Archive of MacBook Air Rumors

Apple in October gave us a major surprise with the launch of an entirely revamped, updated version of the MacBook Air, its most popular and affordable notebook option.

We went hands-on with the MacBook Air last week, and this week, we picked up an older MacBook Air to compare the new model to see just what's different and whether it's still worth buying the old version, which sells for $200 less than the current model.

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The previous-generation MacBook Air is a 2015 design, but in 2017, Apple introduced 1.8GHz Broadwell-generation chips that were a slight upgrade from the 1.6GHz chips the machine had previously used. No other changes were made, so technically, Apple's old MacBook Air is outdated by several years.

Design wise, the new MacBook Air features a smaller, slimmer body that weighs a bit less, and the slimmer design is noticeable. It continues to feature the same tapered design as the previous models, and we didn't think the weight difference of a quarter of a pound stood out.

Along with a slimmed down body, the new MacBook Air comes in three color options: Space Gray, Gold, and the traditional Silver. Space Gray and Gold are colors that are new to the MacBook Air lineup.

The biggest change to the 2018 MacBook Air models is the display, which is now Retina and a huge improvement over the low-resolution display in the previous MacBook Air. The MacBook Air used to be the sole Apple device sans at least a Retina display option, but now Apple uses higher-resolution displays across its entire product lineup with the exception of the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac.


We thought the MacBook Air's new display offered a significant improvement over the previous MacBook Air's display, but it doesn't quite measure up to the display of the MacBook Pro because it's just not that bright. Brightness can be an issue outdoors in sunlight, so that's something to be aware of.


Design wise, the front of the MacBook Air has been overhauled. Those thick silver bezels from the previous version have been replaced with sleek, slim MacBook Pro-style black bezels that look much, much nicer.

Several other MacBook Pro features have been brought to the new MacBook Air and are upgrades over the previous model. There's a larger Force Touch trackpad, a third-generation butterfly keyboard, better speakers, a Touch ID button for authentication purposes, and a T2 chip for improved security.


Inside, the new MacBook Air is sporting a 7W 8th-generation 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, and unsurprisingly, it's much speedier than the three-year-old processors used in the prior MacBook Air. Apple used to use 15W chips in the MacBook Air models, but this new, lower power 7W chip is both fast and efficient, allowing for longer battery life than ever.

The last super notable change is to the port setup. The new MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, with Apple eliminating the USB-A ports and the SD card slot from the older model. The addition of Thunderbolt 3 brings the MacBook Air in line with the rest of the Mac lineup and allows it to connect to 4K and 5K displays, faster Thunderbolt 3 storage, eGPUs, and more.


All of these changes have raised the base price of the MacBook Air. Prior to the October update, the MacBook Air sold for $999, but now the base model sells for $1,199, a $200 premium. Given the scope of the revamp, the $200 upgrade fee is well worth paying for anyone thinking of purchasing a MacBook Air.

Apple is still selling the older model at the same $999 price point, but it's just not worth purchasing because the components are so outdated at this point.

What do you think of Apple's new MacBook Air? Let us know in the comments.
B&H Photo has debuted a new sale this week, discounting the 2018 13-inch MacBook Air by $100 and marking one of the first major discounts for the notebook, which Apple just launched less than one week ago. With the sale, the entry level model of the MacBook Air is now down to $1,099 from $1,199.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with these vendors. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Below we've listed each of the SKUs on sale in Space Gray, and you can find the Silver and Gold options on B&H Photo as well. B&H Photo lists these MacBook Air models as pre-orders, so shoppers will likely have to wait a little longer to get the notebook in, but sales tax will not be collected on orders in certain states.
For today only, B&H Photo is also offering Apple's 15-inch MacBook Pro with Touch Bar from Mid 2017 (3.1 GHz, 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD) for $2,199.00, down from $2,999.00. Additionally, the retailer is offering another model of the same notebook (3.1 GHz, 16GB RAM, 2TB SSD) for $2,799.00, down from $4,199.00.

In an exclusive sale, Speck is offering MacRumors readers a 35 percent sitewide discount through tomorrow, November 14. To get access to the sale, enter the promo code RUMORS35 during the checkout process. Discounts can not be stacked, so the code isn't valid on products already marked down on Speck's site.

Speck's website is full of accessories compatible with iPhone XS, XS Max, XR, 8, and 8 Plus, 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro, MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and many more. The company also sells laptop bags and power accessories, so be sure to check out the site before the exclusive discount code expires on Wednesday.

