Apple’s apple macbook Air has experienced some extreme peaks và valleys over the past decade: the second-generation thiết kế introduced in 2010 was, for years, the standard by which all midsize laptops were judged. The Air was Apple’s most popular Mac & one of the best & most popular laptops ever made. That history, and the strength of the Air brand, meant that people just kept buying the macbook Air, even as hãng apple let it fall far behind the rest of its laptops.

It was weird: at one point, Apple openly pointed out that the base model 13-inch apple macbook pro was a better choice than the Air during a keynote, and people still bought the Air instead.

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Eventually, the stubborn popularity of the Air & a renewed commitment lớn the Mac led hãng apple to completely redesign the laptop apple macbook Air around a Retina Display in 2018. But táo apple also gave it one of its troubled butterfly keyboards, which developed a reputation for unreliability and a worse reputation for costly fixes.

the new apple macbook Air is right where it needs khổng lồ be

When táo updated the new Air last year, it stuck with that butterfly keyboard, which meant that there was still a question mark hanging over it. And the hãng sản xuất intel chips inside struggled with even moderately demanding tasks.

That brings us lớn now: the 2020 apple macbook Air comes with the new scissor-switch keyboard táo khuyết introduced in the 16-inch apple macbook Pro, và the processors have been upgraded to Intel’s new 10th-generation parts. Táo khuyết also lowered the price by $100: the macbook Air now starts at $999.

It’s been a long road back, but this new laptop apple macbook Air is right where it needs to be: squarely in the mix of being the best laptop for most people.

Our đánh giá of apple MacBook Air (2020)

Verge Score 8.5 out of 10

But you’re not here for telecommuting tips — you’re here lớn learn about the new keyboard. Reliability aside, I was absolutely not a fan hâm mộ of the butterfly keyboards, và I kept my năm ngoái MacBook Pro around as long as I could because I so much preferred its traditional keyboard. I’m happy to lớn say that the keyboard on the new laptop apple macbook Air is a solid return khổng lồ form. It feels just lượt thích the keyboard on the 16-inch táo macbook pro I’ve been using for several months, which is to lớn say, it feels very good. The keys have 1mm of travel, the inverted-T arrow key layout is back, and everything is just clicky enough without being too loud. Overall, the whole thing is very solid và very satisfying.

I don’t really want to lớn give táo bị cắn too much credit for updating this keyboard since it took the company way too long to get away from the butterfly kiến thiết after people started calling out the problems. Và I don’t think táo bị cắn gets the benefit of the doubt on reliability anymore. It’s just going to take time to earn that trust back. But history aside, the keyboard is one of the single most important parts of a laptop, and the new macbook Air’s keyboard is extremely good.

the laptop macbook Air’s keyboard is extremely good

I also greatly prefer this keyboard with a standard top row & function buttons lớn the cảm biến Bar keyboard on the 16-inch macbook Pro. I know people who love the cảm biến Bar — maybe you do, too — but I don’t love it, và I think it’s really telling that hãng apple still hasn’t put a cảm biến Bar on its most popular laptop. Physical volume & brightness keys forever, is what I’m saying.

The other thing the Air doesn’t have is a touchscreen. There’s nothing much more khổng lồ say about it at this point; if apple can add trackpad support to iPadOS, it can probably figure out touch tư vấn in macOS. But the company doesn’t seem interested in that, so I wouldn’t expect to lớn see it happen anytime soon. At least the trackpad is great: it’s huge like on all modern MacBooks, but it still feels great to lớn scroll and click on.

So that’s the keyboard. From a physical hardware perspective, it was the only thing apple needed to fix. It still looks & feels like what you’d expect a laptop macbook Air khổng lồ look and feel like. It has the classic wedge shape, it’s not flimsy at all like other ultrabooks, và the bezels around the screen are fairly minimal.


The other big news is the processor selection, which consists of three special versions of Intel’s 10th-generation Y-series chips. Previous apple macbook Airs offered but one anemic dual-core processor choice; now, you can spec an Air out with a 1.2GHz quad-core vi xử lý core i7 if you wish.

AGREE khổng lồ CONTINUE: laptop apple macbook AIR (2020)

Every smart device now requires you khổng lồ agree to lớn a series of terms and conditions before you can use it — contracts that no one actually reads. It’s impossible for us khổng lồ read & analyze every single one of these agreements. But we started counting exactly how many times you have lớn hit “agree” to use devices when we nhận xét them since these are agreements most people don’t read và definitely can’t negotiate.

In order khổng lồ get past the setup and actually use the apple macbook Air, you are required lớn agree to:

The macOS software license agreement, which includes:

- Apple’s warranty agreement

- trò chơi Center terms and conditions

These agreements are nonnegotiable, & you cannot use the máy tính xách tay at all if you don’t agree to lớn them. There are also several optional agreements, including:

Location servicesSending crash & usage data to táo apple to help ứng dụng developersAllowing táo to use your Siri transcripts lớn improve voice recognition

The final tally is three mandatory agreements & four optional ones.

