Apple Announces the New MacBook Air

Apple Announces the New MacBook Air

 We’re here at Apple’s event in Brooklyn, New York! See everything Apple has announced today.

“Apple’s focus has always been on providing people the tools to unleash their creativity,” Tim Cook says from the stage, as a Mac logo appears behind him and the audience cheers, noting that 51 percent of Mac buyers are new to Mac. He emphasizes not only Mac’s growth, but Apple’s focus on maintaining their top position in customer satisfaction. 

Cook begins to emphasize how Apple is trying to bring professional creative capabilities and tools to the mainstream, emphasizing how Mac OS Mojave is designed to do just this. A MacBook Air appears on the screen, and it’s apparent that this is the first of Apple’s updates today. The MacBook Air will be coming with a Retina display now! The Air has been reengineered from the ground up. In addition to the Retina display, the bezel is gone, with the 13.3” display going right to the edge of the enclosure. The display’s resolution has been quadrupled, now containing over four million pixels with 48 percent more color, with the FaceTime camera still at the top of the laptop. 

The Air also now comes with Touch ID built right into the keyboard with Apple’s T2 security chip with an especially secure boot process. The T2 also offered on the fly AES-256 bit SSD encryption. It comes with a redesigned third-generation keyboard with quadrupled stability and a butterfly mechanism. Each key is individually backlit. The Force Touch trackpad comes with 20 percent more surface area. 

The speakers are now 25 percent louder with better bass and includes a three-microphone array for better Siri input and communication. In terms of ports, the new MacBook Air comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which allows connections of devices like 5K displays and eGPUs. 

Specs:

  • 1.6 GHz core i5 (with Turbo Boost to 3.5 GHz) 8th generation dual-core CPU with integrated graphics
  • Up to 16 GB RAM
  • SSD storage up to 1.5 TB with 60 percent faster performance
  • Battery life: up to 12 hours web browsing, 13 hours of iTunes movie watching

The new MacBook Air is even smaller, having shrunk 17 percent in volume, just 15.6mm, a full 10 percent thinner. The entire computer weighs just 2.75 lbs, a quarter-pound lighter. 

Apple has also worked very hard to ensure the MacBook Air is environmentally friendly, using numerous recycled components. Apple’s metallurgy team has designed a new alloy such that even new MacBook Air is made from 100-percent recycled aluminum, reducing its carbon footprint by 50 percent. Prices start at $1,199, with preordering available today.

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15 Comments
Robert K Baggs's picture

"1.6 GHz core i5 (with Turbo Boost to 3.5 GHz) 8th generation dual-core CPU with integrated graphics". Either that "Turbo Boost" is going to immediately weld the base to your crotch and start frying components, or they're under-clocking the processor as its default state.

Jon G's picture

This is a disappointing release, at least for me. I've been hoping for a more powerful version of the MacBook or MacBook Air, but this new one is pretty underwhelming.

A 1.6 GHz i5 just doesn't cut it for a laptop in 2018. Nor does a complete lack of useful ports. At least give us an SD card reader (it's thin, after all!). I won't carry around dongles to get my work done.

At least they didn't force that dumb Touch Bar on us again. Here's hoping they drop it from future MacBook Pro models, and bring the MacBook Pro performance up to par with the PC alternatives by offering more RAM, higher CPU clock speeds, and better internal graphics.

Honestly, I think the new iPad Pro is a far more impressive machine. However, as a Fuji shooter, using Lightroom Mobile is still a no-go for me until Adobe improves their disappointing X-trans demosaicing algorithms (muddy fine detail, artifacts appearing with even modest sharpening). The workflow on tablet for photo editing also still seems super awkward in part due to the lack of a Finder on iOS, though I'm speaking as an observer/speculator here, rather than as someone who has actually tried a tablet for my primary editing workflow.

I suspect we'll have to wait for Apple's long-rumored switch away from Intel to A-series chips to see a meaningful jump in performance in their laptop lineup.

olivier borgognon's picture

worth checking out the Asus UX480GD. can be a beast way beyond apple terms imho.