Lastly, those looking to round out their Harry Potter iTunes Movies collection -- or complete it in one go -- should check out the latest sale on Apple's digital movies storefront. In the sale, each individual film is marked down to $7.99 and the complete collection bundle is down to $49.99.


Originally, individual movies in the series were around $14.99, and the bundle of all eight films was priced at $79.99, so if you've been waiting to add the series into your iTunes Movies library, now is a great time. Additionally, all eight films are available in 4K Dolby Vision.
For more deals, visit our Deals Roundup and read our Black Friday Roundup if you're planning out your shopping for next week.
Micro Center retail stores are offering an impressive $200 off new MacBook Air models, including custom configurations, starting today. This is by far the best deal we've seen on the new MacBook Air just released this Wednesday.


A new base model MacBook Air with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of SSD storage, and Intel UHD Graphics 617 is available for $999, down from Apple's regular price of $1,199. An upgraded model with 256GB of storage is available for $1,199, down from $1,399 regularly.


Micro Center says the deal is available at its retail stores only and not online, although an order can also be reserved online for in-store pickup. The official Apple Authorized Reseller has 25 locations across the United States, many of which appear to be open on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.

Micro Center says the deal is limited to one per household, and supplies are likely extremely limited, so we recommend calling ahead if you are planning on visiting one of their stores. There's no indication when the sale ends, so act fast.
While the new MacBook Air with a Retina display can only be configured with one processor option, a 1.6GHz dual‑core eighth‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Apple may have prototyped a faster version too.


A benchmark result on Geekbench last week has surfaced via Slashleaks for an unreleased Mac, codenamed AAPJ140K1,1, powered by a dual-core eighth-generation Core i7 processor with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz. The exact model is not listed, but its logic board has the same part number as the new MacBook Air.

As further evidence, the benchmark result lists 16GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, an existing upgrade option for the new MacBook Air. And the Core i7-8510Y appears to be part of Intel's low-power Amber Lake lineup, as is the Core i5 in the new MacBook Air, although it's not listed on Intel's ARK database.


The apparent MacBook Air with a Core i7 chip has a multi-core score of 8,553 on Geekbench, which would make it roughly 8.5 percent faster than the average multi-core score of the existing option with a Core i5.

Geekbench founder John Poole told MacRumors that nothing about the benchmark result looks fake to him, although that possibility can't be entirely ruled out. If real, however, it suggests that a 2018 MacBook Air with a Core i7 exists within Apple, but obviously hasn't been released to the public.

It's reasonable to assume that Apple prototypes several different versions of its products, and not all of them see the light of day. Why the MacBook Air with a Core i7 wasn't released is anyone's guess — maybe it ran too hot, or Apple elected to keep the dual-core Core i7 a MacBook Pro option, or something else.

If Apple does plan to add the Core i7 as an upgrade option for the new MacBook Air, it's hard to envision that it would do so anytime soon considering the notebook was just refreshed. Apple has bumped up the MacBook Air's processor mid-product-cycle in the past, though, so there is some precedence for the move.

All in all, there is possibly a new MacBook Air with a Core i7 in the wild that Apple decided not to ship or may ship at a later date.
Apple's newly revamped 2018 MacBook Air with slimmed down bezels, Touch ID, and a thinner body launched yesterday, and we got our hands on one of the updated machines.

Check out our latest YouTube video for an unboxing and feature overview of the new notebook, which has been described as the ideal MacBook for most people.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Design wise, the MacBook Air looks a lot like the previous-generation model, but it now comes in Space Gray and Gold in addition to Silver. It's not as thin and light as the ultra thin and ultra portable MacBook, but Apple has streamlined the design.

The new MacBook Air is 10 percent thinner than the previous model, takes up 17 percent less volume, and weighs a quarter pound less at 2.75 pounds.


Components from the MacBook Pro, including the larger Force Touch trackpad and the third-generation butterfly keyboard, have been added to the MacBook Air, which will be major changes for anyone upgrading from an older machine that doesn't have these features.

There's been some controversy with the butterfly keyboard (which has been available in the MacBook and MacBook Pro for years) but this third-generation version has additional silicone barriers to keep crumbs out and to cut down on failure rates.


Like the new 2018 MacBook Pro models, the MacBook Air adopts a T2 chip and Touch ID for use as a password replacement, but it doesn't have a Touch Bar. It also uses USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports, dropping the USB-A, SD card slot, and MagSafe 2 ports.

