Practically, the MacBook Air is considered a reference ultrabook from the moment it appears, and any slim notebook automatically compares with it. But for a very long time, her body or its components have not been properly updated. During that time, Apple managed to free up a 12-inch MacBook, where many people noticed the replacement of old Air. And the new MacBook Pro models have become smaller and lighter. Then there was a question about the future of the Air line, but Apple has decided to update it with the introduction of the MacBook Air 2018. I can see if this notebook can continue the glorious legacy of the Air model.
Currently, Apple has three laptops: MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro. The MacBook is only available in a 12-inch version, while the Pro can be 13- and 15-inch. A lower version of MBP is available in touchscreen versions or in the usual order of the F-key.
The updated MacBook Air appeared only in one size and not two, as it was at the peak of its popularity. In that case, the changes affected all parameters of the laptop, and there is another name from the previous model. The basic version cost immediately raised to $ 200. True, the "chips" in the laptop have become more. Last generation of air during sales.
Package and first impressions
As usual in the company, there is only a charger, cable, and sticker documentation along with a notebook computer. By the way, now they (stickers) are not white, but, as in our case, Space Gray, a color laptop case. In the light of a relatively difficult external device connection, adapters and nodes have not lost importance, but will have to pay additional fees for them. It will cost a laptop at an average of $ 100 to $ 200, while some competitors are equipped with laptops with a large number of connectors or put the adapter in the box.
For those familiar with MACOS, there will be no surprises. At first startup it is now possible (quite necessary) to configure the Touch ID. But everything else is already known. Users who will be switched to air from one of the current MacBook or MacBook Pro models should not expect any categorized new sensations. But for those who update the old air or those who bought their first Mac, there are many new things waiting for them.
Design and usability
The redesign has long waited. It is unlikely that the public will respect the old building, albeit with new filling. And in the background of other notebooks, the old version would look a little strange. So the look of the new MacBook Aira seems to be mounted on the current MacBook and MacBook Pro models. But so, the size of the case is not much smaller than Pro 13, and the weight does not change much: 30,41 × 21,24 × 0,41-1,56 cm, 1,25 kg. The shape of the casing shapes that approaches the user makes it visually apparent that the laptop is slim, but in the widest place it is the same as the "Proshka" (even one centimeter more).
No, I do not say that the air big, just in the background of the existing models, no longer looks as small as the previous generations. So, we have a very small gear that is practically not running in the backpack and does not strain back during the walk. At the same time, it is subjective in appearance – like the MBP 13 with the rolling profile. But unlike Pro, there is no additional ventilation area below. Other laptops are very similar and virtually identical in size. You can choose between three color options: gray, silver and gold.
The situation with the ports for connecting external devices and charging is the same as for other models. On the left side of the case are two USB-C Thunderbolt connectors and a headphone jack on the right. Many things will require adapters or new cables. Today, of course, it is still not convenient. On the other hand, some users could still adapt to such conditions and completely abandoned flashes, wired mice and other little things. Personally, I have enough hubs with a few USB-A, HDMI and card readers, but, again, the convenience of using is locked.
The collected laptop was well-received. The typical "MacBook test" passes, but it is worth keeping it. Legs, although not called sliding, when you connect / disconnect anything in ports, you still have to hold a laptop. The aluminum case is, in my opinion, very comfortable to use, and the company once again emphasizes that it is completely recycled material.
The new design is not all that the MacBook Air 2018 has received. The update significantly affected the display. With the same diagonal of 13.3 inches, the resolution is increased to 2560 × 1600 pixels. Of course, this is now Retina. Frames around can not be called thick, but other manufacturers have more "no frames" (if this is so important in principle for someone). The swing angle of the joint also remains the same, the gearbox will not turn 180 degrees.
With a new resolution, a new matrix appeared. Now this is the IPS (remember, in the previous model was TN). The calibration is slightly different from the MBP matrix, but it is still very good. Just like a picture. I do not think someone might have liked the show, it's nice to work, watch movies and photos. For the night there is a night mode that can be adjusted to your liking.
