What it lacks, however, is a Touch Bar. Those who want Apple's OLED strip will have to buy the MacBook Pro instead. Those who despise it will be pleased with the MacBook Air.
A MacBook Inside A MacBook Air
The laptop comes with a third-generation butterfly-mechanism keyboard, according to Apple, which means it won't come with the problems that plagued previous generations of this keyboard, such as dust and debris causing some keys to malfunction. In a sense, the new MacBook Pro is basically a modern MacBook wrapped in the iconic MacBook Air enclosure. The best of both worlds, in other words.
The laptop ships with an eighth-generation dual-core CPU plus integrated graphics. Buyers can opt for up to 16 GB of RAM and up to 1.5 TB of SSD storage. Those who want to push specs a bit further can use one of the two USB Type-C ports to connect an eGPU external graphics enclosure.
The base model comes with 8 GB RAM, a 1.6GHz Core i5, and a 128 GB SSD — now available for $1,199. The price balloons as customers opt for better specs, of course.