The fan hâm mộ is blowing on this brand-new apple macbook Air with Retina Display. It’s a familiar sound: a computer trying khổng lồ cool down a processor that’s being overtaxed by one of the eight or so apps I have running. (In this case, it’s TweetDeck going rogue.) But it’s also a sound you don’t hear on more futuristic computers like the iPad, the Surface Pro, or even the Pixelbook. Still, tín đồ or not, the computer is handling everything I’m doing just fine, & a quick restart of the app quiets it down.
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That fan hâm mộ is a weird place to lớn start when talking about the new $1,199 macbook Air. I’d rather jump into all the many good things there are khổng lồ talk about: the pixel density on the new display, smaller bezels, cảm biến ID, the T2 security chip, a larger trackpad, & a smaller design. I’ll get into all that. But I want lớn hang with this fan noise for another minute because its whirring encapsulates the most important thing to know about this apple macbook Air.
Namely: it’s a computer that will let you vì chưng whatever you want, even though some of those things are probably beyond its capabilities. It won’t say “no” when you want to open 20 tabs and eight apps and then edit a photo. (Though, sometimes, with a fan and spinning beachball, it will say “uncle.”) Most of all, it’s a computer that is familiar. It does everything you expect in a way that you’re used to.
Sometimes, that’s enough.
Our reviews of táo khuyết Macbook Air (2018)
Verge Score 7.5 out of 10
When I started testing the new laptop apple macbook Air, I spent a lot of time thinking about what I should compare it to. For $100 more, you could get a 13-inch macbook phiên bản pro with a more powerful processor & brighter screen that only weighs 0.27 pounds more. You could also opt for a 12-inch laptop apple macbook with a slightly less powerful processor that weighs 0.72 pounds less. You wouldn’t get cảm ứng ID with either, but the point is that choosing between this new Air and existing MacBooks is not as easy as it ought khổng lồ be.
Is this new Air lượt thích a 12-inch MacBook, just blown up lớn a slightly bigger size? Is it more like a 13-inch táo macbook pro (sans touch Bar), just with cheaper parts? After all, if you phối the latter down next khổng lồ this new Air, you can barely tell them apart.
My answer is that it’s both of those things. But the more truthful answer is that it doesn’t matter. People who have purchased one of those MacBooks already have a fairly modern, powerful computer that’s nice lớn use. The comparison that actually matters is to lớn the old apple macbook Air. There are a ton of people who have been hanging on khổng lồ theirs because it was so good và so reliable.
Comparing a 2018 máy tính to one that hasn’t had a significant update since năm ngoái is going lớn strike tech enthusiasts as ridiculous. Of course the new Air is going to lớn beat out the old Air on a whole host of metrics. But that’s precisely the point: hãng apple waited entirely too long to release something lượt thích this new Air, so people have been waiting.
USB-C is still the future, but we’re waiting for it to lớn be everywhere — RIP MagSafe
If you’re one of those people, you’ve got a lot to lớn catch up on. This new laptop apple macbook Air essentially takes all of the new stuff táo bị cắn has been doing with laptops for the past three years & builds it into a single device. So let’s just get into what you’re in for.
First: ports và charging. Say goodbye khổng lồ MagSafe for power forever. The new Air has two USB-C ports that you use to plug everything in, including power. It’s the new standard for pretty much everything except iPhones. Though, as a standard, it is taking longer to, well, standardize than anybody would like.
The new charging cable doesn’t pop out when you trip on it, but that will not be the thing that impacts you the most. Instead, welcome to #donglelife. You’re going lớn need a few adapters to lớn make sure everything that you currently plug into your old máy tính will work on the new one. Fortunately, there are now some nice USB-C hubs that combine everything together. So the upside is you can have just a single cable at your desk for your monitor, power, USB-A, SD cards, and everything else.
There is a tai nghe jack, thankfully, but no SD card slot. Sorry.
