The MacBook Air wants to be the laptop for everyone
It's easily the single most requested thing on any laptop shopper's wish list, a brand new, fully updated, version of Apple's MacBook Air.
Well after years of waiting, it's finally here.
But I got to tell you one thing.
It's very different from the Air you know.
Now, why is that so important?
For most of its ten-year life, the Classic MacBook Air was the default laptop for pretty much everyone.
High school or college student, MacBook Air.
Writer or creative type MacBook Air, office drone or start up guy, MacBook Air.
I was there for the very first MacBook Air was back in 2008 and it was no doubt a game changer.
In fact, for many years I called it the single most universally useful laptop you could buy.
For most of its life the MacBook Air was 999, not cheap but an achievable luxury, especially for something rock solid that would last years and years But lately, I sort of feel a little bit like the old guy at the club.
Still showing up, but kind of dating.
Everyone else moved to high res screens that went almost edge to edge on the lid, bigger touch pads, regular component upgrades, thinner and lighter bodies.
And for most of this year, the rumor mills have been surging With talk of a new, slimmer reasonably priced Macbook with a better screen that would either update, or replace the Air.
Well the rumors were right, we now have a new Macbook Air.
But I'd say it's an Air in name only, as everything about it is different.
New body, check.
New screen, check.
New keyboard and touchpad, check.
New processors, check.
I think it really keeps the air name for nostalgia reasons.
If I were in [UNKNOWN] I would call it MacBook Pro Lite.
It even fits right into the current Mac design sensibility a bit larger than a 12 inch MacBook, a bit smaller than the 13 inch Pro and much much different than the classic air which Apple is still selling at least for now.
Let's look at the screen On the old low res air that's the single biggest reason I stopped recommending it to people as my go to default everyday laptop pick.
The big silver border is gone, and now the 13 inch screen has the same slim style back bezel under edge to edge glass, as the Macbook,a nd Macbook Pro.
The resolution is also four times greater and that makes a huge difference.
What else did Apple fix about the Macbook Air?
It's got new eighth gen intel process instead of fifth gen or older ones.
You can get more RAM and more storage space.
It's a bit thinner and lighter although not quiet in the top tier of lightweight laptops It's even made from 100% recycled aluminum if you care about that sort of thing, which you should.
There's a lot from the MacBook Pro line that's trickled down here, both good and bad.
The retina screen is a big plus, as is the larger more modern touchpad.
With that touch pad comes the infamous butterfly keyboard.
That's the super flat one where people's keys keep getting stuck.
Apple says it's fix a problem now.
But it's still a shallower less tactile keyboard than the old heir.
I really don't think it's as hard to get used to what some people say but chances are you'll never going to love it But that keyboard comes with the very best part of the MacBook Pro's touch bar, the fingerprint reader.
I've used one in a MacBook Pro for a long time and it's the best laptop fingerprint reader I've tried by far.
Okay are you ready for the really difficult part of this conversation?
If there was one giant burning question about the new Macbook Air was what's a port situation?
You might wanna seat down for this.
You already know without me even telling you we're in modern Macbook territory here so to paraphrase Henry Ford, you can have any port you want in the Macbook Air So long as it's USB C.
But hey, you get two so it could be plugged into power and connected to something else at the same time.
And they're both Thunderbolt 3 as well.
Most of the super slim Windows laptops are USB C only now so it may be time to get on that boat if you're a hold out, or invest in some dongles.
That's okay we can still pour out a little for our old friends USB A, HDMI, and SD card slot.
We'll miss you bros, headphone jack's still there, can't say that about most other Apple products these days.
So am I telling you to run out right now and buy a new Macbook Air, in a way I am because it frankly hits almost every mark on our years long wish list.
But, there is a catch.
Remember the good ole days of the 999 Macbook Air?
Well the new walk in the door price is 1199.
And that's kind of a blur to a generation raised on the concept of being able to get your first Macbook for under a grand.
It's even $100 less than the 12 inch Macbook or the 13 inch basic Macbook Pro.
So you're gonna have to do some features versus value math to figure out which one is right for you The higher price may drive the MacBook Air out if its impulse purchase territory.
But at the same time, I can't think of much that I would do differently in a top-to-bottom reboot of the most popular laptop of all time.
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