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Apple's new MacBook Air is redesigned, refreshed, fits a Retina screen and is the greenest Mac ever made

By Vijay Anand - on 8 Nov 2018, 5:52pm

Apple's new MacBook Air is redesigned, refreshed, fits a Retina screen and is the greenest Mac ever made

Note: This article was first published on 30th October 2018 and is re-published as the MacBook Air is now available in retail.

Apple’s most loved MacBook model, a device that re-imagined the notebook of tomorrow and could fit in a manila envelope when it was first launched, has finally gotten a major overhaul. That’s right, we’re talking about the all-new Apple MacBook Air, completely overhauled inside and out and now fitted with a fresh new Retina-class display. Here's a video overview from Apple before we dissect the key updates:-

​​​​​​​The new Retina display

The MacBook Air still features a 13.3-inch LED-backlit display, but it has finally made the leap from the once paltry, long in the tooth 1,440 x 900 pixels resolution screen, to a majestic 2,560 x 1,600 pixels resolution screen. That’s a little over 4 million pixels at 227 pixels per inch and support for millions of colors. Additionally, the screen type has also improved from a TN panel to an IPS one, which offers better screen colors at wider viewing angles. This is by far the most requested feature for several years now and Apple has finally answered that after a long wait.


Updated design, new colors and more portable

The new screen is accompanied by a more modern look similar to the MacBook. Gone are the thick silver bezels that been a mainstay of the MacBook Air design since 2008. The 2018 MacBook Air has 50% slimmer bezels and is black in color. This is more in-line with the new design ID of the modern Apple notebook line-up and also bodes well with the increased emphasis on screen enjoyment without the bezels drawing attention.

50% slimmer bezels to enjoy the content on your screen better and finished in black to reduce distraction.

The entire housing/enclosure still sports a distinct wedge-shaped design, but it’s now made from an Apple-designed alloy that uses 100% recycled aluminum – an industry first for a notebook. Apple assures that it maintains the same strength, durability, and finish as aluminum used in prior Apple products. Thanks to the new recycled aluminum alloy, this reduces the notebook’s carbon footprint by about 50%, making it the greenest Mac product to-date.

This new MacBook Air uses an Apple-designed alloy that's made from 100% recycled aluminum.

Also for the first time, MacBook Air is now available in other finishes besides silver, such as gold and space grey.

Apple has also gone back to the drawing board to optimize and reduce the notebook’s footprint and they’ve managed to shave off 17% off its volume and is 10% thinner than its predecessor. This makes it just 15.6mm at its thickest point and is just 1.25kg in weight.

Better keyboard, trackpad and TouchID convenience

Borrowing from the recently updated MacBook Pro 2018 notebooks, the new MacBook Air also sports the latest butterfly mechanism based keyboard that has almost no key travel but makes up for it with an affirmative click action as we’ve experienced. You can also expect a more responsive, backlit keyboard for a pleasurable typing experience, be it day or night. Other aspects borrowed from the new MBP is the larger ForceTouch trackpad that’s 20% larger than the older MacBook Air and even implementing the Apple T2 security chip that governs the convenient TouchID feature for easy authentication to make secure online payments, accessing protected content, or simply unlocking your system at the touch of your finger.

Here's what else the Apple T2 security processor governs in the operations fo the notebook.

Simply place your finger on the Touch ID sensor and — just like that — your Mac unlocks.

Do-it-all connectivity and sound that speaks volumes

With twin Thunderbolt 3 ports that are USB Type-C compatible, the 2018 MacBook Air has nearly unlimited possibilities to what you can hook it up with, including hooking up a 5K resolution monitor or even an external GPU dock. Not to mention, the 40Gbps throughput of a single port is capable of handling any and all data transfers, charging and video output needs through adapters.

Using adaptors, you can convert the twin Thunderbolt ports to interface with practically anything.

Audio capabilities have also been improved with stereo speakers that are 25% louder and can deliver twice the bass output as its predecessor. The new notebook is also equipped with a triple-mic array to help you carry out clearer FaceTime calls or conversing with Siri.


More power where you need it most

The base specs of the new MacBook Air.

Equipped with Intel’s 8th generation dual-core 1.6GHz Core i5 processor that can burst up to 3.6GHz when required, the MacBook Air’s processing subsystem also comes with 8GB of DDR-2133MHz LPDDR3 memory by default, but this can be specced up to 16GB if required. It also sports speedier SSD storage options that start from 128GB and can be specced up to 1.5TB.

Given these updated specs and the length of time since the MacBook Air was last updated, they easily antiquate the previous version, which surprisingly, is still stocked at the Apple Store at this point of time.

Despite the changes all around, internally and externally, the MacBook Air still boasts an all-day battery life; according to Apple, it still maintains a 13-hour uptime while playing back iTune movies. We’ll be sure to test it out but if the figures are what Apple claims, the new model should match our findings from the model we last tested.

All the major updates in a nutshell.

Availability and Pricing

Starting at S$1,789, the new MacBook Air is available to order today on It will be available in Apple retail stores and through Apple Authorized Resellers starting Wednesday, November 7th.

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