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The new Apple M1 MacBook Air

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The Apple M1 MacBook Air 2020 is an excellent thin-and-light laptop, completely transformed by the new Apple M1 chip. It’s definitely a game-changer now that Apple unveils its new central process unit. The M1 has received great reviews for its incredible performance and efficiency.

Here are the MacBook Air 2020 details you should know about.

Tech Specs

Retina display:
13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit display with IPS technology
2560-by-1600 native resolution at 227 pixels per inch with support for millions of colors
Supported scaled resolutions: 1680×1050, 1440×900, 1024×640
400 nits brightness
Wide color (P3)
True Tone technology

Apple M1 chip:
8-core CPU with 4 perform­ance cores and 4 efficiency cores
7-core GPU
16-core Neural Engine

Battery and Power:
Up to 15 hours wireless web
Up to 18 hours Apple TV app movie playback
Built-in 49.9‑watt‑hour lithium‑polymer battery
30W USB-C Power Adapter

Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports with support for:
Charging
DisplayPort
Thunderbolt 3 (up to 40Gb/s)
USB 4 (up to 40Gb/s)
USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10Gb/s)

Memory:
8GB; Configurable to 16GB.

Storage option 1:
256GB SSD, Configurable to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB

Storage option 2:
512GB SSD, Configurable to 1TB, or 2TB.

Key­board and Track­pad:
Backlit Magic Keyboard with 78 (U.S.) or 79 (ISO) keys including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys in an inverted-T arrangement
Ambient light sensor
Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and pressure-sensing capabilities; enables Force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing, and Multi-Touch gestures

Touch ID: Touch ID sensor

Wireless:
802.11ax Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking, IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n/ac compatible
Bluetooth 5.0 wireless technology

Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera

Audio:
Stereo speakers
Wide stereo sound
Support for Dolby Atmos playback
Three-mic array with directional beamforming
3.5 mm headphone jack

Size and Weight:
Height: 0.16–0.63 inch (0.41–1.61 cm)
Width: 11.97 inches (30.41 cm)
Depth: 8.36 inches (21.24 cm)
Weight: 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg)

Processor

In the past, Apple had been using Intel-based processors, but now they have switched to their own internally designed Apple M1 chip. Now this means the processor is really fast and well optimized for Apple applications. Because now Apple makes both software and hardware that means you get ridiculous levels of performance. As soon as you open the laptop, it turns on as you would expect with an iPhone.

Apple M1 is the first chip designed specifically for Mac. It delivers incredible performance, custom technologies, and revolutionary power efficiency. And it was designed from the very start to work with the most advanced desktop operating system in the world, macOS Big Sur. With a giant leap in performance per watt, every Mac with M1 is transformed into a completely different class of product. This isn’t an upgrade. It’s a breakthrough.

Apple

Performances

If you are a tech person and you care about the numbers we can recommend you to look at the Geekbench Mac Benchmark Chart. It will give you an idea of how well the processor is performing.

Geekbench Mac Benchmark Chart

Now here is how the chart looks like. You can see the M1 versions are absolutely miles ahead of everything else. It doesn’t matter if you are a normal person or a pro because with MacBook Air you are very unlikely to have any performance issues, just because of how fast these M1 processors are.

Also, now all the Apple-designed applications are very well optimized for the new M1 chip. Everything that Apple makes is perfectly optimized for this.

The MacBook Air doesn’t have a fan and if you ask me it doesn’t need one. The answer is because the Apple M1 chip is so efficient. The previous MacBook Air, the one in early 2020, had big issues with overheating. In some scenarios, it would get really hot and it would start to make a huge noise because of the fan trying to cool it down.

Design

In my view, Apple hasn’t really made any updates to the design at all. And that’s good because I am pretty much in love with it. Everything is basically the same as the previous version of the MacBook Air. It has the same kind of wedge design that we have grown to love.

Keyboard

The MacBook Air has an absolutely fantastic keyboard, and it’s my favorite keyboard of all time. I really like the fact that it has an ESC key and not the crappy touch bar that I hate. The touch ID fingerprint reader is separated off on the right side of the function keys. It’s a form of biometric security that’s meant to be more convenient than entering a passcode or password. Once you set it up, you’ll be able to do the following:

  • Wake and log in to your user account from sleep (doesn’t work on the first boot because you have to sign in with your password)
  • Switch between users from sleep, if they each have separate fingerprints saved
  • Use Apple Pay
  • Authorize purchases from the iTunes, iOS App Store, or Mac App Store

Another improvement and a big like from my side, Apple ditched the Butterfly Switches and moved back to the Scissor Switches. Many people are aware of the problems with the Butterfly keyboards that resulted in a huge recall program and many frustrated customers. In my view, Scissor Switches are more reliable and feel much better to type on. They are straight-up better in every way. The keyboard is still backlit, still has the same size and everything but now it’s just miles better to type on. And not to forget the inverted T arrow keys. They are also back. I guess they are everyone’s favorite.

Battery life

You get all-day battery life which means 15 hours of wireless web browsing, or up to 18 hours of video. There is no surprise having in mind the more power-efficient processor.

This means you should be able to go a full workday, and maybe even more without needing to charge the laptop. In some scenarios, it also depends on what you’re working on. If you do more intensive tasks with it, the battery will drain faster.

Screen

There are some things Apple didn’t change to this laptop, and a big one is the screen display. Apple made no upgrade to the screen. It has the same 13-inch size, 2560×1600 screen, and the bezels are still here. I wish they were a little bit less thick. It’s a pretty nice screen but it’s not the best screen possible. Hopefully, they’ll update that for the next time.

Camera & Audio

It is kind of impressive how bad the camera still is. I was expecting an upgrade for the 720p camera. The microphone was improved and I think it sounds pretty good. It has a low signal-noise ratio. Of course, it’s not exactly up to a good quality microphone, but still, you could record a decent podcast with it. There are better speakers too, with more bass and about 25% more volume than the previous MacBook Air. They get pretty loud and have a clear sound. But overall, I am impressed here.

Price

The MacBook Air starts at $999, but if you have a .edu email address you get $100 off.

Conclusion

I guess the MacBook Air is setting up to be again Apple’s most popular laptop and it makes me want to replace my day-to-day laptop. If I think about it, I could easily switch to the MacBook Air because I am traveling most of the time and this laptop would be perfect for my work.

Overall, I think the MacBook Air is as close to perfect as an entry-level laptop can be. It’s pretty much a no-brainer if you are in the market for a reasonably price MacBook. So, look no further than this because this is the one.

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One reply on “The new Apple M1 MacBook Air”

The M1 processor is wow. I am impressed how fast it is.
Thanks for sharing the benchmark performances and comparison between devices. I will use the website for future comparisons.

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