MacBook Air 2018: The best ultra-portable laptop

The new MacBook Air 2018 range was revealed during Apple’s October 30 event along with a slew of other gadgets, including a new Mac mini and iPad Pro. The new ultra-portable comes with a 13.3-inch Retina Display screen bordered by a super-skinny bezel, Touch ID, memory up to 16GB and storage up to 1.5TB with everything powered by a dual-core Intel Core i5 CPU.

The new MacBook Air is equipped with a Retina display, a first for the MacBook Air lineup, and that new display has much slimmer, less distracting black bezels that better match the bezels of the MacBook and MacBook Pro.

Display

Speaking of the screen, with more than 4 million pixels and a resolution of 2560×1600, the MacBook Air’s display offers 48 percent more color than the previous model for more lifelike images. At the top of the display, there’s a FaceTime HD camera and a three microphone array for better sound. However, this screen lacks the True Tone technology that available on the MacBook Pro. This technology will adjust lights on the screen according to the ambient lighting.

Design

Design-wise, Apple has kept the same tapered wedge-shaped MacBook Air body, but the machine is 10 percent thinner, takes up 17 percent less volume, and weighs a quarter pound less at 2.75 pounds. Apple says the MacBook Air’s enclosure is made from an Apple-designed aluminum alloy that uses 100 percent recycled aluminum. For the first time, the MacBook Air comes in multiple color options, with Space Gray, Silver, and Gold machines available for purchase.

New features

The MacBook Air adopts a few features from the MacBook Pro, including the third-generation Butterfly keyboardand a larger Force Touch trackpad. Furthermore, there are new speakers that are 25 percent louder with fuller sound and more dynamic range. Along with the Retina display, a T2 chip and a Touch ID fingerprint sensor arrived on the MacBook Air 2018 in order to use in lieu of password. Moreover, the T2 chip is designed to make the MacBook Air more secure with an SSD controller for on-the-fly data encryption and a Secure Enclave to ensure a secure boot process. Through the T2 chip, always-on “Hey Siri” functionality is available. The MacBook Air is equipped with a 1.6GHz 7W Y-Series Amber Lake chip from Intel that supports Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz, and with the new lower-power higher-efficiency processor, the MacBook Air battery lasts longer than ever with up to 12 hours of web browsing and 13 hours of movie playback.

Specifications

Apple’s new machine uses integrated Intel UHD Graphics 617, but with two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, it also works with Thunderbolt 3 eGPUs and supports one 5K display or two 4K displays. The MacBook Air supports up to 16GB RAM and up to 1.5TB of solid state storage, but the base model comes with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD. The SSDs in the MacBook Air are up to 60 percent faster than the previous generation.

Price

Pricing on the MacBook Air starts at $1,199, $200 more than the previous-generation MacBook Air, which Apple is continuing to sell as a low-cost option. The MacBook Air can be pre-ordered from Apple’s online store and start shipping to customers on November 7, 2018.