Second is the screen. More than any other upgrade on the laptop macbook Air, this is the one you’re going to lớn love. It’s a Retina Display, which, in this case, equates khổng lồ a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels. It’s sharp và beautiful under a glossy pane of glass, with much smaller bezels. Those bezels are not as tiny as what you can get on some Windows laptops, but it’s still a massive improvement over the old Air.
There is one knock on the screen, though: it doesn’t get as bright as I would like. The spec on it is a max of 300 nits, but the important thing to lớn know is you’ll be cranking up the brightness to lớn near 100 percent more often. I haven’t had a problem viewing this screen, even in bright rooms, but I bởi have a vague worry that it’s affecting my battery life khổng lồ have it cranked up higher.
Okay, two knocks: it’s not a touchscreen. Apple’s macOS isn’t designed lớn work with cảm ứng at all, so it’s not here. Most other computers these days — whatever their form factor — do tư vấn touch.
Third: the keyboard. It’s Apple’s newer “butterfly” design, which means that the key travel is super shallow, dust could potentially break it, và typing can be kind of loud. This third-generation version of it is designed to mitigate those last two concerns with a membrane that sits underneath the keycaps. You’ll find it’s a little weird lớn type on for the first day, but you’ll get used lớn it. Some people still really don’t lượt thích it, but I’m not one of them: I really lượt thích this keyboard, even if it is a little clacky.
Fourth is cảm ứng ID and security. You can log in with just your fingerprint now, and it’s ridiculously fast and accurate. I’ve been able lớn just quickly tap it like any key and unlock my computer. It’s not as convenient as the face unlock you get with Windows Hello-compatible computers, but it’s close. Best of all, you get cảm biến ID without having lớn get the silly touch Bar that’s on laptop macbook Pros. Instead, you just have real, regular function keys.
Touch ID is powered by Apple’s T2 chip, which is a little thing that keeps the entire máy tính xách tay secure. It protects your fingerprint, encrypts the SSD without taxing the processor, and even turns the microphones off when the máy vi tính is closed. It also handles a random assortment of other tasks, like đoạn phim encoding and audio processing for the speakers to give them a wider soundstage. Those speakers are louder, too.
Fifth: a big upgrade for the trackpad. It’s way bigger now, though not quite as big as what you’ll find on a laptop apple macbook Pro. More importantly, it has the unfortunately named “Force Touch” feature, which means you can press down anywhere on the pad to lớn get a satisfying click. You might not think your laptop macbook Air’s trackpad was bad, but trust me, this is so much nicer.
Sixth is just overall build quality. This máy tính feels a lot nicer than the old laptop apple macbook Air. It fits the same kích thước screen in a smaller body, but it’s not as thin or as light as the thinnest & lightest of laptops you can get today. When the first Air came out, it amazed everybody. This one, though very well-built, does not stand out from the pack when it comes to size or weight.
Apple says it’s made of 100 percent recycled aluminum, but it feels just lượt thích any other apple laptop. In fact, you could say it recycles a lot the design ideas from both the 12-inch MacBook & the 13-inch macbook phiên bản pro into this Air-shaped tapered design.
Seventh and last, let’s talk about specs. The story with specs gets a little complicated because the story with intel processors is a little complicated. The processor inside the new macbook Air is an 8th Gen, dual-core Intel vi xử lý core i5, which sounds pretty good. Và it is pretty good — but not all hãng intel processors are created equal.
The thing that neither táo khuyết nor intel will make easy for you to lớn see is that this is a “Y-series” processor, which means that it’s more of a low-power cpu than what you’d get on a táo macbook pro or many Windows laptops. That detail might not matter for the average laptop macbook Air buyer, but it’s important for people who want a thin máy tính that also happens lớn be powerful. I am one of those people, và I instinctively look down my nose at the Y-series.
