The Air is Apple’s most popular Mac on the market, beating out its siblings, MacBook Pro, and iMac in terms of adoption. Last week, Apple finally refreshed its Air lineup, adding a bunch of new stuff while retaining a lot of fan-favorite features. Indeed, there is a new keyboard design, more storage capacity, and better processors, making this year’s Air laptop a compelling device in the premium segment.
I got the chance to use Apple’s new laptop for some time and I think this is the update we all need. I will explain more in this 2020 MacBook Air review.
This year’s MacBook Air starts at $999 for the entry-level model. That’s $100 cheaper than the last year’s base model which launched at $1,099. There is no reason behind this slight price drop, but I have to admit that the new lower price is one of the best selling points of the 2020 Air model, given that Apple has doubled the storage to 256GB.
There is also a higher-end MacBook Air model which is priced at $1,299 and equipped with more premium components like a 10th-generation Intel Core i5 (quad-core) processor and 512 SSD storage.
Of course, you can get more power if you are willing to pay. For extra $250, you now have the option to get the 10th generation Intel Core i7 with 1.2 GHz base frequency and 3.8GHz Turbo Boost. That’s a huge improvement when compared to the base model.
One of the biggest changes coming to this year’s MacBook Air is the Magic Keyboard. This is Apple’s second laptop to offer its new keyboard technology on the market. To be honest, this is one of my favorite keyboards on any laptop, as it feels more responsive and reliable thanks to a redesigned scissor mechanism.
There is now a separate Escape key at the top-left corner, and the Touch ID fingerprint reader is still there and works super-fast to unlock. The inverted T arrows keys also made their way back on the MacBook Air, which is so nice.
In short, the keyboard is still backlit and the same size with the predecessor, but it now feels much better to type on. To be honest, I am not somebody that hates on Apple’s Butterfly Keys and I have had no issues with it. However, the new Magic Keyboard is really at the point where I can ignore the butterfly switches.
The MacBook Air gets a hardware upgrade every year, and there is no different this year. The 2020 MacBook Air is the first Mac model to come with an Intel’s 10th chip which is more power-efficient and super-fast. In reality, the Air lineup has never been a powerhouse on the market. But this update has really put the new MacBook Air closer to the Pro lineup which is designed for people who need a lot of power.
The base model comes with a dual-core 10th generation Core I3 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 256 SSD storage. The coolest part is that you now can get a quad-core chip for the first time on an Air model but it costs some extra money. Plus, the maxed-out model costs you up to $1.949, which is more expensive than the 13-inch MacBook Pro with 2.4GHz Quad-Core Processor.
In terms of GPU upgrade, the 2020 MacBook Air comes with an Intel Iris Plus Graphics card which can deliver up to 80% faster graphics performance in graphics-intense applications.
I ran a graphics test on the 2020 MacBook Air with quad-core Corei5 processor and Iris Plus graphics using Unigine Heaven. And the Air model ran at around 9 fps, with GPU temperature clocked at 82 degrees celsius. The results did not surprise me, seeing that the Air lineup was not meant for gaming and video-editing tasks.
In short, the 2020 MacBook Air is the first Air model to feature a quad-core processor and Iris Plus graphics card. To be honest, it is fast, smooth, and super responsive, and it still lacks the power of the Pro models.
What You Don’t Like
No screen Upgrade
There are some things that Apple did not change on the 2020 MacBook Air. One such thing is the screen. Indeed, that’s the same 13-inch Retina display (2560×1600 pixels) as we have seen on the 2019 model. To be honest, the screen is nice but still lags behind that of the latest Dell XPS 13 model.
The biggest drawback of the 2020 MacBook Air lies in its 720p webcam. Yes, you heard it right. The latest Air laptop still has a low-res 720p webcam, and I just cannot believe how bad this shitty thing looks in the shiny laptop. We expect to see the TrueDepth camera from the latest iPhone in the next Air model.
The 2020 MacBook Air is not a significant upgrade over the previous model. However, it is still a capable machine at an affordable price thanks to its new keyboard design, better processors, and bigger storage.
Are you planning to get the new 2020 MacBook Air? Let us know in the comments below.