Apple's New 2018 MacBook Air vs. Old MacBook Air

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Nov 14, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    Apple in October gave us a major surprise with the launch of an entirely revamped, updated version of the MacBook Air, its most popular and affordable notebook option.

    We went hands-on with the MacBook Air last week, and this week, we picked up an older MacBook Air to compare the new model to see just what's different and whether it's still worth buying the old version, which sells for $200 less than the current model.


    The previous-generation MacBook Air is a 2015 design, but in 2017, Apple introduced 1.8GHz Broadwell-generation chips that were a slight upgrade from the 1.6GHz chips the machine had previously used. No other changes were made, so technically, Apple's old MacBook Air is outdated by several years.

    Design wise, the new MacBook Air features a smaller, slimmer body that weighs a bit less, and the slimmer design is noticeable. It continues to feature the same tapered design as the previous models, and we didn't think the weight difference of a quarter of a pound stood out.

    Along with a slimmed down body, the new MacBook Air comes in three color options: Space Gray, Gold, and the traditional Silver. Space Gray and Gold are colors that are new to the MacBook Air lineup.

    The biggest change to the 2018 MacBook Air models is the display, which is now Retina and a huge improvement over the low-resolution display in the previous MacBook Air. The MacBook Air used to be the sole Apple device sans at least a Retina display option, but now Apple uses higher-resolution displays across its entire product lineup with the exception of the entry-level 21.5-inch iMac.

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    We thought the MacBook Air's new display offered a significant improvement over the previous MacBook Air's display, but it doesn't quite measure up to the display of the MacBook Pro because it's just not that bright. Brightness can be an issue outdoors in sunlight, so that's something to be aware of.

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    Design wise, the front of the MacBook Air has been overhauled. Those thick silver bezels from the previous version have been replaced with sleek, slim MacBook Pro-style black bezels that look much, much nicer.

    Several other MacBook Pro features have been brought to the new MacBook Air and are upgrades over the previous model. There's a larger Force Touch trackpad, a third-generation butterfly keyboard, better speakers, a Touch ID button for authentication purposes, and a T2 chip for improved security.

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    Inside, the new MacBook Air is sporting a 7W 8th-generation 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, and unsurprisingly, it's much speedier than the three-year-old processors used in the prior MacBook Air. Apple used to use 15W chips in the MacBook Air models, but this new, lower power 7W chip is both fast and efficient, allowing for longer battery life than ever.

    The last super notable change is to the port setup. The new MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack, with Apple eliminating the USB-A ports and the SD card slot from the older model. The addition of Thunderbolt 3 brings the MacBook Air in line with the rest of the Mac lineup and allows it to connect to 4K and 5K displays, faster Thunderbolt 3 storage, eGPUs, and more.

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    All of these changes have raised the base price of the MacBook Air. Prior to the October update, the MacBook Air sold for $999, but now the base model sells for $1,199, a $200 premium. Given the scope of the revamp, the $200 upgrade fee is well worth paying for anyone thinking of purchasing a MacBook Air.

    Apple is still selling the older model at the same $999 price point, but it's just not worth purchasing because the components are so outdated at this point.

    What do you think of Apple's new MacBook Air? Let us know in the comments.

    Article Link: Apple's New 2018 MacBook Air vs. Old MacBook Air
     
  2. oldmacs macrumors 601

    oldmacs

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  3. austinmcguire macrumors newbie

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    Correct me if I am wrong, but didn't the 2015 MacBook Air originally sell the 13 inch version for $1199. It wasn't dropped to $999 until it was several years old.
     
  4. Kebabselector macrumors 68030

    Kebabselector

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    #4
    Looks a nice update, has anyone done a size comparison picture between the new one and the old 11" MBA?
     
  5. Labeno macrumors 6502

    Labeno

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    Got a gold MB air for my wife as a birthday gift and she loves it.
     
  6. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    Nope, 128 GB sold for $999, 256 GB was $1199.
     
  7. DocMultimedia, Nov 14, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018

    DocMultimedia macrumors 6502

    DocMultimedia

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    #7
    No glowing Apple logo. Dongle required for media card and anything USB. Bad keyboard. That's a lot of negatives.

    I haven't yet decided if I'm buying anything. My MacBook Pro 2017 (work) is fine, asks my 2012 Air is still doing what it can with 4Gig Ram.

    Note: As someone pointed out, I forgot to mention MagSafe. Losing that is another big negative.
     
  8. FrostyF macrumors regular

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    In my real world use, the old Macbook Air (i7, 8GB RAM) was more efficient on battery and felt less sluggish than the new one. I think the main problem is the crappy Y-series processor powering the retina display. Real world I'm getting 6 hours of battery life. I would get 7-8 at least on my old one. Switching between tabs on Chrome for example is very sluggish on the new machine. Ultimately I doubt this thing is going to last 5 years so I've got a return label ready to go as soon as my tbMBP replacement arrives.
     