MacBook Air with Retina Display specsDisplay: 13.3-inch Retina Display, 2560 x 1600, 300 nits max brightnessSecurity: touch ID, T2 chipProcessor: 8th gene Intel core dual-core i5 Y-Series, 1.6GHz Storage: 128GB, configurable to 1.5TBRAM: 8GB, configurable to lớn 16GBBattery: 50.3Wh, claimed 12 hours of web browsingPorts: two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, one tai nghe jackDimensions: 0.61 x 11.97 x 8.36 inchesWeight: 2.75 pounds
The complicated part is that hãng apple doesn’t just take a cpu off the line và slap it in. Instead, it does some customization. So this Y-series cpu is powered up lớn 7 watts, which is a higher wattage than what other laptops usually bởi with the same processor. In other words, don’t judge this laptop by the label on its processor.
So let me just bottom line it: this new apple macbook Air is faster than the old apple macbook Air, but not by the kind of margin you’d expect after three years (or even one, if you happened lớn buy the 2017 model). You can vì chưng all of the same stuff you can vì chưng on your current Air. I have been running a half-dozen apps at a time along with more than a dozen tabs in Chrome, và everything is pretty okay. I think for what most people will do with this laptop, it’s fine. The base $1,199 model comes with 8GB of RAM (which is enough for most people) and 128GB of storage (which is not).
If you’re hoping you’ll be able to upgrade and get way faster clip editing or process a ton of RAW photos at once, get a apple macbook Pro. Those kinds of tasks will bring this Air lớn a chug và spin up those fans. I have found it to be more capable & powerful than the 12-inch MacBook, but, again, the difference is not as big as I’d hoped.
I don’t think of any of this as a problem, though — not really. The Air can vày everything I want it to lớn in my daily workflow. I just want to be clear that my daily workflow doesn’t push the limits of this processor. My guess is that if you’re still using a macbook Air, neither does yours.
As for battery life, I am not getting Apple’s claimed 12 hours of web browsing time. (Though, to be fair, nobody I know uses a computer only lớn browse the web in Safari for 12 hours straight.) I’d say I’m safely getting seven hours of fairly active use: a set of browsing, email, Slack, Twitter, some photo editing, & some more intense testing from time to lớn time. You could probably get more than that with a little restraint, but one of those restraints would be a screen ratcheted down khổng lồ a fairly dim brightness. It’s not a battery life champion, in other words, but I can almost guarantee you it’ll last longer than the decrepit battery in your current Air.
Is all of this worth $1,200? Yes. The performance and unique of this laptop apple macbook Air justify its price. Vì chưng I wish that táo had found a way lớn make a slightly less expensive laptop? My answer is also yes. (I am fully aware that those two ideas conflict.) As I said, the already-existing MacBooks might better fit your needs.
The real issue here is that you can get an máy tính bảng ipad Pro or a Windows máy tính or even a Chromebook for less money that does almost everything this thing can vày — almost everything. But there’s one very important thing they can’t do: run macOS.
And that’s the deal. People like the Mac. It’s great to lớn have a computer that does all of the computer stuff you want in a way you’re familiar with. Until recently, the best computer for most people was the laptop macbook Air, và Apple took way too long to update it. So people have been waiting. Và waiting.
Now, the wait is over. But if you were hoping that lightning would strike twice and this new apple macbook Air would be as revolutionary as the old laptop macbook Air, well, it’s not. It’s basically a macbook that finally includes all of the stuff that has been happening with laptops for the past few years. It is on par with the rest of the laptop world, but it hasn’t moved beyond it. Sometimes that means the fan hâm mộ is going lớn spin up on you.
If you’re the kind of person who can switch to Windows, you can find something just as good & probably a little bit faster for less money. Microsoft’s Surface máy vi tính 2 and Surface Pro 6, for example, are really solid. But a lot of people just want a good, modern, reliable Mac. Nothing fancy, really. They just deserve something that’s up to par.
And for those people, the ones who have been hanging on to lớn that old laptop macbook Air, this is a nice upgrade. It’s par for the course — và that’s probably enough.
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