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Our đánh giá unit is the step-up configuration, with a 1.1GHz quad-core core i5 chip and 8GB of RAM. It’s been fairly capable: I’ve been working in Chrome, Slack, Zoom, & Lightroom like I normally do, và things have clipped right along. That feeling is backed up by a single-threaded Geekbench 5 score of 1001, which is basically in line with the 16-inch bộ vi xử lý core i9 laptop apple macbook Pro’s single-threaded score of 1109.

But I wouldn’t gọi the Air a rocket; I can definitely push the limits pretty easily. Just opening Lightroom is enough to make the fan speed up, and after a couple of edits, it’s going full blast. Heavy sustained workloads cause the system to vị some aggressive thermal throttling, basically capping the max speed of the processor in order to manage heat.

Apple told me this throttling is by design. The company doesn’t think most people need hardcore sustained performance, so the Air is built around Intel’s turbo boost feature, which can quickly ramp the processor lớn 3.2GHz to get something done and then ramp it back down lớn 1.1GHz to lớn preserve heat và battery life. This is a pretty normal strategy now.

But if you push the Air for a little while, things will get hot, & the system won’t allow the processor to get all the way up to 3.2GHz. In my tests with Cinebench, clock speed was capped at around 1.5GHz under sustained workloads. And that tín đồ was blowing its heart out.

In day-to-day use, I never really noticed any of this thermal management, which is the entire point. But it’s also clear that there isn’t a ton of performance headroom if you need to lớn sit around rendering 3 chiều graphics or exporting videos all day long. You’ll definitely hear that fan, & you might experience some slowdowns.

Performance is fine, but you’re going to lớn hear the fan hâm mộ run

A lot of people tweeted questions at me about the performance difference between the chip core i5 Air & the chip core i5 13-inch macbook Pro. U-series processor differences aside, it really comes down to lớn thermal design: táo bị cắn told me that the macbook phiên bản pro is the better laptop for people who need khổng lồ push their machine to the limit all the time. It has a more forgiving thermal design và faster turbo boost clock speeds. Basically, the apple macbook phiên bản pro can run hotter and faster for a longer period of time than the apple macbook Air, which means better performance for heavy sustained tasks.

My sense is that the people with those needs know exactly who they are; they should wait for a refreshed táo macbook pro with an updated keyboard. Everyone else will likely find that the macbook Air’s performance is totally fine for most day-to-day tasks, but that they’ll hear the fan run every so often.


I have khổng lồ say that the Air’s battery life was just average: táo khuyết claims that the new Air can get up to lớn 11 hours of battery life if you’re just browsing the web in Safari, but my pretty boring workday of running Chrome, Slack, và Zoom killed the battery in just five hours with the screen brightness turned all the way up. I probably could have extended that a little if I’d turned down the brightness, but this is not the world’s brightest screen lớn begin with — it averages about 400 nits of brightness — so I wasn’t eager lớn back it down.

I don’t think this is entirely Apple’s fault — all three of these apps are battery hogs — but at this particular moment in history, I don’t think I’m alone in having Zoom and Slack mở cửa all day every day. Và while Safari is much more efficient than Chrome, Chrome is still just a fact of life for a lot of people. It’s great that the Air can get terrific battery life if you restrict yourself to Apple’s own apps, but my friends, we live in a society.

Speaking of Zoom, the webcam in the Air is the same old 720p webcam Apple’s been using forever. It’s fine. It is aggressively fine. I hope someone on the Mac team talks khổng lồ someone on the iPhone team about cameras before they release another máy tính xách tay with this webcam.


I can easily keep going with minor observations about the apple macbook Air: USB-C is still some sort of elaborate logic puzzle. The Retina Display is commendably sharp, but it doesn’t have the P3 wide màu sắc gamut of the macbook Pro, & it’s weird that táo apple calls it 2560 x 1600 when it runs at an effective 1440 x 900 by default. (You can phối it to the equivalent of 1680 x 1050, và you should bởi that.) The gold model is slightly pinkish, which is very striking. It doesn’t support Wi-Fi 6 because Apple’s using a different Wi-Fi module than the one that’s normally packaged with these hãng sản xuất intel chips, but no one has Wi-Fi 6 yet so whatever. It’s nice that it uses a 30-watt charger, which means any number of third-party USB PD devices will charge it just fine. We’re at the point where macOS Catalina comes out of the box with almost every Apple tiện ích preloaded in the Dock, including Podcasts & Apple TV, help.

But really, the most important thing is that, for the first time in several years, I feel confident saying that most people in the market for a Mac máy tính can just buy a macbook Air & expect it khổng lồ competently and reliably bởi vì most things for a long time to lớn come. That’s a big win and a solid return to lớn form.

Photography by Nilay Patel / The Verge

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