New MacBook Air with Retina Display can handle 4K video editing

According to a YouTube video from a professional videographer who works with 4K footage, the new MacBook Air is a capable machine for video editing, despite its slim form factor.

MacBook Air Keyboard

Kraig AdamsĀ is a videographer who works with 4K footage almost exclusively. His editing machine of choice is a 2016 MacBook Pro with an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB RAM. He was curious if the new MacBook Air can handle the same workload and was surprised to see the results.

In his video, Kraig praises his base model Rose Gold MacBook Air with a modest 8GB of RAM, 1.6Ghz Dual-Core processor, and 128GB SSD. He states that the two latest videos on his YouTube channel were made using the laptop as his main editing machine. Aside from slight delays in render speeds and thumbnail generation, Kraig faced little issues with working on the slimmer laptop with weaker hardware.

Additionally, the render time took a bit longer on the MacBook Air compared to his 2016 MacBook Pro, but that is to be expected. When he exported videos on each machine, MacBook Air took 15 mins to export the clip while 2016 MacBook Pro took half the time at 7 minutes. His editing software of choice was Apple’s Final Cut Pro. In quality settings, the preference was set to better performance on the Air. Kraig reported no hiccups or slowdowns when working with the laptop and is pleased with the performance.

He highly endorses the laptop but suggested that buyers get a model with a bigger SSD, although more RAM on the device would also be a big plus. Other than that, we see that the MacBook Air shouldn’t be taken lightly when it comes to even the most demanding of tasks, despite the Y series Intel processor and integrated graphics. You can always utilize the USB-C Thunderbolt 3 port to connect an external eGPU for improved graphics performance, which should speed up video editing considerably.
These are some surprising results from a device that is advertised to have a full-day battery life but is slim and light enough to carry. If you can exercise some patience when it comes to editing your clips, you might be pleasantly surprised with the value you can get from the new MacBook Air.