Detailed review of Apple MacBook Air 2018
For years, the MacBook Air was the best ultrabook available, period. For the price, it was the lightest laptop out there. It was also one of the most reliable machines on the market, delivering consistent performance day in and day out for years. But by the time 2017 drew to a close, people had begun to wonder when Apple would renew the world’s most beloved ultrabook. Apple finally announced the coveted refresh earlier this year, and we’ve had plenty of time with the new MacBook Air to find out if the new laptop lives up to its predecessor’s legacy.
What’s in the box
USB-C to USB-C cable
30W Power Adapter
Processor: Intel Core i5 – 8210Y
Core Count: 2
Clock Speed: 1.6GHz
Storage: 128 GB PCIe based
Screen resolution: 2560×1600
Screen Size: 13-inch
Thunderbolt ports: 2
Build and design
The 2018 MacBook Air has received a design refresh, but it’s not quite as radical as one. Would expect it. Are. The chassis is now slightly slimmer, the overall body size is smaller, all thanks to the screen with a slimmer bezel. It’s not just the edges around the screen that have been slimmed down, but the space around the keyboard has also become smaller. There is no TouchBar on the 2018 MacBook Air, which allowed Apple to put a larger touchpad on the MacBook Air. The pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports on the MacBook Air are on the left side of the machine, while the headphone jack remains all alone on the right side.
When you take the MacBook Air out of the box, the first thing you probably notice is how light it really is. Apple says the MacBook Air has gone lighter, and we verified their statement by weighing old and new. Sure enough, the MacBook Air is a whole 100 grams lighter and it only took the laptop three years to shed the weight. Now this is how slow you want to lose weight. Apple has also incorporated TouchID into the MacBook Air as a square button, not the round button we’ve seen on the iPhone for so many years. The TouchID also doubles as a power button.
Looking at the new MacBook Air, it’s hard not to see the influence of the Macbook here. The slimmed down sides, the thinner bezels on the screen, not to mention the same gold finish. The other two colors are Space Gray and Silver, both of which look equally stunning. When Steve Jobs pulled the original MacBook Air out of an A4 envelope, no one thought it would be possible to further refine the design, but here we are, typing this review on a thinner, lighter, and more visually appealing MacBook Air. .
Keyboard and trackpad
The new 2018 MacBook Air has the second-generation butterfly mechanism for the keyboard. The original design was criticized for being completely paralyzed by a single grain of dust. Apple worked on that vulnerability by placing a membrane under the keys that prevents dust from entering. In addition, it raises the keycaps slightly higher than the original Butterfly mechanism. The result is a slightly higher stroke in the keys, which feels nice to type on. We also have a late 2016 MacBook Pro with the older Butterfly mechanism, and those keys are practically one with the keyboard island, offering little to no feedback. On the new MacBook Air, typing is a much more enjoyable experience, especially considering how eerily quiet the keys can be, unless you’re the kind who likes to express their frustration on the keyboard as a means of relaxation. For people with soft fingers, this is certainly a pleasant keyboard to type on.
On the trackpad is a generous sheet of capacitive glass on top of Apple’s Taptic Engine. On either side are force sensors that translate to the feedback you receive when you click the trackpad. There’s no real physical movement here, but it sure feels that way. Someone who hadn’t used a Mac in the last 5 years tried out the MacBook Air, they really thought the trackpad was going up and down. The feedback is so real. If you’re a seasoned Mac user, you’re familiar with all the gestures you can use to get more out of the MacBook Air, and Apple has implemented this flawlessly for years. Every single gesture registers with incredible ease. Spend some time with the MacBook Air and even if you’re a new user you’ll get used to the gesture-based navigation very quickly, mainly because they’re intuitive and the trackpad doesn’t even fail once registering them properly.
One of the biggest upgrades to the MacBook Air is the display. It was somewhat disappointing to see Apple bring its MacBook Air to 2018 with a 1440×900 display. Well, the company is sure to close out the year with a blast of pixels and colors. The new MacBook Air offers a retina display with a resolution of 2560×1600 and a color gamut that exceeds sRGB. Apple continues to use IPS panels on their MacBook Air for its incredible color accuracy. The MacBook Air is factory calibrated for sRGB and has color reproduction accurate enough right out of the box to be used as a professional photo editing display. The screen also gets very bright, hitting close to 800 nits at the top and going as low as 2 nits on the lowest visible setting.
