- Apr 30, 2019
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Apple MacBook Air (2018) Review: Features, Specifications and Price.
The Apple MacBook Air which was introduced in 2018 is a sleek PC which comes with a sharper display in a thinner and lighter design. Aside the high-res Retina screen, the new Air provides the users with a Touch ID sensor for biometric security, superfast SSD storage, fantastic sound and dual Thunderbolt 3 ports.
There have been some minor spec bumps, but the Air has maintained the same overall physical appearance of the first-generation model, even when the MacBook and MacBook Pro have received radical design overhauls. The Apple MacBook Air is unique as it received several other overdue upgrades as well, ditching out the old designs.
Now let's take you through the features and specifications of the Apple MacBook Air (2018).
Apple MacBook Air (2018) Review: Features
The iconic wedge design is intact, helping the device stand out from those other laptops. Although Apple made MacBook Airs out of its own 100 percent recycled aluminum, you couldn't tell from using the device. Its metal looks and feels just like the same material that Apple's used for previous MacBooks.
It Weighs 2.7 pounds and is 0.6 inches thick, making it slightly lighter than the Huawei MateBook X Pro (2.9 pounds, 0.6 inches) and similar in size to the Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 (2.7 pounds, 0.6 inches) and the Dell XPS 13 (2.7 pounds, 0.5 inches).
The MacBook Air has two speedy Thunderbolt 3 ports (which enable much faster data-transfer speeds) on its left side, with a headphone jack on its right. That might be an upgrade from the MacBook's singular, slower USB Type-C port, but it's lacking in comparison to most competitors.
In the top right corner of the keyboard, you'll see a Touch ID fingerprint reader, which is great for unlocking the MacBook Air and signing into 1Password. Thankfully, Apple's giving users the power of this biometric sensor without burdening them with the Touch Bar that accompanies Touch ID on the company's MacBook Pros.
T2 SECURITY CHIPS
This is the first MacBook Air with the T2 security chip that Apple's adding to as many macOS devices as it can (including the Mac mini). Not only does this chip provide Apple's Secure Enclave technology for storing the fingerprints used in Touch ID, but it also enables "on-the-fly data encryption," so your SSD's data is encrypted by default. This chip also allows for touch-free "Hey, Siri" activation, which worked well when I checked the weather.
The T2 consolidates many behind-the-scenes tasks previously accomplished by multiple pieces of silicon—the system management controller, image signal processor, audio controller, and SSD controller—into a single chip. But its most noticeable benefit is security. It handles everything from encrypting the hard drive to checking for evidence of hacker tampering at startup to even authenticating purchase you make online with Apple Pay using your fingerprint. The T2's secure boot technology uses the same code found in the security features of iOS, which famously thwarted even the FBI's efforts to hack it.
The 2560 x 1600-pixel Retina display is the true star of the new MacBook Air, offering crisp detail and solid colors. In terms of color output, Apple rates the Air's panel as capable of producing 300 nits of brightness.
The Apple MacBook Air has a redesigned keyboard that features Apple’s third-generation butterfly mechanism, which Apple claims provides four times more key stability than standard laptop keyboards, while offering greater comfort and responsiveness.
The keys are very shallow, travel-wise, so you don’t quite get the responsive feedback you get from other laptop keyboards, but that’s the price you pay for such a slimline design. There’s also a satisfying ‘click’ to the keys when pressed, although this does make it a bit more noisy to type on than previous versions.
While the MacBook Air comes with 8GB of 2,133MHz LPDDR3 RAM, which can be configured to 16GB, and a speedy solid state drive, processing power still feels slightly hobbled, with a dual-core Intel Core i5-8210Y processor.
This 1.6GHz, dual-core Intel Core i5 can Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, with 4MB L3 cache, and while that’s fine for most day-to-day tasks, it’s not as speedy as some quad-core processors you see in rival laptops around this price point, such as the Dell XPS 13. For strenuous tasks, or running multiple apps at once, the Apple MacBook Air (2018) isn’t as strong a performer as other laptops at this price range.
- Also Read: What to Check Before Buying a Used MacBook.
Historically, the MacBook Air is loved for its long battery life. This year's model lasted a solid 9 hours and 32 minutes on the Laptop Mag Battery Test (web surfing at 150 nits) -- beating the 8:09 premium notebook average.
- Display — 13.3-inch Retina Display, 2560 x 1600 LED
- Dimensions — 4.1–15.6 x 304.1 x 212.4 mm
- Weight — 1.25kg
- Processor — 8th-Gen Intel Core i5 with base clock speed of 1.6GHz, boost up to 3.6GHz
- Memory — 8GB LPDDR3 RAM (customizable up to 16GB)
- Storage — 128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1.5TB SSD
- Graphics — Intel UHD Graphics 617
- Ports — 2 x Type-C USB (Thunderbolt 3 support), 3.5mm headphone jack
- Connectivity — 802.11ac Wi‑Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery — Up to 13 hours video playback
MacBook Air (2018) with a storage combination of 8GB of RAM and 128GB built-in storage goes for $1,199.