Apple MacBook Air 2018 Review – A Laptop Which doesn’t Leave a Dent on your Wallet
A whole decade after Apple Air was first revealed, Apple showed its love again with most affordable laptop named Apple MacBook Air 2018 in Australia. Software, hardware, and design all have received important updates which are bringing Apple’s most popular MacBook bang up to date. Aside from software, and hardware, it’s coming with much-improved screen and eye-catching design – making it highly portable and justifying “Air” moniker.
These impressive updates and several new additions are equipped with a caveat and it’s the most affordable laptop even a budget-conscious buyer can get his or her hands on one. The question is, will still MacBook Air right up there in terms of popularity and latest additions and improvements will make it even more popular? Let’s see what it dishes out in our Apple MacBook Air 2018 review below.
Availability and Price
The official Apple MacBook Air 2018 Release Date was November 7th, 2018 and started landing on shelves worldwide with immediate effects. Hence audience from all countries and major Australian cities such as Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, and Adelaide can buy one right now.
As far as Apple MacBook Air 2018 Price in Australia is concerned, it’s coming in 2 different storage-tiers – therefore – price varies accordingly.
Spend AU$1849 and you will get Apple MacBook Air 2018 with Intel Core i5, 8GB of RAM and 128GB of SSD onboard storage inside. You can, however, upgrade both RAM and ROM up to 16GB and 1.5TB respectively.
The other more expensive pre-configured variant set users back approx. AU$2149 which is backed by a 256GB of SSD storage and a whopping 16GB of RAM whereas rest of the components are the same.
Be Noted: if you want to increase the storage up to 512GB, it’ll cost you extra AU$600 and upgrading to 1.5TB will set you back extra AU$1800. Mind-boggling?
The best alternative you can give a try to is Microsoft Surface Pro 6 Pro which comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of ROM and costs only AU$1269.
Doesn’t sound good? Then spend a little more (AU$1800-1900) and you’ll get Dell XPS 13 128GB with 8GB of RAM and much more groundbreaking features.
The Apple MacBook Air 2018 specifications include 8GB/16GB of RAM, 128GB/256GB of onboard memory and 13.3-inches dazzling screen with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600. Rest of the details are listed below.
- Camera: 720p FaceTime ID Webcam
- Weight: 2.75 Pounds (1.25KG)
- Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches – 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56 cm
- Connectivity: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2
- Ports: 2x Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) 3.5mm Headphone Jack
- Onboard Storage: 128GB and 256GB SSD
- RAM: 8GB and 16GB
- Display Size: 13.3-inches Retina Display (backlit LED IPS)
- Display Resolution: 2560 x 1600 Pixels
- Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617
- CPU: 1.6GHz Intel Core i5-8210Y (Dual-core 4 Threads, 4MB Cache, Up to 3.6GHz)
Design and Display
A lot lighter and thinner as compared to a previous version – considerably small and doesn’t take so much space in a bag. It’s made of 100% recycled aluminum and comes in 3 sensational colors to choose from – Gold, Silver, and Space Gray. According to several online sources, the screen’s lid smoothly opens even with a single finger and there is a little cutout in the middle bottom of a keyboard deck (sounds similar to previous Air).
The most important thing about design is that the needle has now moved considerably over the past 8 years. Backed by the same look, feel and quality as a smaller MacBook and the beast “Apple MacBook Pro”. All in all, it’s an improvement over previously released MacBook Air. The thing you’ll really miss is that it’s lacking Apple’s logo outside of the display lid. In the interest of thinness, there’s just a reflective silver only.
Screen-wise, equipped with Retina Display Technology with a maximum resolution of 2560 x 1600 Pixels alongside 227 PPI density. The screen size is 13.3-inches which offers pin-sharp, bright, vivid and accurate colors which are much more expressive as compared to the last-gen model.
The overall brightness here is limited to 300 nits whereas Apple MacBook Pro 2018 has 500 nits. Still, it’s a lot sharper and bright for office working but less suited to professional color work.
New Keyboard and Touchpad
Boasting a 3rd-gen butterfly keyboard which has already been featured in most recently released 2018 MacBook Pro update. Adds a plastic membrane beneath each keycap to protect it against dirt and dust. Housing an identical low-travel typing experience as 12-inches MacBook and MacBook Pro – it’s amazingly quiet.
As for Touchpad, it’s the same Force Touch keyboard we have already seen on MacBook since 2015. Aside from everything, it’s the best in the biz as the thumb or palm rejection is great and the tracking is precise. In short, this 2018’s Air reigns supreme for detailed work such as selecting text, multi-touch gestures and dragging windows.
Touch ID and T2 Processor
Gladly, Air 2018 doesn’t come with Touch bar but a Touch ID – located in the top right corner of the keyboard deck. That means you will have physical Function keys and a real ESC key to log in with your fingerprint as well as authorize password manager app such as 1Password.
The availability of Touch ID means an addition of T2 Processor as it’s mandatory to provide a secure enclave to store your fingerprint data. Well, T2 has a plethora of other benefits as well. Providing a secure boot, processes audio handles disk encryption and an image signal processor for FaceTime sensor. Also, T2 Processor disconnects a microphone while your laptop’s lid is closed.
The 1.6GHz Processor is an Intel Amber Lake Core i5 which is power-powered as compared to Coffee Lake Chips we have seen in MacBook Pro – but lets you enjoy the super-smooth and flawless experience when it comes to every-day home and work use. As it uses less-power which means you get more battery life.
Be mindful that older MacBook Air is still on shelves with 5th generation Broadwell 1.8Ghz Processor which isn’t fast compared to 2018’s Air.
Amazingly, there’s an enormous leap from last MacBook Air to 2018’ Air. Moreover, it’s no surprise that Air beat 2017’ MacBook in Geekbench 4.1 multi-core test with a maximum score 7818 as compared to 2017’s MacBook 6835 score. Also, beat 2017’s MacBook in a single-core test.
According to Cinebench Open GL (as per sources), we saw 35fps in comparison to 39fps on 2017’ 13-inches MacBook Pro and 25fps for 2017’s MacBook. And according to Unigene Valley benchmark, 2018’s Air got a score of 311 to 2017’s MacBook’s 267.
Connectivity and Battery
The Air 2018 comprises only 2 Thunderbolt 3 Ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The Thunderbolt 3 is backed by a USB-C connector and can be used for connecting DisplayPort screens as well as charging. Furthermore, you can power a 4K display or run an eGPU from one of those parts.
Battery-wise, Apple has claimed that MacBook Air 2018 is capable enough of 12 hours of local video playback or 12 hours of wireless web use. That sounds an impressive amount of battery which lasts a moderate user an entire day on a single charge. Chances are higher-resolution Retina display will cause the battery life to drain slightly faster but Apple’s decision to go with lower-powered Processor means you will get the longest lasting battery.