Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Should you get the MacBook Air 2018 ?

MacBook Air 2018
MacBook Air 2018. Credit: Apple

Lightness strikes again. Is it? Let's find out.

Hello there, hope you guys are doing well. In this article, I will be talking about the new MacBook Air. We will find out is it worth upgrading to the new MacBook Air from the old one which is an icon. It was unarguably the first-ever Ultrabook. Are the changes done significant enough to invest almost double the amount compared to the older one as Apple is selling the older version also?

Here we will talk about the base model of MacBook Air.

The specifications of it are: 13.3-inch Retina display, Intel 8th Gen  processor with Apple T2 security chip, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 3 x USB Type C with Thunderbolt, FaceTime HD Camera, macOS Mojave

Apple MacBook Air is priced in India for Rs 1,14,900. Check it out here on Amazon India.

Apple MacBook Air is also available on Flipkart. Buy on Flipkart for Rs 94,990.

Also read: PC vs. Mac

The MacBook AIR Design 

The MacBook Air was first launched in 2008. It was a game changer then. It proved that you could have a powerful and feature-packed machine in a thin casing. It created a new segment in the laptops which was then called UltraBook. UltraBook was a premium segment which is beautiful, powerful and above all lightweight.

MacBook Air 2018
MacBook Air 2018. Credit: Apple

Since the first MacBook Air design has a huge impact on the laptop market, hoping that on 10th anniversary Apple would do something revolutionary this time also. But, after seeing the MacBook Air 2018 design I am a little bit disappointed. Looks like this time Apple has played safe with MacBook Air 2018 design. This means this is not a game-changer like the previous one but it carries the same iconic thin and light design.

So this time MacBook Air 2018 is thinner as compared to its predecessor with dimensions of 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches. There's still wedge-shaped design to this Air, so it tapers off to 0.16 inches at its thinnest point.

Also what I noticed in the new MacBook Air, it carries the same width and depth as the 13-inch MacBook Pro, while being a bit thinner and lighter.

MacBook Air 2018
MacBook Air 2018. Credit: Apple

Since the new MacBook Air is thinner and lighter, it does not mean that features are compromised on this. You still get 13.3-inch, 2560 x 1600 LED, 300nits Retina Display. The huge aluminum bezel is gone now and now there is glass extended edge to edge. The pixel density is 227 pixels per inch(PPI). The retina display is four times sharpers and clearer than the previous-generation MacBook Air. Unlike the MacBook Pro, it does not feature the True Tone technology which adjusts the brightness of the screen depending upon the ambient light. Also, the screen is not as bright as the MacBook Pro. The previous-generation MacBook Air display suffers from a great problem of viewing angles which has been rectified in the newer model.

This time Apple used recycled aluminum to build the new MacBook Air.

MacBook Air 2018
MacBook Air 2018. Credit: Apple

As we know history repeats itself and Apple has a history of removing things as it progresses with time. This time Apple has removed the glowing logo from this new MacBook Air. This has been replaced by a shiny metal one that stands out from the rest of the matte finish body. There is no card reader and a USB Type-A port. The future belongs to Thunderbolt 3, which can charge the device, can be connected to an external monitor or can charge another device also. But as the legacy continues, you need some adaptors to extend its functionalities.

There is a small problem with the Type C port placements as they are a bit closer. It may be problematic to use one when the device is charging from another one. The only other port available is 3.5mm audio connector - an increasingly rare sight on Apple products – on the right-hand side.

MacBook Air 2018
MacBook Air 2018. Credit: Apple
The keyboard has been also redesigned that features Apple's third-generation butterfly mechanism. This is the same one that is available on MacBook Pro. This is quieter than the previous one and has an ample amount of travel and the right amount of space between keys. The keyboard is backlit like the previous one and the brightness is adjustable.

On the extreme top right there is the Touch ID sensor. This just makes life much easier by unlocking the laptop with just a touch. The Touch ID is accurate, fast and works all the time.

Apple is offering a range of colors for the MacBook Air: Space Gray, Gold, and traditional Silver.

Overall we can say the design isn't new but Apple has done a good job to improve the look and feel for the new MacBook Air.

Also read: Android vs. iPhone

The Performance of MacBook AIR

When it comes to performance, it is no less than its predecessor. The app launches, the multi-tasking, and the gestures, all worked like a charm. In the performance part, you are not going to get disappointed. You don't need to keep the count of tabs open in the browser or number of apps open in the background.

This notebook can handle photo editing and basic video editing too. You can use heavy software like Adobe Photoshop for photo editing and Final Cut Pro for a 1080 Full HD video editing. Doing these won't be an issue with the new MacBook Air.

Since this is a notebook for everyday use and using heavy software may lead to running the fan on full throttle to cool down the device. You may hear some noise sometimes. This is something you should not be worried about as this is not resulting in tapered performance.

Coming to the sound part, the new MacBook Air sounds much better than the previous one. It is louder and clearer than before. Despite the smaller size, they produce twice the bass and are 25 percent louder. There are two speakers besides the keyboard, they are much louder to enjoy a streaming video. The T2 security chip built into the MacBook air offers some security features also adds a feature of virtually spacing the speakers to maximize the surround effect.

The 720-pixel facetime camera and 3 microphone array are decent for taking some video calls but look outdated in 2018 as the rival laptops come with full HD 1080p camera which gives a better calling experience.

The Battery

The famous battery of MacBook Air lasts for the whole working day even when the full features are used and the display is working at full brightness. You can improve it though by reducing the brightness, not using the speakers at full throttle. Even though you run out of power, you can charge this with any USB Type C adaptor, though the Apple charger is highly recommended to use all the time.

The Verdict

Well if you are looking for a portable machine for everyday use and also can do some heavier tasks occasionally, that the new MacBook Air is the best choice. Though this time it priced double than the previous generation, it becomes difficult to recommend people to buy MacBook Air or invest a few bucks more to get a MacBook Pro. In my opinion, you are the best judge, look what you require, wait for the prices to drop and then I would say you can go for the MacBook Air. If you wish to buy at this price, I would recommend putting some extra bucks and get a MacBook Pro.

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