MacBook Air can be called the mainstream of thin and light notebooks. The advantages of Apple’s electronic products are basically integrated in this MacBook Air notebook. Both in appearance and strength are very worth starting. As a new product released in March, this MacBook Air 2020 computer has the latest experience and features. Give everyone a review of this computer!
In fact, MacBook Air and MacBook Pro return to Jobs’ original intentions, and their positioning is completely different. Pro, of course, focuses on performance, while AIR focuses on portability. Due to the development of technology, performance notebooks can be made thinner and lighter, and portable notebooks with stronger processor support can also fulfill some basic professional needs.
By 2020, this MacBook Air will blur the boundary between entry-level performance and portability even more, and what can separate the two is the price and appearance.
Main features of MacBook Air 2020 version:
The whole system is upgraded to the latest tenth-generation Intel Core processor (speed increase)
Use the latest scissor structure keyboard (improved feel)
Started with 256GB solid state drive (increased capacity)
Starting at $999 (price reduction)
First of all, in terms of performance, the entry-level Pro is certainly slightly better than the MacBook Air 2020. But the MacBook Air 2020 directly increased the hard drive to 256GB on the Beggar Edition this time, which is indeed a lot more conscientious than the 128GB of the 13-inch Pro. The starting price of $999 is also the lowest of the current MacBook family.
Like the previously released 12-inch MacBook, in addition to the most classic silver, this year’s new MacBook Air also added black and gold body options.
Compared to the gold we saw on the MacBook before, the gold on the MacBook Air will be warmer and closer to the warm gold on the iPhone XS. However, due to the different materials, the two golds still look different. The gold on the iPhone will be darker.
I call this gold “pink gold”. The reason is that in a well-lit environment, the computer case can show a reddish warm gold; in a light environment, the case will show a pale pink, a bit like rose gold, but slightly lighter than rose gold.
So, if you are tired of the black and silver appearance of the computer, you might as well try gold, this new color will make you feel like a fan.
The only thing that needs to be complained in appearance is still the design of the interface. The bizarre design of the Apple notebook “Beggar Edition” dual Thunderbolt interface on the same side has been going on for many years.
Why can’t I put two Thunderbolt ports on both sides of the computer? If the power plug is still on the right-hand side, the power cord needs to be bypassed for charging the notebook.
In terms of the body thickness, the thickest part of the MacBook Air 2020 body (1.61 cm) is slightly thicker than the previous generation (1.56 cm), and it is almost imperceptible. There is no change in the thinnest part of the fuselage (0.41 cm).
In addition, it also has a slim body and a lightweight shell. The whole computer is about 1.7cm thin and 1.35kg lighter. It is very easy to carry around, and it will not take up a lot of space in the bag!
The thinner body naturally has a certain compromise in configuration. For example, the lightest and thinnest MacBook is only equipped with a USB-C interface. Although I have confidence in the functionality of USB-C, there is only one interface after all, which is obviously not conducive to my work with external devices.
Fortunately, this year’s new MacBook Air does not have one interface left because of the body’s load reduction. Two full-speed Thunderbolt 3s are configured on the left.
Like MacBook Pro, the maximum transmission speed of these two interfaces is also 40 Gbps; USB-C transmission can also reach up to 10 Gbps, which is more efficient than the single-port 5 Gbps (maximum transmission speed) of the 12-inch MacBook.
Although this time Apple finally used the Retina screen in the new MacBook Air, the resolution has jumped from the original 1440 x 900 to 2560 x 1600. But it may be due to battery life considerations. Compared with the maximum brightness of the new MacBook Pro screen of 500 nits, the maximum brightness of the new MacBook Air is only 300 nits.
Although the screen brightness of 50% is sufficient for use in an indoor environment, there is no significant difference between the two. But if it is in an outdoor environment, higher display brightness can bring a clearer display effect in sunlight. If you often use your computer in an environment where the screen is exposed to direct light (such as outdoors), then the screen display quality of Pro will be better than the new Air.
It is also worth mentioning that the screen of the new MacBook Air does not support the P3 wide color gamut, which is another difference between the screen of this machine and the new MacBook Pro. But if you don’t compare the two together, the visual difference is actually not very big. If you are pickier about the color of the screen, then the one-step new MacBook Pro is obviously more suitable for you.
The standard configuration of the new MacBook Air this year is the eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor, with a default frequency of 1.6GHz and Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz. The core display is UHD Graphics 617, with 8GB of memory and 128GB / 256GB of storage space.
But despite the many upgrades, the performance of i5-8210Y is still a concern.
First of all, because it is a dual-core i5, the physical core is half less than the regular i5. Strictly speaking, it is more like a Core M processor classified as Core I. Secondly, it is an ultra-low voltage processor. The consumption is lower than the conventional i5, but its performance is also reduced to a certain extent.
But until I got the real machine and measured it, I found that the performance of the new MacBook Air was not as bad as I imagined.