For the first time, the MacBook Air features a Retina display, putting it on par with the MacBook Pro and the MacBook. It's not quite as bright and vibrant as the MacBook Pro's display, but it's still a fantastic improvement over the previous non-Retina model.


The display also has slimmed down black bezels, a much more modern look than the thick silver bezels from the prior-generation model.

Inside, the MacBook Air is equipped with a 7W 8th-generation Core i5 Intel processor. It's not as high-powered as the 15W chips used in previous MacBook Air models, but it does offer speed improvements over the old Broadwell chips that prior machines used, and since it uses less power, it's super efficient.

The new MacBook Air has the longest battery life out of any of Apple's notebooks, lasting up to 12 hours when browsing the web and 13 hours when watching iTunes movies.


With all of these new features, Apple is charging $1,199 for the entry-level MacBook Air with a 128GB SSD and 8GB RAM, $200 more than the base model MacBook Air used to cost. That puts it close to the pricing of both the entry-level 2017 non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro and the 12-inch Retina MacBook.

Still, the MacBook Air is Apple's lowest-priced modern notebook, and with its rich feature set, long battery life, and slimmed down enclosure, it's an appealing machine that's ideal for people who need a notebook to do things like web browsing, light creative work, writing, office work, and other similar tasks.

It's not as powerful as the MacBook Pro and it's not as portable as the MacBook, but it's a great middle-of-the-road machine that's going to suit the needs of most Mac users.

Did you get a new 2018 MacBook Air? Let us know what you think about the machine in the comments.
Apple today shared environmental reports for the new MacBook Air and Mac mini, the first two Macs with 100 percent recycled aluminum enclosures.


The eco-friendly designs of the new MacBook Air and Mac mini extends beyond aluminum. The bottom cover and connector wall in the new Mac mini, for example, are made from 60 percent recycled plastic, while its fan contains 27 percent bio-based plastic made with renewable sources rather than petroleum.

Likewise, the vent and speakers in the new MacBook Air contain 35 percent and 45 percent recycled plastic respectively. The butterfly switches on the new MacBook Air's keyboard also contain 34 percent bio-based plastic, while the solder on the main logic board is made from 100 percent recycled tin.

Apple says the new Mac mini generates 45 percent fewer emissions than the previous-generation model, while the new MacBook Air generates 47 percent fewer emissions than the previous-generation model, each over a four-year lifespan.

Apple also says the new MacBook Air's packaging uses 87 percent less plastic than the previous-generation model's packaging.

Apple's ultimate goal is to use only recycled or renewable materials in its products, and source them responsibly, and it has certainly taken further steps forward with the latest MacBook Air and Mac mini.
The repair experts at iFixit have completed their teardown of the new MacBook Air, providing a closer look inside the notebook.

iFixit started by confirming the keyboard on the new MacBook Air has the same silicone membrane under the keycaps as the latest MacBook Pro, as expected since they both use Apple's third-generation butterfly keyboard.


Next, they flipped the notebook onto its bottom side and encountered Apple's usual pentalobe screws that require a special screwdriver to unfasten. On the inside, there is a compact array of components, including a small logic board, a fan, a pair of large speakers, and a "radiator-esque heat sink."


iFixit proceeded to remove the logic board, providing a glimpse at the Apple T2 security chip, along with a Thunderbolt 3 controller from Intel, 128GB of flash storage from SanDisk, and 8GB of LPDDR3 RAM from SK Hynix.


Diving deeper, iFixit discovered that the two Thunderbolt 3 ports in the new MacBook Air are modular, and applauded Apple for this repair-friendly design consideration. "This MacBook is off to a good start as far as we're concerned," they wrote. "All the ports sit on their own boards and are easily replaceable."

Continuing the repair-friendly trend, iFixit uncovered ten pull-to-remove adhesive tabs securing the 49.9 Wh battery and speakers.

"The mere presence of stretch-release adhesive generally means that someone at least thought about possible repair and disassembly situations," the teardown says. "Are you there, Apple? It's us, iFixit. Have you heard our pleas?"


As first reported by MacRumors, the battery in the new MacBook Air is still glued into the top case — the aluminum enclosure that houses the keyboard and trackpad — but Apple will be providing Apple Authorized Service Providers with tools to remove the battery and reinstall a new one with no top case replacement required.

In all other MacBook and MacBook Pro models with a Retina display released since 2012, Apple has replaced the entire top case when a customer requires a new battery, so the change is good news for both repairability and the environment.

