Hands-on with the 2020 MacBook Air
8:04

Hands-on with the 2020 MacBook Air

Laptops
Here I am working from home just like everybody else, but I did get something fun in the mail. It is this right here, the brand new 2020 version of Apple's 13 inch MacBook Air. And now that I've had a day to play around with it, I understand it I think a lot better than I did even earlier this week when Apple announced a whole bunch of upgrades to both the Air and the iPad Pro. So when I got the new MacBook Air in the mail from Apple. The first thing I did was take it out of the box and then I put it right next to the 2019 version. Of the MacBook Air. I looked at them side by side, frankly, from the outside you can't really tell the difference. They are completely identical. Then you put them next to each other, you open up both lids, that's where you start to see the difference. It's something very subtle. You've got to look closely, but The keyboard on the new version is noticeably different than the keyboard on the old version. And that is because probably the single most important update here is that the MacBook Air has now moved to what they call the Magic keyboard style. That is the style of keyboard that's in the 16 inch MacBook Pro. And it's also in the standalone magic keyboards that Apple sells separately, or they come with an iMac. They're meant for desktop use, but you can really hook them up to anything. They're just Bluetooth keyboards. And they have a better version of the Apple keyboard than we've seen on pretty much all of the laptop Tops for the last three, four or five years, where they all switched over to that butterfly keyboard. That's the super, super flat one that started in the late great 12 inch MacBook and then promulgated itself throughout the entire MacBook line. Everybody always hated it. They were fixing it. They were making it better but people still Had problems with it, the buttons wouldn't press right, they would get stuck a little bit of dust to get in there. I'll be honest with you, it was never quite as bad as everybody said, but it wasn't good. So the fact that they're now moving everybody there's new magic keyboard design that frankly looks and feels a lot like the classic MacBook keyboards. From years and years ago, not quite that thick and chunky but a good halfway point between the two, I think that's a big step forward. The problem is the 16 inch MacBook Pro has this keyboard now, now the air has it the 13 inch MacBook Pro does not have it. That's over to the odd man out right now. I'd be hard pressed to tell someone to buy a 13 inch pro right now if we're waiting for that new keyboard, it's really solves a lot of people's Mac Book problems. That's not even however the most interesting or biggest news about the Mac Book frankly the biggest thing is it's gone back to that classic 999 price. That's what the MacBook Air always Was for many, many, many years college students loved it. People starting out in the careers loved it because it was $1,000 a hefty investment but not as much as a lot of other premium laptops. But you get a very premium experience out of it, frankly, it would last for years, they were built like tanks. Over time, they didn't update it as much as they should have and a lot of Windows laptops leapfrog did especially around that 999 price So when Apple finally decided to do a big overhaul of the air and I think 2018, they did a very nice job made it very much like the current MacBook Pro line, but they raise the price by a couple hundred dollars and you're really lost that psychological satisfaction of saying I got an awesome laptop for $999. So now it's back to 999, but there's a catch. There's always a catch. In this case, that base model doesn't come with that standard Core i5 Intel CPU that you would expect. Instead, it trades down to a Core i3, a dual core version that's usually what Airs have. But I'm a little hard pressed to say I feel comfortable spending $1,000 on a core i3 CPU laptop. Very often you see those chips in lower or mid tier laptops, especially ones that go on sale around Black Friday for door buster specials. However, you can Upgrade to the core i5 that's the version that I have right here. It's got a quad core, core i5 so we're getting a quad core Intel chip in a MacBook Air which is great. It's an extra hundred dollars. Now that does give me some However, if you really want to get a MacBook Air that does seem like $100 very well spent, I would definitely invest in that. If you want to upgrade the storage space or the ram that's going to be more expensive. Fortunately, the storage space has already doubled. For many, many years, backward errs had 128 gigs of storage. Now the default is 256. I think that's much more in the comfort zone. You can still get the upgraded model from that and go up to 512. I think most people don't need that. 256. Is perfectly adequate and will be at least for a few years until we start getting into more 8k video and other really big high file size items. Now if you wanna play games on your MacBook, there are some Mac games, a bunch more games especially through Steam, you have the ability to do that. This guy has built in Iris graphics from Intel. It's not the same as having a dedicated graphics chip from Nvidia or AMD. You'll get AMD parts in in the MacBook Pros. It's better than the standard built in into. Intel Graphics. So that should hopefully help you with little bit of gaming or with video editing or with high end photo editing. I run Photoshop and Illustrator and even a Dolby Audition on my older MacBook all the time. Certainly works pretty well but I like the idea of having some more power both in the quad core CPU and in the iris graphics for that. If you want to upgrade the RAM these all start with eight gigs of RAM for us Math book, you could probably get away with it because of how efficient it is and how well optimized the operating system is with with the hardware and the components on a Windows laptop especially for 1000 hours or more. You really want 16 gigs of RAM or better here that's an expensive upgrade to 16 gigs. It's $200 extra, which is kind of a bummer. So I would rather spend the hundred dollars on the CPU although. You could spend $200 on the ram to then you might as well buy the higher end version of this then you might as well buy a MacBook Pro because you're up to 1500 dollars already. Even though there are a lot of differences about the new 2020 version of the MacBook Air, a lot of things are the same, the screen is the same. The basic design is completely the same one area where we don't see any upgrades is in the ports and connections to still got right here. Just the two USBC ports, those handle power and accessories and pretty much anything else you want to plug into here video output. You need a dongle or an adapter or something. You do still have a headphone jack unlike most phones, so laptops have not gotten rid of those headphone jacks yet but it's the only thing on there besides the two USBC ports. More and more windows laptops are moving to USBC for just about everything is becoming more universal. People still chafe at having to carry around a bunch of dongles or adapters or extenders, and we're going to continue to live in that world into all the accessories are also USBC. Although that'll probably happen within a few years anyway, this is not the most revolutionary over haul the MacBook Air ever. The big change happened a couple years ago where they updated the design and the screen and really just everything else to bring it in line. With all of the other current Macbooks. That said, for something that dropped in the middle of the week with no notice, this is a pretty substantial upgrade primarily because of one, the price drop. Number two, the CPU options, I love being able to get a quad core chip in there. I wrestle a little bit about spending more for the Core i5, but that's the world we live in. And of course the biggest and best of that keyboard I didn't realize how much of an improvement the new style really was, until I got a chance to take the new MacBook Air put it directly next to the old MacBook Air, type on one and then type. Type on the other. I'm gonna find it really hard to go back to the old style now. So kudos to Apple for taking this new keyboard style and rolling it out to more products hopefully we'll see it on every macbook soon.

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