Apple MacBook Air: First impressions

Aabhas Sharma | Gadgets Now | Oct 31, 2018, 03:59AM IST
Apple MacBook Air: First impressions
When Apple had earlier this month confirmed that it will be holding another event, the first thing Apple fans had thought in unison, “finally there might be a new MacBook Air”. Apple hasn’t disappointed them and unveiled a new MacBook Air – the first in a couple of years. The MacBook Air while high on looks has been slightly low on performance – compared to the powerful MacBook Pro. We got a chance to see the new MacBook Air at the Apple event in Brooklyn, New York. Here are our first impressions of the MacBook Air (2018):

Design


When it comes to design, the new MacBook Air retains the aesthetics that we have come to associate with this line of laptops. Thin, sleek and eye-catching, the MacBook Air comes in three colour variants: gold, silver and space gray. At its thickest point, the MacBook Air stands 0.61 inches which should give you an idea about its sleekness. In terms of portability, this is as good as it gets.

The biggest change in terms of design is the integration of TouchID which we have seen in the more powerful MacBook Pro variants. The TouchID works well and promptly unlocks the device.

Apple has given just two ports on the left and both are Thunderbolt 3. With the new Type-C ports, it’s clear that we won’t be seeing the MagSafe again in MacBooks. Also, be prepared to carry a few dongles with you as the number of ports are less and limited in terms of connectivity options. Surprisingly, the headphone jack does make an appearance in the new MacBook Air.


Apple has used 100% recycled aluminum and claims that this is the “greenest Mac ever”. It’s good to see Apple being eco-friendly with most of its products.

Display

The bezels aren’t completely gone but shrunk massively in the new MacBook Air. They are also black in colour which means that if you’re using the Dark mode in MacOS Mojave, it gives you an all-screen feel to it. It is quite a clever move by Apple by making the bezels black.

Otherwise, the display quality is first-rate and offers an immersive experience. It’s a full Retina display but doesn’t incorporate True Tone. In the limited time we spent with the new MacBook Air, we didn’t make too much of the absence of True Tone. The 13.3-inch display packs in over 4 million pixels of resolution which translates into vibrant colours and sharp images.

As we have come to expect with the newer MacBooks, the display is certainly a big plus point.

Performance

While it’s tough to say how well it actually performs, the MacBook Air doesn’t offer that great specs – on paper that is. The new MacBook Air features an 8th generation Intel Core i5 processor, Intel UHD Graphics and faster 2133 MHz system memory up to 16GB.The good thing is that the new MacBook Air also features SSDs up to 1.5TB in capacity. Apple claims that they are up to 60 percent faster than the previous generation and make launching apps and other aspects a breezy affair.

The Core i5 processor isn’t really top-of-the-line by any standards yet it should deliver more than competent performance.


In terms of audio performance, the new MacBook Air does get an upgrade. Two more speakers have been added and Apple says that the speakers are 25 per cent louder than the previous generation devices and also offer double the amount of bass. We didn’t actually get a chance to test the audio output of the new MacBook Air.


According to Apple, the new MacBook Air offers close to 12 hours of battery life, which if true is certainly something to look forward to.


What we think

Considering that the previous generation devices are selling at almost half the price of the new ones, it will be interesting to see what the hook is for the new MacBook Pro. It can’t just be FaceID but the display does have a lot going for it. The new MacBook Air starts at Rs 1,14,900 which is cheaper than the newer Pro variants. In terms of design and looks, the new MacBook Air looks like a winner. But does it have what it takes to be the goto MacBook for most buyers? Find out in our full review when it goes live sometime soon.

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