In the regular operation test of basic tasks such as web browsing and streaming video, MacBook Air performed exceptionally well. There were no delays or freezes during my test, even when browsing the web in the Safari browser and the YouTube page on another tab is playing a video. When opening complex applications such as Adobe Photoshop or Garage Band, this computer has some slight delays, but this delay is very short. In most cases, these small problems will not affect our daily operations.
In a generally recognized unscientific test, when I opened the Garage Band application on the new MacBook Air, the icon was opened after being bounced on the Dock 5 times. On the 2019 13-inch MacBook Pro, this process bounced. 6 times.
But in the standardized benchmark test of higher frequency multimedia tasks, the MacBook Air in my hand began to appear obviously insufficient in performance.
Overall, the performance of the MacBook Air is significantly better than that of its previous generation, which is also equipped with a Core i5 processor, but it is significantly worse than the comprehensive performance of the MacBook Pro and two Windows notebooks.
As for the screen, this 2560 x 1600 resolution retina screen is still used, and the maximum brightness is still 500 nits. The screen reaches the full standard sRGB color gamut. Although it does not reach the P3 wide color gamut of the MacBook Pro, the Air’s screen is still very good from the perspective of contrast. Even if it is used as an entry-level photo processing screen, it fully meets the needs.
The 3.5mm headphone jack is still retained, in line with the fine tradition of all new Apple notebooks in the past two years. Even if the wireless headphones are the general trend, the reserved 3.5mm interface is still very necessary for many professional users.
The built-in three-microphone array and speakers have excellent effects. Microphones and speakers have always been the most overlooked places for other brand notebooks. Apple has always performed well in these two areas.
In the keyboard part below, this year Apple has configured the third-generation butterfly keyboard on this new computer, and the configuration is consistent with this year’s updated MacBook Pro.
On the basis of the second-generation butterfly structure, this keyboard adds a silicone film between the keycap and the base. That solves the design defect of the second-generation keyboard that is easy to enter the dust, and the hand feel is not as dry as the previous-generation keyboard.
And the backlit keyboard of this computer can make the input smoother and more natural. Natural lighting can also bring a touch of warmth at night. Friends who want to buy a MacBook Air 2020 notebook can start with confidence!
In addition, although the length and width of the new MacBook Air are the same as the 2018 MacBook Pro, the touchpad area is actually smaller than the latter. However, this is only a design difference, and the actual experience has no effect.
As early as after the release of this computer, it was rumored that the cooling solution of the new MacBook Air would adopt a “fanless” design like MacBook. This also made me worry about whether the Turbo Boost of the new computer would become a virtual device due to heat dissipation problems.
But in fact, it is not. In the disassembly of iFixit, we can see that the new computer is equipped with a fan. It’s just that this time Apple uses an “active cooling” solution instead of the dual-fan cooling of the MacBook Pro, so the fan will only start when the processor is running at a high frequency (the temperature is about 45℃~50℃).
For example, when I use Chrome to open more than a dozen pages or when I use it to cut videos, if I put my ears close to the keyboard, I can hear the fans working hard to pull out the hot wind.
The air outlet for heat dissipation is still between the A-side and C-side shafts. This is the same classic design as the Apple Logo on the A-side.
The MacBook Air series has always been known for its long battery life, and this updated product is no exception marked by Apple with a battery life of up to 12 hours (13 hours of continuous playback).
In our test, I adjusted the screen brightness to maximum and played FHD-resolution movies on Netflix via WIFI, and finally got 4 hours of battery life data. But when I use my MacBook Air at 50% screen brightness to write columns, play music, and surf the Internet, the computer’s battery life is only a little over 7 hours.
Under this intensity of use, according to my previous observations on the 2018 MacBook Pro (Core i5), the battery life of the Pro series is about 7 hours. And this time after my day’s use, the performance of the new MacBook Air is close to 8.5 Hours, slightly better than MacBook Pro without Touch Bar for about 15-30 minutes.
In other words, although the official MacBook Pro and the new MacBook Air have given 10 hours and 12 hours of battery life data, no matter which device, in real conditions, the real data is about two-thirds of the nominal.
But having said that, although the new MacBook Air may not reach the nominal battery life under certain conditions, compared to a 12-inch MacBook or a higher gear MacBook Pro, the new MacBook Air should be the Apple laptop with the strongest battery life except for the 15 MacBook Airs.
To Sum Up
Advantages: improved keyboard operation and experience; lightweight and stylish design; a variety of colors for consumers to choose; long battery life; for Mac, its price is reasonable.
Disadvantages: As before, no touch screen; too few ports and limited expansion; lack of excellent computing performance; Wi-Fi 6 is not supported.
If you want to replace an old MacBook model, and only want to use it for some word processing, web browsing, etc., then the redesigned keyboard and lower price of the 2020 Apple MacBook Air will be more in line with your needs.