  9. levitynyc macrumors 65816

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    Still not updating my 2011 13” MacBook Air.

    I need 256GB and the upgrade of $200 is criminal.
     
  10. Sirious macrumors 65816

    Sirious

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  11. corebeliefs macrumors regular

    corebeliefs

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    Are you referring to the butterfly keyboard being bad in general (all the laptops have it now) or has the 3rd generation butterfly keyboard shown to be as faulty as the 2nd and 1st? I haven't heard the official word on the 3rd generation reliability
     
  12. Geert76 macrumors 65816

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    #12
    Had one for a couple of days but returned it.

    I returned for one single reason only;
    - the screen

    The display colors of this new Air is in no way worth the €1600 (256Gb) I paid for.
    The colors are really very dull, not vibrant, almost yellow-ish.
    This is using the Air indoor at my home with normal daylight and also during the night

    I have a nTB MBP Pro with a much, much better display for nearly the same price.

    I did like the new keyboard a lot, so as the lightning fast TouchID on this new Air
     
  13. FrostyF macrumors regular

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    #13
    If I understand correctly, the 1st and 2nd gen had issues because dust/crumbs would easily get inside the mechanism. The 3rd gen has silicon caps that prevent this. They also make the sound of the keyboard a little less annoying (still annoying).
     
  14. BaltimoreMediaBlog macrumors 6502a

    BaltimoreMediaBlog

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    #14
    I just find it ironic that Apple sells laptops that won't even charge an iPhone right out of the box without purchasing an adapter.
     
  15. FrostyF macrumors regular

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    #15
    That's what everyone said about the iPad until that changed.
     
  16. AngerDanger macrumors 68040

    AngerDanger

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    #16
    The new MacBook Air also features a haptic trackpad, so it's entirely feasible that we'll one day get them to vibrate around like RC cars:

    [​IMG]
     
  17. justperry macrumors G3

    justperry

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    A chrome, that explains it.
     
  18. RodThePlod macrumors 6502a

    RodThePlod

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    #18
    Well done :) I've just also got a gold MB Air for my daughter for her 21st which is next Tuesday. I hope she loves it, too!
     
  19. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

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    #19
    I've had the new one since launch day and after a whole week now with it I am very impressed and happy with it.

    Screen brightness isn't an issue for me since I don't use it outside in direct sunlight. Using it in the office and at home as well as on the road at a few meetings already, the brightness has been more than adequate for my needs.

    The keyboard is actually desirable for me to use. I know many people aren't happy with Apple's new keyboards, but many others are, and I enjoy typing on it.

    Coming from a 2012 15" cMBP to this new MacBook Air was a giant step forward in all areas, from retina screen, to better keyboard and most certainly for me, much lighter weight and small form factor.

    I went with the Space Gray color, 16GB RAM and 512 GB SSD.

    I absolutely do not regret this purchase. Highly recommended by me.
     
  20. FrostyF macrumors regular

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    Was using Chrome on the old one.
     
  21. richman20 macrumors newbie

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    New 13" Macbook Air vs 13" Macbook Pro? I am using a 2013 MBA which I love. I was eagerly waiting an update to the screen to buy a new one. The resolution on my MBA is noticeably dated. I found the MBA sitting right next to a MBP in Best Buy. The MBA is not significantly smaller. The screen on the MBP is noticeably brighter (agree with above) and the processor (specs) are much better. Money aside (about a $300 difference between the 2 with 256 gb) why buy the MBA? Initially I bought it in 2013 because it was significantly lighter, more portable, and better battery life. I welcome your comments.
     
  22. SBlue1 macrumors 65816

    SBlue1

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    Hey guys, and recommendations for UCB-C Magsafe adapters? There are so many it seems but they break or have weak magnets or whatever. Any good ones?
     
  23. coolfactor macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Safari will be more snappy. :p

    In all fairness, websites themselves can be poorly coded, optimized, or simply very heavy web applications, leading to a lot of CPU usage that would affect any machine.
     
  24. FrostyF macrumors regular

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    #24
  25. ghost187 macrumors 6502a

    ghost187

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    If you are saying money aside, than the 13" MBP with Quad Core CPU is a much better buy. They have neglectable weight difference, but you get more than double the performance, much better screen (brighter, wide color, tru tone), and Touch Bar if you care. If weight and size is such an issue, than I'd wait for 12" MacBook to get updated, since that was supposed to be the "air" successor but they priced it too high.
     

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