First Look: Apple MacBook Air Gets a New Lease of Life
With a sharper screen, faster processors, a thinner profile and lighter weight, Apple has given its MacBook Air a new lease of life – and nudges it back into the heartland of the business travellers who made the original model such a staggering success.
Over a decade since Steve Jobs famously launched the first super-skinny MacBook Air in January 2008 by pulling it out out of a manila envelope, Apple’s leanest laptop has been overhauled in almost every dimension.
About all that stays the same is the screen size, which remains at the 13-inches sweet spot – but it’s now the same higher-resolution Retina display as its MacBook Pro siblings, and framed by a much thinner bezel which slightly shrinks the device’s overall footprint.
As well as showing off updated iPad Pro models at a hardware launch event held in New York today, Apple has also announced major upgrades for the MacBook Air and the MacBook Mini – two devices in much need of a refresh and left out of Apple’s new Mac announcements last year.
The big upgrade for the 2018 MacBook Air is a 13.3-inch, Retina display
First up was a new MacBook Air, a laptop line that Apple had apparently forgotten all about before today. The newer model ushers in a sharper, 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 pixel Retina display, smaller display bezels, support for Touch ID authentication, a larger trackpad, and a more responsive keyboard.
Overall, it’s actually 17 percent smaller than the previous MacBook Air, Apple says. It’s also 10 percent thinner at 15.5 mm (0.61 inches).
The laptop comes with a dual-core 8th-gen Intel i5 processor, up to 16 GB of RAM, and up to 1.5 TB of SSD storage. Apple is also promising up to 13 hours of video playback from one battery charge, and it comes with Apple’s T2 chip for improved device security, as well as two Thunderbolt 3 ports for connecting up all your accessories.
Your choice of colors for the 2018 MacBook Air are gold, space gray, and silver. Prices start at US$1,199, with pre-orders open now and shipping from November 7.
The new MacBook Air for 2018 is 10 percent thinner than its predecessor at 15.5 mm (0.61 inches)
Next, Apple showed off a refreshed Mac Mini, a product line just as neglected as the MacBook Air in recent years. The updated model has a space gray finish, 8th-generation Intel CPUs with 4 or 6 cores (everything from i3 up to i7 processors), up to 64 GB of memory, and up to 2 TB of SSD storage (so no more mechanical hard drives).
According to Apple, the new Mac Mini will be around five times faster than its predecessor, though considering the age of the older one that’s not quite as impressive as it sounds. The Apple T2 security chip is present here too, as well as four Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, HDMI video and audio out, and the option of a 10 Gb Ethernet connection for the fastest internet speeds.
Around the back of the 2018 Mac Mini are HDMI, Thunderbolt, and USB-A ports
Despite all these improvements, the size of the Mac Mini stays the same as before – think an over-sized Apple TV. Prices for the Mac Mini start at $799 for the entry-level spec, which is a significant jump from the $499 entry point of the previous model, and again you can put in a pre-order today with shipping on November 7.
In a welcome nod to the environment, both the new MacBook Air and the new MacBook Mini are being manufactured from 100 percent recycled aluminum. As you would expect, these new machines come with the latest macOS Mojave on board.