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MacBook Air: Everything you need to know

Apple Keynote
Apple Keynote (Image credit: Apple)

After years of stagnation, the lightest in the line of MacBook products is getting the makeover that we've all been waiting for (and didn't think would ever happen). Apple announced the new MacBook Air at its special event today in New York; here's everything you need to know.

Wait, what? A New MacBook Air?

That's right. Apple is not retiring the MacBook Air, but is instead revamping it for 2018. The new MacBook Air has a Retina display, an all-new design, Touch ID, new trackpad and so much more!

TouchID

Although Touch ID hasn't been on the latest iPhone's the new MacBook Air has TouchID! That means you can unlock your MacBook Air and buy things online with Apple Pay with just the touch of your finger. TouchID will also enable Hey, Siri on the new MacBook Air.

Does it have the TouchBar?

No, Apple hasn't included a TouchBar on the new MacBook Air.

Bigger trackpad

The new MacBook Air has the big ForceTouch trackpad that 20% more surface area than the previous model.

New keyboard

Apple also upgraded the MacBook Air with the new third-generation butterfly mechanism keyboard, for a smoother typing experience.

The internal specs

The new MacBook Air has new internal specs, including an 8th-gen Intel Dual Core processor, up to 16GB of memory, and can sport an SSD of up to 1.5 TB!

Processor options:

  • 1.6GHz dual‑core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor, Turbo Boost up to 3.6GHz

Memory options:

  • 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory

Storage options:

  • 128GB SSD
  • 256GB SSD
  • 512GB SSD
  • 1.5TB SSD

What ports does it have?

Much like the other MacBooks Apple sells, the new MacBook Air will have only two Thunderbolt 3 ports (USB-C) that support external GPUs and 5K external monitors.

The MacBook Air does still have a headphone jack, so you can still use a wired pair of headphones with the laptop with no dongle!

Battery life

While Apple didn't say the exact mAh of the battery in the new MacBook Air, they did say that it would able to last 12 hours of wireless web browsing and 13 hours of video playback.

Size

The MacBook Air was always supposed to be ultra light and super portable and the new model delivers.

Overall, the new MacBook Air has 17% less volume than the previous model, weighing only 2.75 pounds and measuring at 15.6mm thick, making it 10% slimmer than the previous model.

How much will this new MacBook Air cost?

The MacBook Air will start at $1199, making it the cheapest Mac with a Retina display.

When and where can I buy one?

You can order the new MacBook Air today, right after Apple's special event, and shipping (and availability in stores) will be on November 7, 2018!

Questions?

Let us know in the comments.

Luke Filipowicz
Staff Writer

Luke Filipowicz has been a writer at iMore, covering Apple for nearly a decade now. He writes a lot about Apple Watch and iPad but covers the iPhone and Mac as well. He often describes himself as an "Apple user on a budget" and firmly believes that great technology can be affordable if you know where to look. Luke also heads up the iMore Show — a weekly podcast focusing on Apple news, rumors, and products but likes to have some fun along the way. 


Luke knows he spends more time on Twitter than he probably should, so feel free to follow him or give him a shout on social media @LukeFilipowicz.

6 Comments
  • Was staying $999 too much to ask :/
  • "Apple also upgraded the MacBook Air with the new third-generation butterfly mechanism keyboard, for a smoother typin experience." Ooops. Looks like TYPIN is still tough.
  • I love the irony of some of these typos
  • Was seriously thinking of upgrading from 2017 MacBook, which I have maxed out in specs... use Lightroom a lot and lots of apps simultaneously, so while light weight/ size is important, so is power.... I'm quite surprised to see there is NO option to upgrade to an i7 processor.... so not sure how power of this maxed out (ie, ram upgrade only) would compare with 2017 MacBook, which has lower spec ram and GPU?
  • My 5-ish year old MB Air has a 2Ghz dual core Intel i7. That seems odd to step backwards in processing power after so many years, but perhaps the newer chip designs outperform the older ones even at the same clock-speeds?
  • I'm guessing that this new air will be faster than your 5 year old model. Not only that it will run longer and cooler as well. I'm getting the 16 gb/512gb version before February when my office 365 subscription is due. I'm going to switch to the 2tb iCloud account for my family. I am really sick of how Microsoft is messing up Windows. I am not a fan of macos, however I know it's going to be stable when released and will work with my iPad and iphone.