Jon G's picture

There are really great options from Lenovo, Asus and Microsoft. The sticking point for me is Windows 10. I use Windows 10 Home Edition on my gaming PC as basically just a launcher for games, but I've found configuring wired and wifi networking, Windows Defender, the firewall, graphics drivers, and software updates frustrating and clumsy compared to the relative ease-of-use of macOS which just gets out of my way. I've also used Windows versions of Capture One before (my preferred RAW processor), and Affinity Photo (my preferred image editor), and both are inferior to their Mac versions in terms of the user experience.

At home I currently run a hackintosh desktop which AFAIK is the best of both worlds – PC hardware running Apple software. I simply refuse to buy underpowered and overpriced hardware from Apple just to use their OS. Perhaps I could run macOS on a PC laptop... I'll have to investigate.

olivier borgognon's picture

Really interesting answer, totally in line with my gut feeling about it all too. I am soon to change my mid-2011 Macbook Pro which i maxed out to 16gb Ram + 512 SSD, it's still going ok, but the export of recipes is now the breaking point with CaptureOne & Affinity can be a bit slow at this stage too.

Best of both worlds would be OSX on PC for sure as you do with a Hackintosh, but to be honest I feel the same way as you do. I love the ease of use of Mac machines, even though i had 30 years of PC use, when entering the Mac world 8 years ago, it's like hmmm how would I want to go back to the whole PC crap of X restarts, installs, reboots, config, reboot, config, viruses, heaps of crap all over again when it's click, connect, email address... you're good to go. 36hr install vs 36 minutes install (obviously kidding but kind of true).

My problem is as you say, a way underpowered machine for a huge price. the 2400$ asus would be a larger config than the 6000$ macbook pro, and that's seriously a problem for me.

I don't know if we can hackintosh latest Asus components, and the tweaking once again makes me wonder if my time is worth it... the searching, finding, tweaking, updating, etc, even if geek I can be, would come up to, financially speaking if we bring it back to rational hourly rate * time spent, to the cost of 1-2 computers... and that seriously bugs me lol :D

Jon G's picture

I also have an older mid-2012 Macbook Pro. It served me well for years, but was relegated to my studio tethering table about a year ago.

I won't lie and tell you that the hackintosh was easy to setup and maintain. To get everything 100% working on nearly cutting-edge hardware will take hours of reading poorly written forum posts and contradictory instructions, lots of experimentation, more than a bit of frustration, and a few extra steps every time there's an update. Also, when the OS changes over, like it just did to Mojave, you might have to wait 6 months or more for some new drivers to be released, forcing you to stay on the older version. But, at least you don't have to run Windows! ;)

For me, a hackintosh is still the best option at the moment for the day-to-day. But then, I'm a nerd, and I like a challenge. Perhaps Apple's upcoming Mac Pro redesign will change this equation, although probably not the financial part.

olivier borgognon's picture

I finally opted for a 15 inch Macbook Pro late 2018 with 32Gb Ram and 2.7Ghz processor (to avoid the throttling of the 2.9 and overheating which would slow it down).

Am happy with it, and purchased it, received it the next day, and was up & running with Affinity, photoshop, Capture One, and Other CC Suite elements + my full Google Drive & Printer ... 45 minutes later.

When considering my time and the cost of time (either to spend with my family, friends, and working or learning to improve my photographic & business craft), it left me with loads of time, and I think that was... for me and at this day in time, the best option.

However, I love your way of thinking and how it works for you, it's brilliant and hackintosh still is the best option if we want to give it the ad-hoc time.

Have a great day Jon, nice talks and exchanges here over these comments

Jon G's picture

Likewise, Olivier!

user 65983's picture

1.6 ghz? Why?

E S's picture

Bring back the 17" Laptop!!

Przemek Lodej's picture

Are these amazing pos going to overheat just like the other pos Apple MacBook Pro? Returned an overheating MacBook Pro and exchanged it for Alienware 17 with twice the memory, larger drive, larger screen, better video card and saved $1000. No thanks Apple.

user 65983's picture

Alienware all day everyday.

John Ohle's picture

Unfortunately Alienware comes with Windows 10. An Alienware running MacOS, now there is a marriage made in heaven.

Przemek Lodej's picture

That's doable, but in my case I have already invested in Windows software so it makes no sense for me to go through all the trouble of running MacOS on a PC.

John Ohle's picture

Totally understand, I am the other way. Invested heavily in Mac so I am committed to Mac. I wish the Mac Pro's were cheaper and better specced. Actually I wish there were Mac Pros!