2018 MacBook Air Hands-On Roundup: Hardware Backs up the Branding

BY Evan Selleck

Published 30 Oct 2018

The MacBook Air has been one of the most-loved laptops on the planet, and now, years later, Apple is back with a new model.

The 2018 MacBook Air brings with it plenty of oft-requested features. Namely, and perhaps most importantly, a new Retina display that supports 4 million pixels. The new MacBook Air still features the wedge design, offers two additional colors, and even supports Touch ID and Apple’s proprietary T2 chip under the hood. So, with so many additions and changes when compared to the last generation, what are the early thoughts on the 2018 MacBook Air?

We’ve rounded up a few thoughts from publications that were on hand for Apple’s Brooklyn event, and you can check out some excerpts below.


SlashGear's hands-on time with the 2018 MacBook Air

“There’s a 13.3-inch display, now with a Retina panel, addressing probably the most frequent complaint about the Air. Its 2560 x 1600 resolution looks just as crisp, color-rich, and generally pleasant as you’d expect. Apple’s expertise in screen technology continues to impress, and putting this new MacBook Air alongside your existing model could be enough on its own to get you to open your wallet.”


Hands-on with the 2018 MacBook Air with Engadget

“I left the MacBook demo area with two conclusions. One, I will probably buy one. I have been waiting for a new MacBook Air, or equivalent thereof, and this is it.

Second, I’m having trouble understanding who would buy the 12-inch MacBook instead. They’re similar in price, with the Air starting at $1,199 and the 12-inch MacBook at $1,299. The Air is heavier but still lightweight. In exchange for that heft, you get an extra port and a Touch ID sensor, which, unlike on the MacBook Pro, comes standard. The Air has a more powerful processor — an eighth-gen Intel Core i5 processor to start as opposed to a lower-powered M-series chip. The 12-inch MacBook does start with 256GB of storage, compared with 128GB for the Air. That’s fixable (with money) and probably not a dealbreaker for everyone anyway.”


TechCrunch's hands-on time with the 2018 MacBook Air

“…In that past decade, the ultraportable laptop has become a massive hit for the company, helping to redefine the notebook space.

But the world moves on, of course. In fact, that was kind of a theme at today’s big event in Brooklyn — bringing some overdue updates to some of the company’s most iconic lines. Heck, even the Mac Mini got some love onstage today. But no Apple product deserved a makeover more than the MacBook.

The big change to the product is the most obvious — and far and away the most requested. Apple FINALLY brought a retina display to the device. That puts the new 13-inch screen at 2560 x 1600 — and it looks great. The bump up will be like night and day for longtime Air users who are finally ready to upgrade.”

The Verge

The Verge goes hands-on with the new MacBook Air

“But you’re here to learn about the screen, so I’ll just tell you that it’s great — at least compared to the old MacBook Air. It’s not True Tone, but it is a full Retina Display with the same resolution as the 13-inch MacBook Pro. The smaller bezels make a big difference in making the computer more portable, but it doesn’t feel cramped like the smaller MacBook sometimes can. The bezels are black, and the whole thing is a glossy glass now, which might annoy some people, but that’s most laptops these days. Bottom line: it’s pretty much on par with the screens on the MacBook Pros from what I can see.”

So, are you planning on picking up the new MacBook Air? It’s up for preorder right now, and goes on sale Wednesday, November 7, starting at $1,199.