Reviews for Apple’s new 13-inch MacBook Air refresh started to roll out on Tuesday. And they pretty much say what you’d expect.
The 2018 MacBook Air, like the aging predecessor it replaces, is probably the best Apple computer for most people — for the money.
Don’t expect any revolutionary upgrades or innovative design decisions on par with the kind that the very first MacBook Air introduced. But if you’re looking for a Mac notebook that can handle your day-to-day needs, the new MacBook Air is it.
2018 MacBook Air Key Features
- It sports a 1.6GHz dual-core 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor — though, importantly, it’s a low-power chip akin to the one in the 12-inch MacBook.
- As far as other specifications, the new MacBook Air features a significantly updated Retina display, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1.5TB of internal SSD storage, and Intel UHD Graphics 617.
- There’s a headphone jack, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and Touch ID.
- The keyboard is Apple’s updated third-generation Butterfly, which should mitigate concerns about dust and noise.
- Unusual for a notebook with a lower-power chip, the new MacBook Air also has a fan.
It’s not as powerful as a base model 13-inch MacBook Pro, despite having a similar size and being $100 less. It is, on the hand, more powerful and cheaper than Apple’s current 12-inch MacBook. And, as you’d expect, it is quite a bit faster than the old MacBook Air it replaced.
The Verge’s review, penned by Dieter Bohn, rather succinctly calls the MacBook Air the “present of computing.” It slots in perfectly to the current laptop industry — but doesn’t really break any new ground.
Other reviewers boasted about the 2018 MacBook Air’s battery life, which is the best of any Mac notebook current in Apple’s lineup. Though users might not get the estimated 12 hours, they should see some battery life gains on previous models.
John Gruber of Daring Fireball calls it the “MacBook most people should buy” — and adds that it’s “exactly the MacBook everyone has been asking Apple to make.”
Engadget reviewer Dana Wollman, on the other hand, points out that the MacBook Air’s Retina display is a bit lacking compared to the cheapest MacBook Pro available. The latter notebook sports a brighter display and a wider P3 color spectrum.
Most early reviewers expand on the confusing Mac lineup as it stands today. To put the succinctly, there’s little reason to opt for a 12-inch MacBook over the 13-inch MacBook Air unless shaving some weight and size is imperative — at the cost of power and money.
All in all, reviewers seem to think that the MacBook Air is a good laptop. Bur it isn’t revolutionary and it’s not going to change the notebook industry significantly.
But if you’re looking to buy a new MacBook, and you’re not a pro or power user, it’s by and far the best choice for you.