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MacBook Air Review

The MacBook Air is Apple’s most popular MacBook. It is a compact and light MacBook that you can easily take with you wherever you go. It is super-fast, powerful, and at the same time, it is attractively priced. The latest version of the MacBook Air will be released in November 2020 and belongs to the first generation Mac with Apple’s own M1 chip. Here’s what you need to know about the current MacBook Air M1.

MacBook Air (M1, 2020) summarized

  • Announcement on November 10, 2020
  • First generation Macs with M1 chip
  • With 13.3-inch Retina display with True Tone
  • Keyboard with scissor mechanism and some new keys
  • Unlock with Touch ID (fingerprint scanner)
  • Shipped with macOS Big Sur
  • Large trackpad with Force Touch
  • Two USB-C connections

MacBook Air M1

Apple made Macs with its own chip for the first time: the Apple M1. The new Mac mini and the new MacBook Pro also have this chip. It makes your Mac lightning fast and at the same time uses less energy. The new chip uses the same architecture as the chips in the iPhone and iPad – for which Apple has long been making chips itself. The big advantage of this is that you will soon also be able to use apps from your iPhone and iPad easily on your MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air has the same M1 chip as the new MacBook Pro. At least: that applies to the more expensive MacBook Air. Do you opt for the cheapest variant? Then there is one almost negligible difference: the graphics processor has seven instead of eight cores. You hardly notice this in practice. Interesting detail: the variant with seven cores actually “failed”, and should have had 8 cores as well. Because Apple still uses these imperfect chips, the price is considerably lowered. Read more about it in this article.

No fan, so noiseless

The new MacBook Air is completely silent. That’s because there is no longer a fan in it. The M1 chip is very efficient and produces much less heat – so a fan is no longer necessary. The heat that is still created is dissipated by an aluminum cooling element.

The fan is now exclusive to the more luxurious MacBook Pro. Because that is the other side of the coin: a chip that has been properly cooled can work harder. With long-term heavy loads, the Air will therefore sooner reach its limits. But we are really talking about applications such as intensive image processing.

Easy to take with you

“Air” has always stood for small and light, and the MacBook Air is today Apple’s lightest and most compact Mac. Very nice if you take it everywhere with you! It is 30.41 inches wide, 21.24 inches deep, and 1.61 inches at its thickest point. It weighs 1.29 kilos.

The MacBook Air M1 has not undergone a remarkable transformation compared to its predecessors. It is not the same as the MacBook Air with Intel chip that appeared earlier this year (now disappeared from the range). In terms of size – 13.3 inches – there is nothing new under the sun. It is available in space gray, silver and gold. This MacBook Air is also made entirely from recycled aluminum. So no exciting innovations on the outside.

Which in turn is a significant improvement for a mobile Mac: the battery life. The M1 chip is energy efficient, which means you can use the battery for hours longer. You can surf for 15 hours in Safari or watch 18 hours of videos in the Apple TV app.

Keyboard with new keys

The MacBook Air has a Magic Keyboard with backlight. It is a keyboard with a scissor mechanism. Apple has worked with that before, but it temporarily switched to keyboards with butterfly mechanism. There were a lot of problems with that, so back to the mechanism that has already proven itself. All Macs have now made the switch. The newly designed scissor mechanism provides a key travel of 1 mm.

It is striking that there are some new buttons on the keyboard. For example, in the row of function keys you will now find buttons for Do Not Disturb, Voice Memos and Spotlight. And further down the keyboard we now find a real emoji key.

And further …

  • Touch ID: the MacBook Air M1 has Touch ID: a fingerprint scanner. With it, you can unlock your Mac without a password, or open password-protected documents.
  • Connections: On the left side of the MacBook Air are two USB-C connections – with support for Thunderbolt 3.
  • True Tone: This ensures that the white balance of the screen adjusts to the ambient light. White therefore always looks really white, whether you see it by candlelight or under a fluorescent tube.
  • Trackpad: The keyboard has a pressure-sensitive Force Touch trackpad that’s a lot bigger than trackpads of yore.

Specifications

  • Release: November 2020
  • Operating system: macOS
  • Display: 13.3-inch Retina display, 2560 x 1600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch
  • Random access memory: 8 GB central memory (expandable to 16 GB)
  • Storage: 256 GB, 512 GB, 1 TB or 2 TB
  • Dimensions: Height: 0.41–1.61 cm; Width: 30.41 cm; Depth: 21.24 cm
  • Weight: 1.29 kg
  • Wireless: 802.11ac Wi-Fi 6 provision, bluetooth 5.0
  • Connection: Two Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports for charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40 Gb / s) and USB-C 3.1 (Gen 2, up to 10 Gb / s)
  • Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • Audio: stereo speakers, three beamforming microphones, headphone jack
  • Battery: built-in, up to 15 hours of wireless internet, up to 18 hours of movies in the Apple TV app

Buy MacBook Air M1

The starting price of the MacBook Air is 1129 euros – 70 euros less than the previous version. Depending on the configuration, the price of the new MacBook Air can go up. The version with exactly the same M1 processor as the MacBook Pro starts at € 1399. You also get 512 GB SSD storage instead of 256.

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