The measurements showed a maximum backlight level of 270 cd / m². Most of the time I spent with the brightness level close to the maximum. At the same time, I was not disturbed by the reflection and reflection, despite the brilliant screen. Yes, and the light sensor works great. I'm very pleased with the screen.
Keyboards, Touch Pads, Touch IDs and Multimedia
I do not think the MacBook Air Keyboard was a surprise to someone. According to subjective feelings, it is the same as in the new MBP. Mechanism is still controversial because it can get clogged, and sound is far from well-known. I personally like the keyboard: the size and position of the keys, the sound, the pressure required, the backlight … Absolutely everything that suits me, and with the sticky keys on a portable computer for a year of use, I have never met.
Touchpad MacBook Air is also borrowed from current Apple models, as in them, the glass is large. Physically, the touch panel is not pressed, but provides tactile response and vibration sound. It also shows perfectly in the work, perfectly recognizes gestures and will easily serve as a replacement for the mouse. Force Touch technology is not yet abandoned, and the touchpad recognizes several degrees of pressing force. In general, everything is typical of any modern MacBook.
Another convenient new MBA bonus is a fingerprint scanner. The nearest MacBook and the MBP base model are not. There is no error in the scanner operation. You can add three fingerprints to the power button, and do not enter a password when signing up for a payment to buy through Apple Pay (I hope Ukrainian online merchants will soon import support) and when you need to access, for example, 1Posword. But the system will still not allow you to forget the password, especially if you need to make changes to some settings where the fingerprint will not be enough for access.
The sound did not disappoint either. In a pretty slim laptop, they have nevertheless been able to install good speakers, which are equally suitable for sounding movies and listening to music. Of course, they can not be compared with good acoustics, but if there is nothing else in the room, you can include background music or watch a series of your favorite sitcom in the kitchen with such speakers without any problems.
The FaceTime HD camera already known to laptops has not improved. Quality is sufficient for video calls, though the picture of the internal lighting is noisy and the voice will be transmitted with an omnidirectional microphone located near the Fn button.
Performance and software
The power is a little surprised. Let's start with the fact that the MacBook Air 2018 has a 2-core Intel Core i5-8210Y with integrated UHD Graphics 617 video. And that's unbeatable. No memory can be configured: 8/16 GB RAM (2133 MHz, LPDDR3) and 128 GB to 1.5 TB storage. There is Wi-Fi 802.11ac and Bluetooth 4.2 for communication. Yes, it's clear that something was saved. And all, as usual, sold on the motherboard. Meanwhile, the presence of the Apple T2 chip, which is responsible for security and data encryption, should be highlighted.
But the paper is very good. In a normal office routine, I did not feel any big difference with my 15-inch MBP. Did you notice minor delays when editing photos in Lightroom and exporting files? In all other respects, I was not limited to anything during my work, and at the same time I started 8-10 requests. For a small comparison, we started the conversion of 4K video minutes on Test Air and the basic MacBook Pro 13 last year. So the hero looked at the task in 2 minutes 21 seconds, and the "bug" lasted 12 seconds. So users who change their old air to the new will clearly notice the acceleration of the work and, in principle, can expect the same as the owners of the initial MBP.
During normal operation, the cooling system is completely silent. The fan is switched off when there are no serious loads, but if a task that requires more system resources appears, then there will be quite a low noise and the rotation speed will reach 8000 rpm. But for all testing time, the case did not heat up, and it was super cool all the time.
Of course, nothing new has appeared in MacOS's work. There is no difference in what can be found on any other Apple laptop. For those who will "move" from your old Mac, you will not have to bother with settings, but simply transfer data, for example, by using a backup. And for those who go with Windows, the adaptation process should not take much time.
There are several battery parts in the case, with a total capacity of 49.9 Wh. According to the manufacturer, this should be enough for 10 hours of browsing. In office task mode (browser, post, text editor, social networking apps, music player, calendar, RSS …), the laptop lost 10-15% per hour. Watching a two-time movie costs 19%. Generally, if this was my laptop, then I mostly could not have a charger in the office.
Editors are grateful for the online store Stylus.ua to help organize your MacBook Air 2018 laptop review