Last, iFixit confirmed that the Touch ID sensor is also modular in the new MacBook Air. According to the new MacBook Air's service guide obtained by MacRumors, the Touch ID button does not require a logic board replacement, but the notebook must pass Apple diagnostics in order for the repair to be completed.

While the new MacBook Air has improved repairability relative to Apple's standards, the notebook earned a low 3/10 repairability score from iFixit.

"The Air still uses external pentalobes to keep you out, requires lots of component removal for common fixes, and both RAM and storage are soldered to the logic board," said iFixit. "All together, that means Apple has an easy time with their knowledge and tools, but the average DIYer is left out to dry when it comes to upgrades."

Nevertheless, iFixit said it hopes this is "just the beginning of an upswing in repairable design" for Apple products.
Big news for repairability and environmental responsibility: the battery can be individually replaced in the new MacBook Air, according to Apple's internal Service Readiness Guide for the notebook, obtained by MacRumors.

Apple demonstrating removal of battery in the new MacBook Air

In all other MacBook and MacBook Pro models with a Retina display released since 2012, when a customer has required a battery replacement, Apple has replaced the entire top case enclosure, including the keyboard and trackpad. This is because the battery is glued into the top case in Mac notebooks with Retina displays.

The battery in the new MacBook Air is still glued into the top case, the aluminum enclosure that houses the keyboard and trackpad, but Apple will be providing Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers with tools to remove the battery and reinstall a new one with no top case replacement required.

Once the new battery is installed, technicians are required to place the notebook in Apple's existing iPhone display press tool to activate the new adhesive. The glue strips are exactly the same as those used for iPhone batteries.

"This is a huge step forward," said Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, a popular website dedicated to repairing Apple products. "Apple's glued-down battery design has been a challenge for consumers, recyclers, and for Apple's own technicians. Preserving the removability of the MacBook Air's battery is really important."

The trackpad in the new MacBook Air can also be individually replaced, according to the Service Readiness Guide, obtained from a reliable source.

We'll have to wait until iFixit tears down the new MacBook Air for a closer look inside the notebook, but Apple has presumably made design changes that allow for Genius Bars and Apple Authorized Service Providers to more easily replace the battery and trackpad, eliminating the need for a full-out top case replacement.

If there are indeed design changes, then Apple likely won't extend its new method to individually replace the battery to existing MacBook and MacBook Pro models with Retina displays, but it is certainly possible with next-generation models.

iFixit does have do-it-yourself guides for replacing the battery in MacBook and MacBook Pro models with Retina displays, which requires purchasing its battery replacement kit, but the process requires quite a bit of work and a careful hand. Do-it-yourself repairs also void Apple's warranty.

For comparison, the previous-generation MacBook Air has a screwed-down battery that can be removed and replaced by Apple and its service providers without a top case replacement, in line with other non-Retina notebooks.

In related news, Apple also states that replacing the Touch ID button on the new MacBook Air does not require a logic board replacement, but the notebook must pass Apple diagnostics in order for the repair to be completed.

Apple replacing the entire top case for a simple battery swap-out has always been a point of contention, so this change should be well received by the repair industry. It's also better for the environment, and will likely save Apple money, so it's a win-win-win. We've reached out to Apple for comment.
Reviews for the new 2018 MacBook Air and Mac mini went live this morning ahead of tomorrow's launch, and in a press release, Apple this afternoon highlighted reviews from several media sites that were able to spend some time with the new machines.

Apple shared review passages from sites that include CNBC, WIRED, Daring Fireball, PC Mag, Six Colors, Tom's Guide, and more.


Daring Fireball, for example, called the MacBook Air the MacBook that "most people should buy," and the Daily Express said "fans of this laptop" will love the new update because "it takes the concept of power and ultimate portability to a whole new level."

Gear Patrol said the MacBook Air is the "perfect computer" for anyone looking to do "normal things" like web browsing, answering emails, and watching movies, while Refinery29 highlighted the MacBook Air's 12-hour battery life.

As for the Mac mini, Six Colors said that the new update allows it to fill a wide range of needs, from basic server needs to "high-end applications that require a great deal of processor power."

Tom's Guide said that the Mac mini is the best option for those who want a compact Mac desktop for streaming media or getting into Apple computing, and ZDNet said the new version is "designed for all types of users" and is "no longer serving a niche market."

