The new Air is much smaller than the current one while maintaining a 13.3-inch display. It has 17-percent less volume and is 10-percent thinner. It also weighs 2.75 pounds, versus the older air which weight 2.95 pounds.
The new display is finally higher resolution than the original’s 1440 by 900. It’s now 2560 by 1600—the same as the latest MacBook Pro.
The MacBook Air now has biometric security built in, with a Touch ID button replacing the power button by the F12 key. Onboard there’s a T2 security chip to encrypt data and keep all Touch ID data securely on the machine instead of in the cloud.
Unfortunately, Apple has moved to the same kind of keyboard as the MacBook Pro and MacBook—though this is the 3rd generation version so it should be less susceptible to errant crumbs. Those butterfly keys have been plagued with problems.
Directly below the keyboard is a Force Touch touchpad which is much larger than the older MacBook Air’s touchpad, but with fewer moving parts.
Inside the laptop has been updated to a dual-core 8th-gen i5 processor from Intel and can be configured with up to 16GB of RAM and 1.5TB of SSD storage. Which means it’s finally moved away those terribly ancient CPUs its been charging far too much money for. Going with a dual core processor means the Air should have decent battery life. Apple claims it will last 12 hours on the web and 13 hours playing back videos from iTunes.
The base configuration will include 8GB of RAM, 128GB SSD, and a 1.6GHz i5 CPU from Intel and retail for $1,200—$100 less than the slower, but smaller MacBook. Pre-orders start today and it will ship next Friday.
Correction 1:20pm EST — This article previously stated that the processor found in the new MacBook Air is the 1.6GHz i5-8265U CPU. It is not. That is a quad core processor.
We have reached out to Apple and Intel for more information on the processor and will update when we hear back.
Update 4:42pm EST — Apple has confirmed that the i5 found in the MacBook Air is a Y-series processor. We are still looking into the exact details of the processor as it is not found in Intel’s publicly available database.