TechCrunch reviews Apple’s new MacBook Air: The clear pick over the 12-inch MacBook

“For three years, the MacBook Air was conspicuously absent. The ultraportable never left Apple’s site, of course, but we finished keynote after keynote wondering why Apple continued to neglect one of its most popular products, all while overhauling the rest of the MacBook line,” Brian Heater writes for TechCrunch. “At an event last month in Brooklyn, however, Apple finally acquiesced, delivering the largest single update since the product was introduced ten and a half years prior.”

“This latest update finds the Air finally assuming its place in the current MacBook line, whose current iteration began life with a major overhaul in 2015. Becoming part of the club means an aesthetic upgrade, a move to USB-C, souped up internals and, of course, the long-awaited addition of a Retina Display,” Heater writes. “Currently, the Air sits between the iPad Pro and low-end MacBook — though given the $100 price difference between it and the former, I don’t know that anyone would be entirely shocked to see Apple quietly sunset the baseline product in favor of the reborn Air. There simply aren’t enough compelling reasons to keep that model around in its current configuration, especially given the Air’s enduring popularity.”

With faster memory and the latest processors and graphics, MacBook Air delivers the performance you need for organizing your photos, browsing the web and creating presentations.
With faster memory and the latest processors and graphics, MacBook Air delivers the performance you need for organizing your photos, browsing the web and creating presentations.

 
“The keyboard is the same found on the most recent MacBook Pros, as well. That, along with other shifts, is bound to be polarizing among longtime Air users. I will say this, however, if you haven’t tried a MacBook keyboard since the infamous butterfly switch overhaul of 2015, visit your local Apple store to give them another shot,” Heater writes. “It’s true that they’re still a fair bit shallower than the previous model, but things have been improved in the past three years, courtesy of two major updates.”

MacDailyNews Take: The keyboard has been greatly improved since 2015.

“With all of its upgrades and lower price point to boot, the Air is the clear pick over the 12-inch MacBook in practically every way,” Heater writes. “As a matter of fact, barring some major future upgrade, the 12-inch likely isn’t long for this world. And that’s perfectly fine. The new Air is very clearly the better buy.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Here’s the things about the MacBook that make it compelling, especially for those of us still clinging to our 11-inch MacBook Air road machines:

• It’s smaller: 0.14–0.52′ x 11.04′ x 7.74′ vs. 0.16–0.61′ x 11.97′ x 8.36′
• It’s lighter: 2.03 pounds vs. 2.75 pounds

But, that’s pretty much it. At this point, we’d take a bit of size and weight gain in exchange for the larger dimply area, Touch ID, better benchmarks (even vs. the MacBook’s i7 config), dual ports, etc.

6 Comments

  1. One additional legacy USB 3.0 port and an SD card slot would have hit this one out of the park. As it is, many people who had the previous MacBook Air are trying to decide if this works for them, because it entails compromises that they didn’t expect. There’s still too much use of removable media (SD cards of various sizes) and too much legacy USB cable use (and not enough USB C accessories) to remove that option from this type of device. I’d have paid a couple hundred more for them, happily. Disappointed, personally, but getting used to that, these days. It’s a good machine for many, but maybe not for most.

    1. Good question, someone said that RAM was upgradeable, but the SSD was not, so if this is true I would buy with with base memory of 8 GB, but buy with 256 SSD disk, and later on if needed, I would upgrade the RAM. So is RAM upgradable or not?

    2. Good question, someone said that RAM was upgradeable, but the SSD was not, so if this is true I would buy with with base memory of 8 GB, but buy with 256 SSD disk, and later on if needed, I would upgrade the RAM. So is RAM upgradable or not? hope some one knows

      1. The previous generation MBA didn’t have user upgradable RAM so I wouldn’t expect this one to either. I would expect the SSD and RAM to be soldered to the main logic board.

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