Specs aside, the IPS LCD panel Apple has adopted remains an industry-leading display, with colors that are true to life and a level of sharpness often lacking on Windows-based machines. Combine that with macOS Mojave’s dark theme and it’s nothing short of a visual treat. Watching movies on its display, whether from its own source material or from various streaming services like Netflix, is absolutely brilliant. Unfortunately, unlike its larger and more expensive MacBook Pro brethren, the MacBook Air is unable to reproduce colors from the DCI-P3 wide-gamut color, meaning it doesn’t support HDR content playback. This is probably the only downside to the MacBook Air’s screen, but honestly, it’s not something you could see when looking at this screen. What Samsung’s OLED is to smartphones, Apple’s IPS LCD is to the laptop world, and the MacBook Air is equipped with a great panel.
Ports and I/O
There are only two Thunderbolt 3 ports here, one of which is occupied by the charger. On the other side, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack. That is it. That’s all you get.
The 2018 MacBook Air is powered by Intel’s 8th-generation Core i5 processor, but this is a Y-series chip. The Intel Core i5-8210 is a low-power dual-core CPU with a base clock of 1.6 GHz and a boost clock of 3.6 GHz. The processor is accompanied by 8 GB of LPDDR3 RAM clocked at 2133 MHz and 128 GB of PCIe-based storage. IF you’re having an eerie sense of déjà vu, you’re not alone. There are a few things that feel very disappointing regarding the spec set. First, Apple used a power-efficient CPU for this machine. Second, for some reason, the company continues to use DDR3 RAM instead of DDR4. Finally, 128GB of PCIe storage just feels too little, especially when you consider the number of smartphones available today with so much storage. If you end up buying your MacBook Air from abroad, you may be lucky with more RAM, but you’ll still be stuck with 128/256GB of storage and the power-efficient CPU. Interestingly, when we measured the read/write speed on the MacBook Air compared to our 2016 MacBook Pro, the Air’s storage came out noticeably slower.
Read/Write Speeds: MacBook Pro (left) vs MacBook Air (right)
Now let’s see how the MacBook Air performs in real life. One of the reasons the original MacBook Air became so popular was its battery life. Since PCMark doesn’t have a MacOS battery benchmark, our best way to find out about the MacBook Air’s battery capabilities was to run the machine without a charger for as long as possible. It started with a fully charged MacBook Air and a full day’s editing work ahead of us. Turns out the MacBook Air managed to last for 8 hours with the brightness set to half and Wi-Fi turned on. The day involved writing about 3000 words in MS Word for various stories and some photo editing in Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop. Typically, most ultrabooks have a battery life of 5-7 hours, provided the activities are limited to basic use. But with the MacBook Air, 8 hours was a given, even with a large number of browser windows open in both Chrome and Safari, some photo editing, and a little bit of YouTube. That’s Apple for you!
While my usual work machine is a 2016 MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i7 chip and 16GB of RAM, I thought it would be a good idea to switch to the MacBook Air for a few weeks to see how it stacks up. meets my needs. An important part of my work consists of extensive photo editing, large RAW files with a resolution of 45 megapixels are commonplace. Running a Lightroom catalog of nearly 13,000 photos was no problem, but when editing individual high-resolution RAW files, the machine faltered a bit. For example, when switching from the library to the development module, not only did the image take a good 6 seconds to load, but the preview itself loaded in parts. Moreover, moving the adjustment sliders was not a smooth experience. This is not a photo editing machine, so it is unfair to ask it to be able to edit 45MP RAW files.
The MacBook Air is not a sprinter, but a slow and steady marathon runner. It is great for office visitors and even the student who is living a prosperous life as the MacBook Air can easily handle the daily tasks to keep you busy and also be your reliable work companion as long as your work is not involved. photo or video editing.
The Apple MacBook Air comes with a 50.3 Wh lithium polymer battery that Apple says will last about 12-13 hours depending on usage. While we’ve consistently clocked a solid 8 hours, we also know that if we eliminated photo editing from our day, the machine would have easily clocked 10 hours of use. Charging this battery takes almost two and a half hours with the included charger, a 30 Watt Power Delivery charger that charges the machine via USB-C. what this means is that while you’re charging the MacBook Air, you’ll lose one of the two charging ports, which is definitely a bummer.
Any Apple loyalist will love the MacBook Air. Anyone who has loved using their older MacBook Air will love the new MacBook Air. However, if you’re not an Apple loyalist, you won’t be overly impressed with the MacBook Air’s offerings, compared to what its Windows counterparts have to offer. For example, the Asus Zenbook S, which costs Rs 15,000 more, comes with an 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, much more storage, an additional USB-C port, not to mention a dongle in the box.