Apple’s long-rumored 2020 refresh for the MacBook Air is here. The new MacBook Air’s headlining feature, as expected, is the scissor-switch keyboard — officially called Magic Keyboard — that replaces the controversial and fragile butterfly mechanism. On top of that, Apple has added a range of under-the-hood upgrades at a more affordable $999 base price.
Instead of a dual-core chip, the MacBook Air now comes (except on the base model) with Intel’s latest 10-gen quad-core processors up to the 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7 that the company claims “delivers up to two times faster performance when compared to the previous generation.” In addition, Apple is promising 80% faster graphics performance through the Intel Iris Plus GPU and now offers 256GB of onboard storage on the entry-level variant.
Other than that, the latest MacBook Air inherits its predecessor’s specifications. There’s a 13-inch Retina display, Touch ID for biometric authentication, a set of three microphones, stereo speakers, and two Thunderbolt 3 USB Type-C ports. It comes preloaded with macOS Catalina and complimentary one-year access to the Apple TV+ streaming service.
Outside, you’d be hard-pressed to differentiate it from the 2019 MacBook Air. As before, its metallic unibody is made out of 100% recycled aluminum and it comes in the same three finishes: gold, silver, and space gray.
“Today we’re giving it a huge update, with two times faster performance, the new Magic Keyboard, double the storage, a new lower price of $999 and an even lower price of $899 for education. With its stunning, thin, and light design, brilliant Retina display, all-day battery life and the power and ease-of-use of macOS, MacBook Air is the world’s best consumer notebook,” wrote Tom Boger, Apple’s senior director of Mac and iPad Product Marketing in a blog post.
The new MacBook Air starts at $100 less than its predecessor: $999 but, for the first time, Apple is also offering it at a special starting cost of $899 for the education market. It’s already on sale on Apple’s online store’s website and app in the United States. Apple also says it “will be available in stores starting next week” but in this announcement it seems to have forgotten that all of its offline stores have been shuttered due to the coronavirus outbreak outside the Greater China region indefinitely.
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