Retina screen now supports True Tone • Quieter keyboard • Touch ID sensor • More affordable than before
Slower SSD versus 2018 model • Margin faster performance • Good • but not stellar battery life
The MacBook Air (2019) improves on the previous version in very small ways.
In the previous case, Apple updated the MacBook Air with a smaller body, sharper Retina display, larger trackpad, and added Touch ID.
It was a solid update after Apple neglected it for a few years to concentrate on the MacBook Pro. Well as it was the 201
MacBook Air's dual-core processor is still underpowered compared to the four-inch 13-inch MacBook Pros and other Windows laptops. But the keyboard is improved (it's quieter and Apple says it's more reliable), the screen supports True Tone, and it starts at $ 1,099 instead of the previous $ 1,199. Apple also confused older ports in favor of a pair of Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports.
If you're looking for the least expensive MacBook and don't need the performance of the 13-inch MacBook Pro, the 2019 MacBook Air will be a competent laptop for easy computing such as writing, browsing, and watching videos. Don't expect it to be a master of heavy lifting tasks such as video editing or gaming.
The main concern, of course, is whether you trust the keyboard does not break down. I have not used the new MacBook Air long enough for the keyboard to display repeated or failed key presses. If you have future issues, Apple has at least taken it under its keyboard repair program.
Yes, it's a MacBook Air
Apple changed laptops forever after Steve Jobs famously pulled the original MacBook Air out of a manila envelope to mark how thin and light it was.
Almost overnight, laptops went from being clunky clamshells to svelte DVD-free wedge-shaped mobile machines with slim, tapered frames.
2019 The MacBook Air retains the same robust aluminum wedge shape as its predecessor and comes in the same finish (silver, space gray, and gold). My review unit came in gold but it is more of a light rose-copper color if you ask me.
Apple made zero tweaks to the MacBook Air exterior. The metal body is so dense and durable before – no flexibility, which is great.
On the left side of Air there are two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports, and on the right a single 3.5 mm headphone jack. I still miss the SD card slot on the pre-Retina MacBook Air and hope Apple brings it back into future MacBooks.
Better Screen with True Tone
Retina screen is the same 13.3 inch (diagonal) size with 2,560 x 1,600 resolution at 227 pixels per inch (PPI).
When we reviewed the MacBook Air 2018, former Mashable Tech Editor, Pete Pachal, said he was disappointed with the screen's brightness compared to a 13-inch MacBook Pro. Technical breakdown revealed that the MacBook Air peaked at 300 mains as opposed to 500 nits on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Not only did the lower brightness make the content look less vivid, but blacks were washed out.
I'm happy to say that the screen of the new MacBook Air is brighter. In April, Apple released an update that increased the 2018 MacBook Air brightness from 300 nits to 400 nits, which is also where the 2019 model is peaked.
The screen is still not as bright as the one on the MacBook Pro, but I don't think many people will be bothered by it. I usually have my portability brightness set at around 60-75 percent, and as far as I can tell, the MacBook Air's 400-nit brightness is fine.
New to the screen is True Tone. The MacBook Pros, iPhones and iPads feature, which adjusts the color temperature of the screen based on the lighting around you.
In the physician's sense, the MacBook Air screen is never for coal (blue) because True Tone continuously views the ambient light and adjusts itself to match accordingly. True Tone is subtle, but it makes the screen less hard to look at – important if you stare at it all day.
The keyboard is nice (so far)
As I said before, I never had problems with the butterflies' keyboards on my personal and working MacBook. That said, I have always disliked one thing about them: they are high for writing.
I love a good clackety-clack mechanical keyboard for desktop computers. But on a laptop, I prefer a quieter writing experience, mainly because it's annoying to be so noisy at a coffee shop or during a conference call. No one will hear me write.
The MacBook Air keyboard is more clearly quieter than any MacBook Pro keyboard released between 2016 and July 2018 – and nowhere as the clackety as the 2017 13-inch MacBook Pro I use daily to run macOS Catalina beta.
All Apple's MacBooks now run the improved third-generation butterfly keyboard that was first introduced on the MacBook Pros in May. These "3.5-generation" butterfly keyboards are calmer than previous keyboards, and are apparently made from an unspecified new material for better reliability.
The MacBook Air keyboard is not quiet, but the silicone membrane underneath each key definitely contributes to slowing down keystrokes while adding only a teenager bit more key travel. Typing on the keyboard is not as enjoyable as writing on a magic keyboard or a MacBook Pro with scissor-based keys, but I think Apple is closer to a more acceptable mid-term.
