The new 2019 MacBook Air features a slower SSD than 2018 model

MacBook Air
MacBook Air (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Tests conducted on the MacBook Air confirmed it has a slower SSD than the 2018 model.
  • The disk write speed was slightly faster but the read speeds were 35% slower.
  • The move was likley made to keep the price of the MacBook Air, which saw a $100 price discount.

The new 2019 MacBook Air with a True Tone display, upgraded keyboard and a price cut has been out for a week already, but we're finding out more about. The latest bit of information from Consomac confirms an unfortunate drawback: the SSD is slower than the previous 2018 model.

The French site conducted some tests on the new 2019 MacBook Air using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and it achieved speeds of 1.3 GB/s read and 1 GB/s write. Compare it to the 2018 MacBook Air, which achieved 2 GB/s read and 0.9 GB/s write.

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Apple MacBook Air 2018 13-inch Retina display laptop (opens in new tab)

This is a unique price that actually matches student pricing if you go through Apple, so it's basically like everyone is getting student pricing today.

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Apple's newer laptop improved slightly on the writing side, but its performance downgraded by 35% on the reading side. That can be attributed to a slower SSD Apple included in the new MacBook Air.

Before you go and start casting aspersions at Apple, the move makes a lot of sense. It'd be one thing if it did this and raised the price, but it actually lowered the price by $100, and the education discount brings it down to $999, making it the most affordable modern MacBook laptop ever (the outdated MacBook Air does not count).

With that as the background, Apple was bound to make a sacrifice or two to reached the aggressive price point and it did so with the SSD. Most people will take that over it removing something like Touch ID or another feature they'd use on a daily basis. It's also worth pointing out that given it is an entry-level point product, most users who pick up the new notebook likely won't notice the difference at all.

Regardless, the new MacBook Air is still the most affordable Apple laptop you can buy right now.

2 Comments
  • The conclusion would make sense, if the SSD prices hadn't dropped as much as it did...
  • eLoL! "a feature they'd use on a daily basis".... *ehem*
    I believe your SSD storage is used on almost every operation you perform on your computer...
    The advent of SSD's and faster drives is something that has a huge impact on your experience using the computer, even the small dip in performance isn't something that should amount to $100 at retail.....