New Screen, Thinner Design, Same Battery Life

The New MacBook Air Looks Like the Perfect Laptop for Most Apple Fans

October 30, 2018 Tech : Electronics By Photo by Tucker Bowe

The modern update to the most famous ultralight laptop ever is finally here after years of stagnation. The 2018 MacBook Air’s 13.3-inch Retina Display with 50 percent thinner bezels and 48 percent more color than the previous generation answers the lineup’s biggest shortcoming, but it’s not the only reason to upgrade.

Apple’s made the new MacBook Air 10 percent thinner and a quarter pound lighter (2.75 pounds) too, while packing in Touch ID, a bigger Force Touch trackpad, 25 percent louder stereo speakers, a three-mic array and a third generation keyboard. It also features two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, one of which can be used to power a 5K external monitor or connect to an eGPU external graphics enclosure.

All of these improvements, of course, require more power, which Apple addressed via an 8th generation dual-core CPU and the option to add up to 16GB of ram (doubling the max of the last generation) as well as a 1.5TB SSD. What about battery life, a highlight of the line for years? Apple claims the new MacBook Air will still provide up to 12 hours of wireless web browsing or even 13 hours for iTunes movie playback.

Each of these improvements will no doubt improve daily use, but one other feature is arguably the most impressive from a manufacturing POV. The new MacBook Air is made entirely from 100 percent recycled aluminum — a first for Apple’s laptop line — helping to make the machine the “greenest” Mac ever.

Rounded out with the option to purchase in three finishes — space grey, gold and traditional silver — and starting at $1,199, the new MacBook Air looks like it was worth the wait. It also calls into question the future of the smaller MacBook and perhaps even the Touch Bar, which remains exclusive to only more expensive versions of the MacBook Pro.

Sales for the new MacBook Air start today, with units shipping on November 7th.

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Ben Bowers

Ben Bowers is the chief content officer and co-founder of Gear Patrol.

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