The MacBook Air was originally launched in January 2008, when Apple co-founder and then CEO Steve Jobs had taken the ultra-thin laptop from inside an envelope. On Wednesday, Apple gave MacBook Air its first major upgrade since the device was launched nearly a decade ago. MacBook Air now sports the newer Liquid Retina Display, the newer generation Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and comes with up to 16GB RAM and, of course, a refreshed design.
Like newer MacBooks in the market, the 2018 MacBook Air also marks the end of the glowing Apple logo on top, settling for the reflective chrome logo, which we have seen on the new MacBook Pro and the 12-inch MacBook. If you still want that glowing Apple logo, best to grab the older MacBook Air, which is still on sale in India.
Thanks to the Diwali offers, the older MacBook Air is available for around Rs 55,900 in India on e-commerce platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. That’s nearly half the price of the newer MacBook Air which will cost Rs 1,14,900 in India. The new MacBook Air will be available in India from November 1 and is already listed on Apple’s website.
So what has really changed with the MacBook Air? Let us take a detailed look at the specifications and features.
Apple MacBook Air: Design, Display
The MacBook Air continues with the 13.3-inch display, but there’s one major change. The prominent aluminum bezels on the display are gone. It has a sleeker look as well. The display resolution is now at 2560 x 1600 pixels, while earlier the native resolution was 1440 x 900 pixels.
Apple says the new MacBook Air has over 4 million pixels of resolution, 48 per cent more colour than the previous generation with more lifelike images. The MacBook Air continues with the 720p FaceTime camera, which is placed at the top of the display. There’s also a three-microphone array for better sound quality when making calls and for improved voice recognition with Siri, according to Apple.
The MacBook Air is the greenest one ever with custom aluminium alloy made by the company. Apple’s claim is that the new MacBook Air is made of 100 per cent recycled aluminium for the first time.
It continues with the distinct wedge-shaped design, but is thinner than the previous version. Apple’s MacBook Air is just .61 inches (1.56 cm) at its thickest point and weighs 1.25 kg. Apple is promising better battery and performance in the same sleek, form factor, which made the MacBook Air the preferred device choice for many users.
MacBook Air will come in three colours this time: The gold, space grey and silver.
Apple MacBook Air 2018: Processor, RAM, Storage
Apple’s new MacBook Air is powered by the Intel 8th generation dual-core i5 processor clocked at 1.6Ghz. The base variant will start at 8GB RAM, while there will be an option for 16GB RAM as well. Previously, the MacBook Air capped out at 8GB RAM.
MacBook Air comes with 128GB or 256GB SSD storage, which is the same as what Apple had offered earlier. But the new laptop is configurable to 256GB, 512GB, or 1.5TB SSD for the 128GB variant, and up to 512GB or 1.5TB SSD storage for the 256GB option.
The new laptop also comes with Intel UHD Graphics 617. Apple has included support for Thunderbolt 3–enabled external graphics processors on the MacBook Air 2018, which will come as good news to those who wish to plug external GPUs for a better gaming experience. This was not an option on the earlier MacBook Air, which had Intel HD Graphics 6000.
Apple MacBook Air 2018: Battery, Keyboard, Ports and TouchID
The new MacBook Air promises up to 12 hours of battery life during wireless web use and up to 13 hours of iTunes movie playback. However, the current models of MacBook Air also offer up to 12 hours wireless web, and around 12 hours iTunes movie playback, according to Apple’s own website.
The 2018 MacBook Air comes with two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2 wireless technology. The two Thunderbolt ports can be used for charging the device, plugging in external displays, and high-speed data transfers. The MacBook Air’s Thunderbolt ports can support one 5K external display with 5120 x 2880 pixel resolution at up to 60Hz or two external displays with 4096 x 2304 pixel resolution at up to 60Hz.
This means users will have to rely on more dongles and converters when using the MacBook Air 2018.
Apple has introduced its new third-generation butterfly mechanism keyboard on the MacBook Air as well. It remains a full-sized backlit keyboard. The Force Touch trackpad has also been added to the revamped Apple laptop.
This one also comes with TouchID for extra security and has Apple’s new T2 Security Chip for keeping this data secure. The fingerprint sensor is built right into the keyboard and lets users quickly unlock the device. The T2’s Secure Enclave will also ensure that software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with on the MacBook Air. It also comes with option of data encryption for everything stored on the SSD in the T2 chip.
Finally, MacBook Air is also promising an improved audio experience with 25 percent louder stereo speakers.