Review MacBook Air 2018 with Retina display. You can take, but not all

For a long time the editorial was not such a controversial new Apple.

The new MacBook Air according to the characteristics embodied the dream of fans of the legendary Apple notebook line. Here everything they dreamed about: more power, better display, the same awesome autonomous work.

Only it is not clear why he appeared so when there is a 13-inch MacBook Pro and a 12-inch MacBook.

The more you use Air 2018, the more you think: probably, in a year or two I would take one. But today …

What distinguishes the MacBook Air 2018 from previous models. Important

1. Smaller body in all sizes than the old 13-inch model ( 21.34 by 30.41 by 1.56 cm versus 22.7 by 32.5 by 1.7 cm ).

2. Less weight than the old 13-inch model (it was 1.35 kg, it was 1.25 kg) .

3. Only one display diagonal: 13.3 inches. New 11-inch Air model is not announced.

4. Retina display appeared : resolution 2560 by 1600 pixels versus 1440 by 900 pixels in the old 13-inch model, image clarity is 4 times better.

5. The Apple logo on the display cover is off. ☹️

6. In Air 2018, there is a new low-profile keyboard of the third generation with protection from dirt and dust instead of the old one based on the butterfly mechanism. The backlight is now individual for each key.

7. The 2018 MacBook Air has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor . Same as the latest generation MacBook Pro.

8. Instead of two standard USB ports, the new MacBook Air has two multifunctional USB Type-C connectors . Both on the left side. The 2018 MacBook Air is charged via either of the two USB Type-C. MagSafemagnetic connector no longer exists .

9. In all models of the 2018 MacBook Air, there is one processor — a 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 . The previous generation of Air could be bought with processors up to the Intel Core i7 .

10. MacBook Air 2018 released in three colors: silver, gold, dark gray. Old Air was only silver.

Well, the main, most unexpected moment, to which we will return more than once: the cost of a new MacBook Air . more expensive than the old base model. This is a very significant difference.

What can the new Air offer to justify the rise in price by one and a half times? Let’s try to figure it out.

Body It seems new, but already familiar (and heavy)

Small and light this laptop can not be called in 2018. Almost as heavy as the MacBook Pro! Pictured iPhone X for scale.

What happens if you cross a 12-inch MacBook and a 13-inch MacBook Pro?

It turns out to be a MacBook Air. The sharp edges, branded triangular shape of the bottom of the case with a thick back and a thin front. It seems to be the “same” Air, but as you do not look at it, you still see the MacBook Pro.

Yes, the logo on the cover does not glow. What can you do. The port of MagSafe has also disappeared. I’m not one of his fans, so I only welcome the new reality.

Instead of the typical USB ports, the new MacBook Air has two USB-C connectors. You can charge from anyone.

As the owner of the prosh, over the past year I have completely switched to the Type-C ecosystem of cables and accessories. I do not even know where my adapter lies. There is nothing to complain about, on the contrary, it is very convenient when both ports are truly universal.

Personally, it was interesting to me to see not all of this live, but something really new for Apple. The fact is that this is the first MacBook, whose case is made of 100% recycled aluminum . Roughly speaking, its fusion is made of chips that remained in the production of the MacBook Pro.

Apple promised that the new alloy is tactile and physically in no way inferior to the previously used aluminum. We’ll have to agree with them. If there is a tactile difference, it is quite small: the body seems more textured , or something. I did not try the tooth, but there was nothing to complain about.

The strangest thing you notice instantly is weight. Yes, the new MacBook Air is not just physically smaller than the old one, but also lighter by 120 grams. Only in the hands of this laptop suddenly seems heavy . You don’t expect it to be like this when you get it out of the box.

Frankly, I’m spoiled by a 12-inch MacBook that weighs less than a kilogram. Air seems to be twice as much, although there is only 1.25 kg. Apparently, blame a large battery. Or something else.

One thing is clear: the wrong laptop was called “airy.”

Curious fact. I looked at the Air 2018 and could not understand. Why does he seem plumper than the old model? It is useful to check the characteristics, and there is a surprise: the frontal part (the thinnest) in the new generation has become thicker.

The difference is very small, there are literally millimeters, but I rushed into my eyes. Affect 4 years using the 2013 MacBook Air.

Included with the MacBook Air 2018 are colored (under the shade of the case) stickers, documentation, a 30-watt USB-C charger and a 2-meter USB-C cable to USB-C. Extension for the power supply, as in the old Air, no.

