MacBook AirSource: iMore

The MacBook Air has received what, on the surface, appears to be a minor update, but in reality, it's the best MacBook Air we've seen in many years. So what's new? We've got the details for you below.

Magic Keyboard

MacBook Air 2020

The keyboard you always wanted at a price you know is reasonable.

We asked. Apple listened. The 2020 MacBook Air has a new scissor mechanism keyboard and a price that fits our budget.

It doesn't look any different to me. What's new?

You're partly right. It doesn't look any different. The MacBook Air has the same case and screen as its predecessor, but the internals have been given a nice little boost. It's got faster graphics, and 25GB starting storage capacity. The 2020 MacBook Air is also made from 100% recycled aluminum.

I know I just said that it's the internal changes that make the difference, but that's not entirely true. The 2020 MacBook Air has Apple's new Magic Keyboard that first appeared in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro. It goes back to the much-beloved scissor mechanism, replacing the butterfly mechanism that has been ... a bit divisive.

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Along with the new old Magic Keyboard, the 2020 MacBook Air has an improved Force Touch trackpad.

The best part of all is that the 2020 MacBook Air has dropped back down to the $999 starting price.

Wait, did you say new keyboard?

That's right! For those of you that have been waiting years for Apple to bring back the scissor mechanism, this is your time to shine. Gone is the troublesome butterfly mechanism, which some people really didn't like, even before it turned out to have reliability issues.

The new Magic Keyboard in the MacBook Air has 1mm travel for a more comfortable typing experience. It's got a better bounce than the butterfly keyboard. It's still ultra-thin, which is important for keeping the "Air" thin enough to fit in an envelope, but goes back to the old scissor ways.

So what makes it faster?

The 2019 MacBook Air is outfitted with a dual-core eight-generation Intel i5 processor. The entry-level 2020 model has a dual-core 10th-generation Intel i3 processor, which is actually a lower level, but you can upgrade it to a quad-core i5 or i7 processor. Plus, the new model has an Intel Iris Plus graphics card, which is a notable improvement over its predecessor.

Bluetooth connectivity is improved with Bluetooth 5.0, though Wi-Fi is still 802.11ac.

What about battery life?

The 49.9-watt battery clocks in at up to 11 hours of web surfing, 12 hours of Apple TV app movie watching, and up to 30 days on stand-by power.

What's so new about the Force Touch trackpad?

It's 20% larger! If you've used the trackpad on the MacBook pro from the past four years, you'll know how nice it is to have that extra room for all those gestures.

Any new colors?

Not this year. The 2020 MacBook Air comes in gold, space gray, or silver.

No more 128GB storage capacity?

That's right. These days, we're dealing with bigger programs and more reason to download content (like all those Apple TV+ shows). Starting out, the 2020 MacBook Air has 256GB of storage, but you can upgrade to 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB.

How much does all this extra storage set me back?

Less than the 2019 model, actually. Apple dropped the price back down to $999 to start — $899 for students. Most people will be fine with the i3 core processor, but if you want the more powerful processor that comes in the 2019 model, you'll need to bump up $100.

Any more questions?

Do you have any more questions about the 2020 MacBook Air? Put them in the comments and we'll find the answer!

Magic Keyboard

MacBook Air 2020

The keyboard you always wanted at a price you know is reasonable.

We asked. Apple listened. The 2020 MacBook Air has a new scissor mechanism keyboard and a price that fits our budget.

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