As with prior reviews roundups for devices like the iPad Pro, Apple has only highlighted the positive elements from each review. For anyone considering a purchase of one of these machines, it's worth taking a deeper dive into the reviews to get a full picture of both the positives and the negatives.

Apple's full list of Mac mini and MacBook Air review selections can be seen in the article shared through the Apple Newsroom, while additional reviews can be found in our Mac mini and MacBook Air review roundups.

The new 2018 MacBook Air and Mac mini models officially launch tomorrow and base configurations will be available in Apple retail stores and from third-party retailers.

The first pre-orders for the machines are also set to be delivered on November 7 and have already started arriving in Australia and New Zealand.
Apple customers in Australia and New Zealand are always the first to get their hands on new devices on launch day because of time zone differences, and the Apple's newest devices are no exception.

It's morning time in Australia and New Zealand and customers who pre-ordered one a new iPad Pro, MacBook Air, or Mac mini are beginning to receive their shipments and have started sharing arrival news on Twitter, Instagram, and the MacRumors forums.


There are no Apple Stores in New Zealand, so customers in Australia are the first to be able to purchase one of Apple's new devices from an Apple retail location. Apple should have iPad Pro models available for walk-in purchases along with base models of the MacBook Air and Mac mini.


iPad Pro pre-orders sold out quickly after the new tablet was announced, so how much stock will be available for walk-in purchases is unknown.

Following New Zealand and Australia, iPad Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini sales sales will kick off in Asia, Europe, and finally, North America. Apple Stores globally are opening up at their standard times to allow customers to pick up reserved devices and make walk-in purchases.


In the United States, the first new device deliveries and sales will take place on the East Coast starting at 8:00 a.m.

Aside from Apple, other retailers including carriers and big box stores should also be stocking the new devices.

We'll be sharing first impressions of the new device from actual Apple customers in Australia and New Zealand, so make sure to stay tuned to MacRumors and if you've received a new MacBook Air, Mac mini, or iPad Pro, let us know what you think.
Apple's embargo lifted today on the first full-length reviews of the new MacBook Air ahead of the notebook's release on Wednesday.

The new MacBook Air via The Verge

The new MacBook Air features a faster 1.6GHz dual-core 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, a Retina display, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 1.5TB of SSD storage, and Intel UHD Graphics 617. It also has Touch ID, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, and the same third-generation butterfly keyboard as the latest MacBook Pro.

Review Highlights


The Verge's Dieter Bohn:
So let me just bottom line it: this new MacBook Air is faster than the old MacBook Air, but not by the kind of margin you'd expect after three years (or even one, if you happened to buy the 2017 model). You can do all of the same stuff you can do on your current Air. I have been running a half-dozen apps at a time along with more than a dozen tabs in Chrome, and everything is pretty okay. I think for what most people will do with this laptop, it's fine. …

If you're hoping you'll be able to upgrade and get way faster video editing or process a ton of RAW photos at once, get a MacBook Pro. Those kinds of tasks will bring this Air to a chug and spin up those fans. I have found it to be more capable and powerful than the 12-inch MacBook, but, again, the difference is not as big as I'd hoped.
And:
People like the Mac. It's great to have a computer that does all of the computer stuff you want in a way you're familiar with. Until recently, the best computer for most people was the MacBook Air, and Apple took way too long to update it. So people have been waiting. And waiting.

Now, the wait is over. But if you were hoping that lightning would strike twice and this new MacBook Air would be as revolutionary as the old MacBook Air, well, it's not. It's basically a MacBook that finally includes all of the stuff that has been happening with laptops for the past few years. It is on par with the rest of the laptop world, but it hasn't moved beyond it.
Wired's Lauren Goode:
What might push you towards the Air, though, more so than any other Mac laptop, is its battery life. …

Not surprisingly, the laptop drained much more quickly when I used the MacBook Air to charge my iPhone, something I do often. But in another recent test—browsing in Safari, running Slack and iMessage, editing a few photos in Lightroom, all with the display between 60 to 70 percent of maximum brightness—it lasted just under eight hours.
Daring Fireball's John Gruber:
A lot of people are looking at the lineup as it stands today thinking they must be missing something, because it seems obvious that most people looking for a MacBook in this price range should buy the new MacBook Air. They’re not missing anything. The new Air is exactly that: the MacBook most people should buy, and exactly the MacBook everyone has been asking Apple to make.
TechCrunch's Brian Heater:
There's no doubt the new Air marks a sizable update. It's pricier, too, though Apple's kept things more in check here than with the Mac Mini. 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.

