Many – like me – bet that, with the launch of the MacBook (in 2015), it was just a matter of time. More precisely, when Apple managed to reduce the price of the MacBook until the MacBook Air completely leave the scene. Ledo mistake …
Yesterday, along with other releases, Apple “resurrected” the MacBook Air – the one that Steve Jobs took out of an envelope and changed the industry. But what exactly has changed in the new MacBook Air? What are the differences between it and the old model, which is still on sale? Let’s untangle it all below!
The MacBook Air’s body has changed a bit. Its shape remains the same, but the old variation in thickness (from 0.3cm to 1.7cm) has now changed from 0.41cm to 1.56cm. It also got a little lighter, going from 1.35kg to 1.25kg.
The Multi-Touch trackpad was replaced by a Force Touch (which, like those found on MacBooks and MacBooks Pro, uses the Taptic Engine to simulate clicks, relying on the same accuracy / response wherever you click) and has grown in size, occupying a 20% larger area.
The old keyboard with scissor mechanism (scissor) gave way to the new, which uses the third generation butterfly mechanism (the same that equips MacBooks Pro). According to Apple, this new keyboard increases the stability of the keys by 4x compared to the old mechanism, giving more comfort and accuracy when typing.
Speaking of the keyboard, this is a huge difference from the new MacBook Air: the arrival of the Touch ID. This is the first Apple notebook with the print sensor that comes without the Touch Bar – for many, Touch ID is the best on the Touch Bar on MacBooks Pro. Just touch your button to unlock the Mac, open protected apps (like 1Password), shop online using Apple Pay as a payment method and more!
It is also worth mentioning that Apple created a new aluminum alloy which offers the same strength, durability and finish as the previous one. The difference is that it does not require extraction of aluminum from the planet: it was invented to reuse aluminum shavings, which are reformulated at the molecular level. The result? The first Mac made 100% recycled aluminum (6000 series)!
For the first time, Apple is also offering the new MacBook Air in three color options: space gray, silver and gold.
The Retina display arrived on the MacBook Air. It now features IPS technology, which improves color reproduction and viewing angle. In addition, it went from 1440 × 900 to 2560 × 1600 pixels, leaving the sRGB standard aside and adopting Full sRGB (48% more colors than the previous generation). The brightness, however, remains the same (300 nits). In addition, the screen edges have been reduced by 50%.
As it has done on all of its notebooks, Apple has chosen to file the USB-A, Thunderbolt 2 and slot for SD cards in favor of two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) connectors, which are quite versatile and allow a very complete use (obviously, using and abusing adapters). The only thing that Apple kept, on the other side, was the 3.5mm audio output, for you to connect your headset.
On the wireless side, Wi-Fi remains 802.11ac (aka Wi-Fi 5) and Bluetooth goes from 4.0 to 4.2.
Processor, graphics, RAM and storage
Obviously, the jump here is big because the MacBook Air was basically stopped in time. We have a new dual-core eighth generation Intel Core i5 processor (1.6GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz). Comparatively, before it was a fifth generation, Core i5 or i7. Still, we’re talking about a 5W Amber Lake Y-series processor – which is much more focused on energy efficiency than on processing itself.
Many are criticizing Apple’s decision; on the other hand, the MacBook Air is a domestic machine and it makes a lot more sense for this type of thinking to be applied to it – after all, Apple has a professional line of notebooks just for those who want this higher performance.
Now we also have up to 16GB LPDDR3 RAM of 2,133MHz (before, 8GB of 1,600MHz) and up to 1.5TB of SSD for storage (before, 512GB).
Accompanying other Macs, MacBook Air now has the T2 security chip. With it, your information is always protected (with real-time data encryption, everything stored on the SSD is automatically encrypted). Thanks to his arrival, we also have the “Hey there, Siri” feature available on MacBook Air.
While the old model is equipped with an Intel HD Graphics 6000, the new one comes with the Intel UHD Graphics 617 – which is compatible with external graphics processors (eGPUs). Thanks to the new component, it is possible to use the new MacBook Air with an external monitor (with a resolution of 5120 × 2880 pixels at up to 60Hz) or up to two external monitors (with a resolution of 4096 × 2304 pixels at up to 60Hz) – in the article, you it could only connect to an external monitor (with a resolution of up to 3840 × 2160 pixels at 60Hz).
Speakers and microphones
According to Apple, it used the latest processing techniques and adjustments to make the MacBook Air sound better than ever. In this way, the speakers offer double the bass and 25% more volume than the previous generation. There are now three microphones – there used to be two – to capture your voice more accurately to make FaceTime calls, use the Dictation feature and speak to Siri.
The new machine has a battery that, according to Apple, can handle up to 12 hours of wireless network browsing, 13 hours of iTunes video playback and up to 30 days in standby mode – numbers practically the same as the old model, which offered 12, 12 and 30 hours respectively.
It is worth noting that Apple managed to maintain the same level of life by jumping from a lithium polymer battery from 54 watts / hour to one of 50.3 watts / hour. In addition, the charger went from a 45W MagSafe 2 to a 30W USB-C.
We have already seen that MacBook Air prices have risen sharply in Brazil, but abroad the line has also become more expensive, going from US $ 1,000 to US $ 1,200 in the USA (a significant increase of 20%). When opting for a model with 16GB of RAM and 1.5TB of SSD, the value jumps to $ 2,600!
As I said above, the old MacBook Air model (dual-core Core i5, 1.8GHz, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD and Intel HD Graphics 6000) is still on sale. Here in Brazil it costs R $ 7,500, that is, R $ 2,900 less than the new MacBook Air (which will be sold for R $ 10,400).
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With that, we have a clearer vision of what the new MacBook Air is. Apart from the price increase, the unexpected upgrade was very interesting – to the point of leaving the 12 ″ MacBook displaced in the current notebook line (after all, the base price MacBook Air is cheaper, less expensive and has very interesting technologies, such as Touch ID, processors, RAM and faster graphics, etc. – although on MacBook you have more storage).