All this is interesting and cool, but the main upgrade of the new MacBook Air is, of course, the display . He is cool, even without compromise and not done.

Finally, the display in the MacBook Air does not cause shame

Why? The screen in the Air of past generations awakens just such emotions. Six months ago, I cleaned the old Air before selling and, sorry, spat . Well, you can not do such sad screens in 2018, it was a shame.

Now you open the display – and beauty .

Left MacBook Air 2018, right 15-inch MacBook Pro 2017. The difference in colors and brightness is, but not critical.

In principle, the displays of the 12-inch MacBook and the new Air are similar: they are both not very bright (300 nits), and the color rendition in them is a little inferior to the MacBook Pro (the P3 color profile is missing). I thought that I would notice these shortcomings right away.

But in fact, you will not notice any diminished brightness, nor less color gamut , if you don’t work every day at the top “buggy” of the latest models. I edited a couple of dozen photos on the new Air, including those in the review. The difference, if any, is minimal.

Very much changes the resolution itself. Due to him, the new MacBook Air (to be honest) is generally not perceived as “the very Air”. If you opened the 13-inch Pro. This is not bad, if anything – just such a light dissonance arises.

Looked at the new Air, then at the old one. I wanted to wash my eyes immediately. I immediately began to notice how blurred the text on the “old man” was, boring dull colors and low resolution in general. No, thanks, better with Retina than without it.

The colorful, contrasting panel is now covered with glass. And before that there was an aluminum frame . Controversial.

It seems like a trifle, I agree. At the same time, this frame saved more than one thousand laptops with strong shocks. Anyway, the old Air was famous for its indestructibility.

So with the new generation I recommend to be careful. You definitely do not want to crumble the glass display, take a word.

Another positive point noted: now in the Air there is a modern anti-reflective coating . It copes very well, making it possible to work tolerantly even in sunlight – although we will not see it properly until next year.

I wonder if there will be problems with keyboard traces on the display of the new Air. I hope that now this problem has been fixed, but for now it is impossible to understand.

Keyboard. She is the best. Guys, I’m serious.

Typing on the new Air is so great that you don’t even want to see the keyboard of the old models.

I liked the keyboard of the new Air the most. Here is a delight .

Seriously, this is the best low profile keyboard version that ever existed in a MacBook. The third generation of keys with a dust-proof mechanism has a pleasant, clear tactile response , surpassing not only my combat MacBook Pro 15 2017, but also a portable 12-inch MacBook.

Comparing the keyboards in the “12-shke” and the new “air”, the first one wants to instantly break in half. Is there a keyboard? Here in the Air such , as much as I want to type.

It seems to me that Apple has for some reason refined the keyboard specifically for the new MBA. After all, their users are now the most old-fashioned, “old” fans of all that has disappeared from the company’s products over the past 4 years.

Almost the entire top of the keyboard unit follows the design of the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The speakers beat out of the front grille and sound just gorgeous – in comparison with them, the old MacBook Air looks like a child’s toy with discharged batteries.

Dear fans of the MacBook Air. I was at your place. I know how you love your keyboard. And right now I see the face that you make when you touch the keyboards of the new MacBooks.

I want to tell you one thing: you are wrong.

New keyboards in MacBook are awesome . They need to get used to a few days, yes. But then how good!

I remember how I suffered the first few days, when I switched from all over the “old man” of 2013 to the MacBook Pro with a trendy “flat” keyboard. But I never missed her.

Now I type the text almost twice as fast . And the tactile sensations of low-profile Claudia deliver many times more pleasure than the tight crunchy buttons of previous generations of the MacBook.

MacBook Air was the latest Apple computers with the old type of keyboard. Now he can confidently leave stories and switch to a new one — quick, like lightning and understated, like a “pelvis” on the roads of the South-Eastern Administrative District of Moscow. 😘⌨

Touch ID – fingerprint sensor, as on the old iPhone and new MacBook Pro. It stands instead of the power button and at the same time serves it.

Not less pleased with the appearance of Touch ID . I love it on the MacBook Pro: not only the payment, but also the banal entry of passwords in the system and unlocking the laptop have now become a matter of one easy “tapa”. On Air, it works just as fast: a second, rarely a half.

But at the same time I do not understand a bit. From the Apple mobile devices, Touch ID actually disappeared for Face ID. Why then Face ID does not appear in MacBook? There is no place? Or wait a couple of years and everything will be found by itself? Rhetorical questions , if that.

