2020 MacBook Air
Last updated: 1 week ago
As part of its annual updates to the Mac and MacBook lineup, Apple introduced a new MacBook Air. With a new Magic Keyboard and lower starting price, this is the most compelling MacBook Air yet.
● New magic keyboard
● 2x CPU performance
● 80% better graphic performance
● Two USB-C Thunderbolt 3 ports
● Connect up to a single 6K or 5K display
● Connect two 4K displays
● 720p FaceTime camera
● Three-microphone array
Since it's launch, Apple has regularly made changes to the MacBook Air, refreshing the lightweight product line almost every year. In mid-March of 2020, Apple refreshed the line, giving it faster processors and a new keyboard. This update makes the MacBook Air the laptop for anyone all over again.
2020 MacBook Air Features
The external design remains the same when compared to the 2019 model, so you won't notice much has changed when just looking at it. The inverted-T arrow keys give away the new model, however, and plenty has updated internally as well.
The latest MacBook Air now features the new Magic Keyboard first introduced in the 16-inch MacBook Pro. A redesigned scissor mechanism with 1mm of travel means no more sticky keys from previous generations. The inverted-T arrow keys have also returned.
The keyboard spreads edge to edge with a speaker grill on either side. A three microphone array is arranged so that speaking or playing an instrument is easily captured at high quality. And the large glass trackpad sits beneath the keyboard as expected.
The previous generation housed a butterfly keyboard, which had multiple updates and changes to attempt to address reliability issues. The butterfly switch was prone to stuck keys or broken mechanisms, which had a higher failure rate than previous scissor-switch designs.
Apple had implemented keyboard repair programs for the butterfly keyboard, but the introduction of the new keyboard seems to be a final admission that there was some issue at hand. Even the latest iPad Pro keyboard will use the new Magic Keyboard design.
With the latest Intel processors, you will see up to two times the previous generation's performance. New graphics capabilities also mean up to an 80% increase in graphics performance.
The 2020 MacBook Air features the 10th-generation Intel Core processors with up to 1.2GHz quad-core i7 chipsets. During heavy load, the processors can Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz for short bursts of speed. Don't let the i3 naming fool you, the baseline chips are better than the 9th-generation Intel i5 from the 2019 model.
The new graphics performance comes from including a dedicated Intel Iris Plus Graphics chipset. This means that everything from navigation and UI rendering to video editing and gaming will get a significant speed boost.
These ports can also be used for high-speed Thunderbolt 3 capable hard drives for up to 40GB/s data transfer speeds. External GPUs will also work with these ports for even more graphic performance while at a desk.
The FaceTime camera did not receive and upgrade and is still 720p, but the new microphone array will greatly improve call quality.
The wireless capabilities remain the same with Bluetooth 5 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The omission of WiFi 6 is noted, considering the iPhone 11 and iPad Pro both have the standard.
The MacBook Air ships with macOS Catalina.
AppleInsider reviewed the 2020 MacBook Air and gave it a 4.5 out of 5.
A teardown revealed that the new keyboard wasn't the only new addition to the design. The battery and trackpad connect via a cable, so now battery repair can take place without removing the logic board. This means the laptop is much more repairable than its previous generation.
2020 MacBook Air Pricing
The MacBook Air starts at $999. The base model ships with a 1.1GHz i3 processor with turbo speeds up to 3.2GHz, and 256GB of flash storage. A $1299 model comes with a quad-core i5 processor with turbo speeds up to 3.5 GHz and 512GB of flash storage.
The 2020 MacBook Air configured with an Intel i7 processor with 512GB of flash storage retails for $1449.