Today the MacBook Air review embargo lifted, allowing writers and YouTubers to publish their takes on Apple’s 2020 model. Unsurprisingly, considering all that the company improved this year, the reviews are strong across the board.
Posts tagged with "macbook air"
Apple has released a new, faster MacBook Air with an updated keyboard and more storage at a lower price. The company also released a minor update to the storage of base-model Mac minis.
According to a press release from the company, the new Air features a 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7 that, with Turbo Boost, can achieve speeds up to 3.8GHz. This is the first time the Air has included a quad-core processor. The laptop also features Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which Apple says are 80% faster than previous models.
The Air’s keyboard has been updated too with a scissor switch-based Magic Keyboard that has 1 mm of key travel and an inverted-T layout of the arrow keys.
The Air, which is available in gold, silver, and space gray, starts at $999, a $100 drop from prior models. Thankfully, Apple has also increased the base storage of the entry-level model from 128GB to 256GB SSD storage, a capacity that will make it easier for users to store photos and other media locally without resorting to external solutions. The new Air can also be configured with up to 2TB of storage, which is twice as much as could be previously configured, and is equipped with Apple’s T2 Security Chip, which ensures a secure boot process and handles Touch ID information.
Apple’s press release highlights the following features too:
- A three-mic array for more clear voice capture for FaceTime calls with friends and family.
- The industry-best Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and multi-touch navigation.
- Thunderbolt 3 ports for data transfer, charging and video output in a single connector.
- Support for up to a 6K external display, a first for the MacBook Air.
- Advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound for activities like watching Apple TV+ content or playing games in Apple Arcade.
The new Airs can be ordered on apple.com starting today.
Finally, the base configurations of the Mac mini received a small update today. The $799 model now comes with 256GB of storage and the $1,099 configuration has a 512GB SSD.
The MacBook Air has been difficult to recommend because of its previous-generation keyboard. With a new keyboard, increased storage, faster CPU and graphics, all at a lower price-point, the MacBook Air looks like the Mac that will meet most people’s needs.
Today in conjunction with the kickoff of its Back to School promotion, Apple has announced significant changes to its laptop lineup, updating the MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro while discontinuing the smallest Mac laptop, the 12-inch MacBook.
Tomorrow, Apple will begin delivering new MacBook Airs and Mac minis to customers around the world. It’s been a long time since either computer was updated; too long many would say. John Gruber of Daring Fireball asked around about the period between updates:
Behind the scenes last week in New York, I asked a few folks from Apple for any sort of hint why these two Macs — the MacBook Air and Mac Mini — went so long between updates. One thing I was told is that Apple wants to focus on “meaningful updates”. The days of “speed bump” updates are largely over. The value just isn’t there.
That may not be a message that long-time Mac users want to hear, but it’s consistent with recent history and seems to be supported by the reviews published today. Regardless of the backstory though, both new Macs are substantial updates that have received generally favorable reviews.
Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, sat for an interview with David Phelan of The Independent to talk about designing Apple products in general and the new iPad Pros, Apple Pencil, and MacBook Air in particular.
On redesigning successful products Ive said:
Because when a product has been highly regarded there is often a desire from people to see it redesigned. I think one of the most important things is that you change something not to make it different but to make it better.
If you are making changes that are in the service of making something better, then you don’t need to convince people to fall in love with it again. Our sense of habit and familiarity with something is so developed, there is always that initial reaction that is more of a comment on something being different rather than necessarily better or worse. In my experience, if we try very hard to make material improvements, people quickly recognise those and make the sort of connection they had before with the product.
Ive also revealed that the original iPad was designed to be used primarily in a portrait orientation, while the new iPad Pros have no orientation:
So, in the new iPad Pro, one of the things we’ve been wanting to get to for a long time is a sense that the product is not oriented in a primary and then, therefore, in a secondary way.
The first iPad had a very clear orientation which was portrait. It had the ability to be used in landscape, I think very well, but it was pretty clear how the product was designed. And I think with the first iPad you had the sense that it was a product made up of distinct and somewhat separate components.
What I think marks the new iPad Pro as particularly special is it doesn’t have an orientation. It has speakers all the way around the perimeter. By getting rid of the Home Button and developing Face ID, the tablet is able to work in all of these different orientations.
On the Apple Pencil, Ive describes how its design abstracts away the underlying technical complexity to focus the user on the task at hand:
I think the way it just snaps onto the side, well, that’s a nice example of a sort of that magical feeling. It’s unexpected, we don’t quite understand how it’s working and even more incomprehensible is the fact that it’s also charging. You can see how that’s aligned with this idea that you can just pick the product up and use it without thought.
Actually, you’re using it with tremendous thought, but it’s based on what you want to be doing rather than wondering if you’re holding the tablet the right way up.
Phelan’s interview is full of many other wonderful insights and tidbits about the products Apple revealed earlier this week in New York and should be read in its entirety.
This morning Tim Cook took the stage at the Brooklyn Academy of Music’s Howard Gilman Opera House to announce a brand new revision of the MacBook Air. This is the first significant redesign in years for Apple’s most popular line of Macs, and features huge improvements across the board.
The new machine marks the debut of a Retina display on the MacBook Air, which Cook said has been the most requested feature by far. Among other changes, the size and weight of the enclosure have also been decreased, two Thunderbolt 3 ports line one edge, screen bezels have been reduced, and new color options are available.
When Apple published their new ‘Stickers’ ad for the MacBook Air last week, I presumed it would be a boon for sellers of MacBook stickers and decals. So earlier this week I decided to reach out to a few sellers of MacBook stickers and decals to see what kind of impact the ad from Apple has had on their store visits and sales.
Now this was not an in-depth investigation and the result is probably what you would have guessed: visits and sales rose dramatically last week when Apple’s ad was released. It was the universal reaction I got from the sellers I talked to.
One of the sellers that was willing to give me more detailed information was Benjamin Clark from The Decal Guru. They saw a quadrupling of orders for MacBook decals since the airing of Apple’s ad. In terms of unique visitors they saw an increase from a steady 500 per day (prior to the ad) to 4,500 at its highest last week.
Apple today posted a new ad for the MacBook Air, and it has a very different style to what we’ve seen in recent MacBook ads. Titled ‘Stickers’, this short and simple ad, filmed mostly with stop-motion, focuses on the back of the MacBook Air’s display where it is covered in dozens of different stickers. The ad features music from Hudson Mohawke and ends with the slogan “The notebook people love”.
Apple this morning refreshed their MacBook Air models with the latest generation of Intel’s Haswell processors. The new processors give the MacBook Air a slight speed bump, taking them from 1.3GHz to 1.4GHz (and Turbo Boost from 2.6GHz to 2.7GHz). The refreshed models are otherwise the same, offering 128GB or 256GB storage, 4GB of RAM and Intel HD Graphics 5000. Built to order machine options are also unchanged, with upgrades of 8GB of RAM, 512GB storage and a 1.5GHz i7 Processor available.
“With MacBook Air starting at $899, there’s no reason to settle for anything less than a Mac,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing. “Macs have never been more popular, and today we’ve boosted the performance and lowered the price of MacBook Air so even more people can experience the perfect everyday notebook.”
The four preconfigured models have all taken a $100 price cut in the United States - but those price cuts have not translated to every region, with Australia being one region where the prices of the models stay the same. But that can be explained by the recent weakness in the Australian dollar. The below graph illustrates the comparison between US prices and Australian prices, after converting the Australian prices to a 2014 average of the US Dollar and removing GST (which are included in the Australian prices).