Performance. Everything is good, but it could be better

Interesting fact. All 2018 MacBook Air models are almost identical in performance .

What is in the base, that in the top versions there is a 1.6 GHz dual core processor Intel Core i5 . It is no coincidence that happened. The processor itself was actually made by Intel for the needs of Apple, it was not in the database until the release of Air 2018.

The chip of this processor is lower power consumption compared to conventional Intel Core i5 laptops. Similarly, reduced performance. But only within the current generation of chips, and not last year’s models. There is a difference in favor of new items.

I worked on this Air for several days and was moderately pleased with its capacity . Photoshop does not slow down, 20-30 tabs in Chrome too. Lagging laptop started only when RAW batch processing was working on the background, I watched a YouTube video in 4K and did not close MS Office with a couple of dozen tabs of Chrome.

At this level of performance is not capable, for example, a 12-inch MacBook. It’s not just a matter of a nominally more powerful chip (by the way, this is a rebrand of the mobile Y-Series percent, and not a real Core i5 from Intel).

Just in the Air there is active cooling . It allows the Turbo Boost function – acceleration up to 3.6 GHz – to work longer until the safe temperature is exceeded.

At high load, the noise from the cooler is minimal, and the heating is noticeably less than from the same 12-inch or 15-inch “plug”.

At the same time, you can not forget about the MacBook Pro without Touch Bar 2017 .  more expensive, and more powerful by an impressive 30-40%! Its only drawback is not such a cool autonomous work.

The existence of Pro for about the same money creates a lot of inconvenience for the Air. There is a very specific difference between them, and in some places it is strongly not in favor of the novelty. As it seems to me, Apple will crash “bug” without a touchbar. In order not to muddy water.

Personally, I tend more to Pro than to Air, if you evaluate both computers in the totality of their characteristics. Still, the display is better. And the power is much more. But the buyer of the “air” laptop still needs plenty of gigahertz to solve any working problem without problems.

I almost forgot, RAM – 8 or 16 GB.

Autonomous work. These unreal 12 hours – they are real

Yes. MacBook Air 2018 really works 12 hours.

I set the brightness to below average, turned off the background programs and sat working with text, spreadsheets and web pages. After 7 hours there was no longer anything to work on, but the charge on the laptop was somewhere under 30-40%. Pro would have cracked by 5%, and the 12-inch MacBook turned off for a long time.

Along with the keyboard, a killer battery is a key advantage of the MacBook Air. No other Apple laptop will allow you to work a whole light day without a break and charging. Thank you for not changing it.

Who needs a new MacBook Air? findings

Apple got a weird laptop.

On the one hand, the owners of the old MacBook Air were waiting for him. A little easier, a little less, with the same awesome autonomous work and finally with a colorful Retina-display! Yes, and USB-C in 2018 can begin to be considered a plus.

The performance is also such that it is silly to complain – this laptop will last for 3-4 years without any questions . And he is very quiet. And it does not start to “blunt” much under load, like a 12-inch MacBook.

But on the other hand, Apple sells MacBook Pro without Touch Bar for about the same money. It does not have 12 hours of battery life or Touch ID. But he has something equally important: serious performance and the best (brightness and contrast) display. The difference in weight between them is minimal.

Therefore, the new MacBook Air –  for fans of MacBook Air and dissatisfied with the 12-inch MacBook . I advise the rest to stay with my laptop and wait for the next year.

Short conclusions:

1. If you still fundamentally go with the old Air, you should look at the new. It is objectively no worse than the old model. Downgrade (except MagSafe, which is debatable) do not feel.

2. For owners of a MacBook Pro without a Touch Bar, left without an update this year, I advise you to calmly wait for the next generation Air. You still have a decent laptop, which is in many ways even better than the new “air” from Apple.

3. If you have a MacBook Pro with the Touch Bar of the last two or three years, it makes sense to upgrade to a new MacBook Air just for the sake of battery life in 8-12 real hours. Otherwise, your laptop is much better.

4. Users of 12-inch MacBooks should ask themselves the question: how important is maximum portability and minimum weight? If the answer is “strong”, then you do not need to buy Air, it is noticeably heavier and larger. If, on the contrary, the Air is better than a 12-inch MacBook in everything.

5. The market for used MacBooks shuffles the cards: you can buy a MacBook Pro 2017 without the Touch Bar, which is almost everything better than the new Air, can be 20-30 thousand cheaper. If you are not confused by second-hand, the choice of last year’s “proshki” will be more logical than buying Air .

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