Apple has launched its updated MacBook Air laptops which are claimed to be up to 2x faster, offers twice the amount of base storage, and features the new-old-tech Magic Keyboard. These new thin and light laptops start at £999/$999. The oft neglected Mac Mini has also been updated today, again with double the standard storage, but with 8th gen Intel Core processors, and with prices starting from £799.
With its new 10th Gen Intel Core processor Apple asserts that the MacBook Air is up to twice as fast in CPU intensive tasks with graphics up to 80 per cent faster than the previous gen. Processor choices span from the 1.1GHz dual core Intel Core i3, up to the 1.2GHz quad-core Intel i7 which has an L3 cache of 8MB and a turbo speed of 3.8GHz. Accompanying the Intel CPU is Apple's T2 security chip for boot security, on-the-fly encryption, and more.
Another important upgrade, to the base model, is that the minimum storage is now a 256GB PCIe SSD. That is double the previous lower limit of the base-price machine. Buyers can configure up to 2TB of SSD storage when purchasing this laptop – again double the previous amount. As standard the Macbook Air still comes with 8GB of RAM but it is possible to upgrade to 16GB.
Apple is using a 13.3-inch 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS screen with its True Tone technology in this new laptop. This is the only screen option. Compared with rival thin and light designs such as the Dell XPS 13, the MacBook Air bezels look rather chunky.
Other key specs of the design are as follows:
- 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 MacBook Air.
- Advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound for activities like watching Apple TV+ content or playing games in Apple Arcade.
- MacOS Catalina
Last but not least the MacBook Air's keyboard has been upgraded to one featuring the older tech often referred to as scissor switches. The new 'Magic Keyboard' features here which debuted on the 16-inch MacBook Pro in November last year. This move solidly establishes Apple's intention to move away from the problematic butterfly switches across all its keyboard-packing devices.
Apple is making its updated MacBook Air models available to pre-order in Space Grey, Gold and Silver from today. Shipping estimates point to a delivery of between 6th and 15th April in the UK at the time of writing. Remember, Apple has suspended trading from its bricks and mortar stores until further notice, everywhere except mainland China.