The all-new MacBook Air: What was announced, and what you need to know

Image: Apple

The long-awaited update to the lightweight MacBook Air is finally here. Its first major overhaul since Steve Jobs took the MacBook Air out of a manila envelope at the MacWorld Conference on January 15, 2008. Even though the MacBook Air had some tweaks in the last ten years, it was nothing quite as grand as this. Here’s everything you need to know about the all-new MacBook Air and whether you should buy one.

Steve Jobs first introduced MacBook Air to the world during the MacWorld 2008 convention on January 15, 2008, a few days after the Consumer Electronics Show had concluded. The MacBook Air was described as “the worlds thinnest notebook,” by Steve Jobs. It was considered to be the future of laptops, and it was.

The MacBook Air did receive incremental updates in the following years but never received a drastic overhaul as Apple did with iMac, MacBook Pro, or Mac Pro. Instead, Apple kept the old design much the same with the non-retina display in their lineup until today. Apple unveiled its all-new, redesigned, MacBook Air to the world at this mornings “There’s more in the making” event in Brooklyn, New York.

Here’s everything you need to know about the all-new MacBook Air and whether it’s worth the cash. Let’s run down the specs.

Greener, Smaller, and Very Much Air Design

Image: AppleInsider

The all-new MacBook Air finally gets rid of the old non-retina display for a 13.3″ inch Retina panel. The new display has over 4 million pixels with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and 227 pixels-per-inch. Apple says the new display has 48 percent more color than the previous model, and “makes images more lifelike than ever.”

Apple reduced the border on the MacBook Air by making it glass like MacBook and MacBook Pro. Therefore, removing the aluminum border of the previous model. Furthermore, Apple says the new borders are 50-percent thinner than before.

During the Special Event, Apple announced that the all-new MacBook Air is the first Mac made with 100% recycled 6000 series aluminum. According to Apple, “Introducing an aluminum alloy created by Apple that delivers the same strength, durability, and flawless finish — without mining any new aluminum from the earth. It’s designed to use shavings of recaptured aluminum that are re-engineered down to the atomic level. The result is an enclosure as incredibly beautiful and strong as any we have made, and the greenest Mac ever created.” According to Apple, the new aluminum enclosure creates 47 percent fewer carbon emissions compared to the older model.

The all-new MacBook Air features the latest-generation butterfly mechanism keyboard with individually lit LED backlit keys, and a 20% larger Force Touch trackpad replacing the old diving-board mechanism. At the top-right of the keyboard is a Touch ID Sensor.

Image: Apple

Performance, Ports, and Touch ID

Image: Apple

The all-new MacBook Air is outfitted with a 1.6 GHz Dual-core Eighth-generation Core i5 processor that is standard and its only option. You can spec your MacBook Air with up to 16 GB of RAM, and 1.5TB of SSD Flash storage. Apple claims the MacBook Air retains its all-day 12-hour battery life despite the increase in power.

Featuring the Apple T2 Security chip for maximum security on your MacBook Air. With the T2 Chip, “when you use Touch ID to unlock your Mac, authenticate a document, or pay a merchant online, your information stays safe. With on-the-fly data encryption, all your data stored on the SSD is automatically and fully encrypted.” The T2 Chip also allows for “Hey, Siri” support and Touch ID for the first time on MacBook Air.

Apple implemented its Touch ID sensor right in the keyboard on the all-new MacBook Air. The sensor, located at the top-right corner of the keyboard, is covered in sapphire crystal. “Touch ID conveniently and instantly unlocks your MacBook Air, authenticate your identity, and makes fast, simple and secure purchases using Apple Pay,” according to Apple.

As for ports, Apple removed the MagSafe connector on the old model and replaced it with dual Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports to the left, and a headphone jack to the right, that’s it. The USB-C connectors are capable of 40 GB/s transfer rate, and both support charging, DisplayPort, storage, and device connections.

Image: Apple

Pricing and Availability

The all-new MacBook Air starts at $1,199.00 for the base configuration 1.6 GHz dual-core i5, 8 GB of RAM, 128 GB SSD Flash, and Intel UHD Graphics 617. The higher-end $1,399.00 model has 256 GB of SSD Flash rather than 128GB.

MacBook Air is available in either Space Grey, Silver, or Gold.

You can order MacBook Air starting today, and they ship on November 7th, 2018.

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