Using MacBook Air's function keys only reinforced the touchline's touch, and the function keys work just fine – one touch to adjust the brightness of the display, the keyboard's backlight, volume, playback, exposure, and launch. touch bar and you do not have to waste time with the sliders to adjust the brightness and volume.
Being possible to have feature keys and Touch ID without the touchline is proof that the MacBook Pro does not need Logging into the MacBook Air with Touch ID is faster, more convenient, and safer than typing a password.
Time will tell how reliable the keyboard is. Again, don't forget that Apple will repair busted keyboards for free.
Good enough performance
There's a reason I'm talking about performance last: it's just enough, but not blowing fast.
The new MacBook Air is powered by a 1.6 GHz dual-core 8-generation Intel Core i5 (Y series) processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.6 GHz and Intel UHD Graphics 617 and a base of 8 GB RAM and 128 GB SSD storage. These are the same specifications as the 2018 MacBook Air, which means it should perform more or less the same.
However, Running Geekbench 4 showed a different story. Based on an average of three consecutive tests, 2019 MacBook Air accounted for 4.111 single core and 7.775 multi-core, representing 10.5 and 15 percent faster performance compared to the 2018 MacBook Air.
In our 2018 MacBook review, we noted how the laptop would bottleneck when pressed too hard. I ran the same workflow we did then: Slack, Trello, TweetDeck, Skype, Apple apps (Calendar, Reminders, Apple News, Messages and Maps, and two Chrome profiles running 2-4 windows, each with about 12 tabs in average, and Amazon Music streaming in the background.
I checked to see if the fan kicked in for about an hour to run so many apps and tasks, and whether there was any team in TweetDeck. Nada. tried again but didn't experience the same issues our previous editor did.
This performance enhancement could have been the result of a number of factors, including but not limited to new software updates for macOS Mojave and better optimization for third-party apps like Chrome and TweetDeck.
But as we also mentioned in our previous MacBook Air review, we don't expect any people to stress their laptops this way. For general web browsing, easy photo editing, writing, watching videos and editing documents, the MacBook Air drives through as a master. Even light video editing in iMovie will not connect your laptop to the point it is useless.
Nevertheless, I wish Apple gave the MacBook Air a performance upgrade with a faster processor and better graphics. It's even more disappointing when Windows laptops in Air's price range have tougher performance.
Battery life is also just before. I have between 5-7 hours of battery life while using the MacBook Air at work, but less at home when I pushed it harder with more tasks. The battery life is not bad, but it makes me miss the old pre-Retina Air which was a battery master and consistently lasted between 6-7 hours.
I should also note that the MacBook Air's SSD storage has reportedly slowing read and write speeds compared to the 2018 model. Although some tech blogs become alarmist about it, let me dismiss some concerns. In reality, laptop reads and writes data in a second or less than before. Do you want to notice the difference for small file transfers? Questionable. However, you may notice while transferring large amounts of data when seconds add up to minutes.
Cheaper than before
The MacBook Air before the mains was undoubtedly the best (best) street of laptops. It was a no-brainer to recommend the laptop to almost any non-professional.
We had high hopes that the 2018 MacBook Air would carry the torch. But it was clear that the refreshing MacBook Air with a smaller body and Retina display came with some welcome compromises.
2019 The MacBook Air is surely better – improved keyboard, True Tone display and faster performance despite the same specifications – but perhaps more importantly, it starts at $ 1,099 instead of the previous $ 1,199.
One hundred dollars doesn't seem like much. But for many customers, it gets closer to $ 1000, it seems like a much better value. The MacBook Air 2019 is not as affordable as the MacBook Air, which started at $ 999, but it gets there.
For students, the MacBook Air is a good laptop and affordable ($ 999 with education discount). The Windows laptop world still looks very tempting, though. Microsoft's Surface Laptop 2 – our favorite laptop last year – starts at $ 999 (though regularly discounted to $ 899) and comes with more powerful quad-core performance, a touch screen and a full-size USB-A port (no dongles are necessary). Ditto for other laptops like Huawei MateBook 13 (from $ 999) and Dell XPS 13 (starting from $ 1,199.99, but can easily be found for $ 999.99).
Unless you need horsepower (so get your MacBook Pro), the MacBook Air does the job. There are no groundbreaking socks of incredible like the pre-Retina MacBook Air, but that's fine. Hopefully the next update will be more exciting.