It was about three years ago that I invested in a MacBook Air, primarily because I wanted to write much more. It was about two years ago that my MacBook Air fell from my hand, hit the floor, bounced and hit again before coming to settle on the carpet. It was around this time that I became a fan of the MacBook Air. It was when the new MacBook Air was announced that I realised my old MacBook Air was still running fine, despite the dents on two of its corners.
The new MacBook Air is the first big change Apple has made to its iconic portable laptop. That must have been a hard decision to make, given that even in 2018, the old design looked contemporary and was functional in more ways than one. So when the new design was announced, I wasn’t sure I wanted a change, given that I was more than happy with my old faithful.
But when I laid my eyes, and subsequently my hands, on the MacBook Air 2018, I was pleasantly surprised that despite all the changes, this slice of metal carried forward a lot of what users of this iconic computer were used to.
Apple MacBook Air 2018 specs: 13.3-inch Retina display | 8th gen Intel Core i5 with Apple T2 security chip | 8GB + 256GB | Thunderbolt 3 x 3 | FaceTime HD camera | MacOS Mojave |
Apple MacBook Air 2018 price in India: Rs 1,14,900
Apple MacBook Air 2018 design
Yes, the new MacBook Air carries forward the same design language and thinking. But it won’t take you long to realise that this is still different. It is thinner and lighter to start with. But in that thinner and lighter chassis, the MacBook Air now offers more in terms of a display and features. If you thought the old MacBook Air was really small, the new one has much smaller footprint.
So the 13-inch display now fits in a smaller frame. The glass extends from end to end and the metal bezel that used to run all around has been removed completely. To achieve the lighter weight and better strength, Apple now uses a new aluminium alloy and that too fully recycled so that your guilt quotient on this device is much lower.
One big design feature Apple fans will miss is the glowing logo on the back. This has been replaced by a shiny metal one that stands out from from the rest of the matte finish body. There are no card readers, Magsafe charge points or USB ports. For Apple the future is clearly Thunderbolt 3, which can charge the device, power up an external monitor or charge another device. But you might need an adapter for some of the functions.
The other big change is the third generation Butterfly keyboard. This is the same one available on the new MacBook Pro. So it is silent, has the right amount of travel and good space between keys. For me, there was no learning curve moving to this keyboard. The keyboard is backlit like before and you adjust the intensity of this light.
There is a big addition of the keyboard, which now has a TouchID sensor at the extreme right corner. This just makes life much more easier by opening up a one-touch unlocking system. The TouchID is really fast and just works all the time.
Apple MacBook Air 2018 performance
I took the MacBook Air on a weeklong office trip to multiple cities, using the notebook to work at airports, in flights and even in a train. At no point did I think the device was falling short of what I wanted it to do. But then my work is mostly browser-based, which can be taxing for a lot of devices if like me the user ends up keeping scores of tabs open. The new MacBook Air can handle this madness of tabs, even on the resource intensive Google Chrome, with music playing in the background, screenshots being cropped and saved every few minutes and mail being accessed on Spark at regular intervals.
The MacBook Air can also handle a fair share of photo editing, even with heavy software like Photoshop, though I use PhotoScape X for most of my work. Like with the older version, the MacBook Air can handle basic video editing too. But this device is not meant to be something video editors turn to, this is a notebook that can let you edit video if the need arises.
There was one thing I noticed and could not really understand. At times you hear a sound from the device as if the fan is working at full throttle and trying to cool it down. This happened to me a couple of times and not exactly when I was pushing the MacBook Air to do something taxing. It did not affect performance in any way though.
Talking of noise, the MacBook Air now sounds much louder and better than before. There are two speakers strips flanking the keyboard and they are good enough for you to enjoy a YouTube video. They are also loud enough for you to crank down the volume when you encounter a shouting match from television on your timeline.
Apple MacBook Air 2018 battery
The battery life of the MacBook Air is good enough to last you a whole working day with all features being used and the display working at full brightness. You can get more out of this if you reduce the brightness, switch off the backlight when not needed and don’t really play the speaker at full blast. Even if you do run out of power, you can charge this with any USB-C adapter, though it is recommended you use the Apple adapter at all times. But you will not be stranded without a charge as USB-C chargers are quite common now.
Apple MacBook Air 2018: Should you buy?
If you are looking for a portable laptop which you can carry wherever you go and is good enough for everything you do, the MacBook Air is still your best bet. However, will I be able to recommend this to everyone who asked me for a dependable laptop for their daily needs like before? Well, that I am nor sure, as the cost of owning a MacBook Air is now much more than before. I might have to convince them that this is one device they could use for more than three years like I have with mine. I hope the prices will come down a bit once the pressure on the Indian Rupee eases. If you can’t wait, then think of getting this one on an EMI.
Still it is safe to say the 2018 edition of the MacBook can easily carry forward the legacy of this computing icon, one that stunned the world when it was pulled out of a Manila cover a decade ago.