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.
Engadget's Dana Wollman:
This is the same screen technology already in use on the 12-inch MacBook, and the color spectrum Apple is touting is actually sRGB -- a common spec for laptops in this price range. In fact, that's one of the main differences between this screen and the MacBook Pro: For the money, Apple's highest-end laptops step up to the professional-grade P3 color spectrum. I don't miss it, but if you do, the Air wasn't the right laptop for you anyway.
Six Colors's Jason Snell:
If you're shopping for a Mac laptop, start with the MacBook Air. Want a cheaper model? The old Air is there for as long as it lasts. Want something even smaller and lighter, and are willing to trade some power, port flexibility, and money for it? The MacBook is for you. Want something more powerful, and are willing to take on a slightly heavier and more expensive device? The 13-inch MacBook Pro without Touch Bar is for you. Want even more power? The 13- and 15-inch MacBook Pros offer numerous opportunities to upgrade specs and spend more money.
AppleInsider's Andrew O'Hara:
When we compared the display of the new MacBook Air to our 15-inch 2017 MacBook Pro, they both looked pretty solid, but we noticed at least one difference —the new Air doesn't get quite as bright. When we checked out the specs page, Apple outlines the newest Pros can reach up to 500 nits of brightness, while the new Airs only max out at 300. This would be more noticeable for anyone working outside, but isn't a big deal in an office environment, or even a bright room.

Review and Unboxing Videos








More Reviews

The new MacBook Air is available to order on Apple.com, with deliveries to customers and in-store availability starting tomorrow. The notebook now starts at $1,199, while Apple continues to sell the previous-generation model for $999.
Apple at its October event unveiled a new 2018 MacBook Air that's been entirely overhauled with a Retina display, Thunderbolt 3, a slimmed down design, a faster processor, and other hardware upgrades.

The new $1,199 machine is a great addition to the MacBook Pro, but there's just one problem - Apple already had a notebook with all of these features. The 2018 MacBook Air is very similar to the 12-inch MacBook, which did not receive a 2018 update.

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The 2018 MacBook Air, which Apple is selling for $1,199, is better in almost every way than the 12-inch MacBook, which is still priced at $1,299. It has a larger Retina display, a faster Amber Lake processor, upgraded Intel UHD Graphics 617, two Thunderbolt 3/USB-C ports, up to 1.5TB of storage, Touch ID and T2 chip, better battery life, and it costs $100 less (though you're getting 128GB storage instead of 256GB with the base model).

At this point in time, with no update, all the MacBook has going for it is a slimmer body and a lighter weight, but even then, the difference is minute given the revamped design of the MacBook Air.


The 2018 MacBook Air measures in at 0.16 to 0.61 inches thick, compared to the MacBook, which comes in at 0.14 to 0.52 inches. It also weighs 2.75 pounds instead of the MacBook's 2 pounds, but those are really the only differentiating factors.

Right now, there is absolutely no good reason to purchase a MacBook over a MacBook Air, and anyone considering a new Apple notebook that's aiming for portability and good battery life should choose the MacBook Air.


You can get close to MacBook Air performance with the upgraded MacBook with a 1.4GHz Core M processor, but the MacBook Air is still going to beat it because it's using eighth-generation processors instead of seventh-generation and it costs $1,549 to upgrade to that higher-powered processor.

If and when Apple upgrades the MacBook with next-generation Intel chips, it's still going to be almost on par with the MacBook Air if there are no other changes to form factor or specifications, so it's a mystery why the MacBook is still in Apple's lineup and why Apple has opted to have two machines that are so similar.


Prior to the October update, Apple hadn't made significant changes to the MacBook Air since 2015, and it was believed that the machine, which was priced at $999, was sticking around as a low-cost option until component prices for the MacBook came down. With the launch of the new version, that's clearly no longer Apple's plan, and the future of the MacBook and MacBook Air is murkier than ever.

As for the MacBook Air vs. the MacBook Pro, things are a bit clearer. The MacBook Air is still the lower-cost lower-performance option that is ideal for lighter workloads that don't require high-powered software.


All MacBook Pro models, including the 2017 non-Touch Bar models, offer better performance than the MacBook Air's 7W Amber Lake processor, but with the base MacBook Air vs. the base non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro priced at $1,299, there's not a huge difference. When deciding between these two machines, it's going to come down to whether you prefer a smaller form factor and Touch ID or slightly better performance.

What do you think Apple is planning for the MacBook in the future? Let us know in the comments.