MacBook Air review roundup – nice upgrades but pricey

The new MacBook Air was revealed at Apple’s October 30 event in Brooklyn, New York. There was a great amount of enthusiasm in the crowd when the much-awaited new Air was announced, but is it worth the hype? With a new Retina Display, dedicated security chip, TouchID, faster hardware, and more features, let’s see if the upgraded laptop is worth the money.

MacBoko Air USB-C Thunderbolt 3

2018 MacBook Air reviews

The new Air has a beautiful Retina Display with thin bezels, a third-generation butterfly keyboard, loud speakers and an 8th generation Intel processor. It also has Touch ID, powered by an Apple T2 chip. All these features are still packaged in the thin wedge shaped MacBook Air design that is loved by many. These new features come at a higher price though, with the base model starting at $1199.

Many publications have had their time playing with the new Air. Here is a roundup of some of the best reviews.

The Verge

The Verge was thoroughly impressed with the build quality and finish. They also praised the Retina Display for being crisp and giving a more enjoyable viewing experience when using the laptop for watching videos. Touch ID is a great added convenience and helps add a layer of security. Lastly, they talk about the new trackpad and the butterfly keyboard..

They ended the review by saying there are better options if you add a $100, you can get a 13-inch MacBook Pro or a 12-inch MacBook. They complain about the laptop performance due to a weak Intel processor. Lastly, they reported that the brightness was disappointing indoors and even at moderately lit rooms the brightness needed to be fully turned up to see the screen properly.

“But a lot of people just want a good, modern, reliable Mac. Nothing fancy, really. They just deserve something that’s up to par. And for those people, the ones who have been hanging on to that old MacBook Air, this is a nice upgrade. It’s par for the course — and that’s probably enough.”

TechCrunch

TechCrunch praised practically every aspect of the new MacBook Air. The Retina Display is truly beautiful and the laptop delivered on the promise of a 12-hour charge. Lastly, the butterfly keyboard and larger trackpad made working feel seamless.

The only real complaint was with the limited number of ports. The new Air has only 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. This was said to be a problem while charging and summed up the hassle aptly with #donglelife.

Brian Heater writes:

“There’s no doubt the new Air marks a sizable update. It’s pricier, too, though Apple’s kept things more in check here than with the Mac Mini. With all of its upgrades and lower price point to boot, the Air is the clear pick over the 12-inch MacBook in practically every way.”

Wired

Wired gave high praise to the security features embedded in the MacBook Air. The Retina display, butterfly keyboard and large trackpad were also enough to win them over. The only real gripe comes down to the number of ports and missing SD Card slot. The author also complained about the price for the base model, which starts from $1,199.

Lauren Goode writes:

“This MacBook Air comes with the lure of world-class industrial design and the continuity that exists between iOS and macOS. But to call the machine “entry-level” at $1,199 is a stretch, and some customers are almost certainly going to go with a lower-cost Chromebook or Windows laptop instead.”

Daring Fireball

John focused a lot on the lack of enthusiasm shown by Apple for the new Intel processor in the new Air. He also put the Air through some Geekbench tests and compared the numbers against the new iPad Pro and a 15″ MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i9 processor. Once he’s done praising Apple’s A12X Bionic chip, the real focus of his review is figuring out where the Air fits in Apple’s current MacBook line-up.

John Gruber writes:

And so here we are, with a new MacBook Air that really is the MacBook for almost everyone, and a just-plain MacBook that is the MacBook for those willing to pay a premium — both in dollars and performance — for an ultra thin and light form factor.”

Conclusion

The common issues across all the reviews seem to be the price, and lack of ports like SD card. The base model has just 128GB storage which makes it a difficult purchase for many users, likely forcing them to chose the 256GB model which costs $200 more. All these new features also don’t hide the fact that the updates to MacBook Air are a few years too late. However, it is still the MacBook Air that users love, with the modern features that they wanted.