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Apple gives MacBook Air one more tune up

19 Mar 2020

Apple’s MacBook Air is the focus of another tune up and another price drop this week, as Apple continues to tweak the longstanding notebook line.

This time Apple has focused on improving CPU and graphics performance, a new Magic Keyboard, doubled storage capacity, and a new microphone system, amongst other features. Let’s take a look at each in turn.

Performance improvements

Apple says the new MacBook Air now features two times faster performance compared to the previous generation. This is due to an upgrade to the 10th-generation Intel Core processors. The notebooks also feature Intel Iris Plus graphics, which Apple says can deliver up to 80% faster graphics performance. Of course, results may vary depending on what you’re actually trying to accomplish with your machine.

More storage for more stuff

The MacBook Air now starts with 256GB of SSD storage, twice the amount fitted to the previous generation of MacBook Airs. The notebook can also hold up to two terabytes for additional storage.

Mac mini fans will also be pleased to know that they have also doubled storage capacity, with a standard 256GB storage.

The Magic Keyboard

In the past, Apple has been criticised for flaws in its keyboards, which is why the company will no doubt make sure Magic Keyboard on the MacBook Air is high quality. Users will experience only 1 millimetre of key travel and the arrow keys have been repositioned to make ‘them easier to find without looking down’.

Security and privacy

The MacBook Air is fitted with Apple’s custom-designed silicon security chip that ensures software loaded during the boot process has not been tampered with. It also provides on-the-fly data encryption for everything stored on the SSD.

The T2 also protects Touch ID information, so whether customers are unlocking their Mac, entering an online password or making online purchases, their information stays safe, Apple says.

Other notable features

Apple has improved the mics, trackpad, Thunderbolt ports, speakers, and for the first time, support for an external 6K monitor.

The MacBook Air features a three-mic array for more clear voice capture for FaceTime calls with friends and family; A Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and multi-touch navigation; Thunderbolt 3 ports for data transfer, charging and video output in a single connector; Support for up to a 6K external display; and advanced stereo speakers for immersive, wide stereo sound for activities like watching Apple TV+ content or playing games in Apple Arcade.

All new MacBook Airs come with macOS Catalina, which is the latest version of Apple’s operating system.

The latest MacBook Air is available to order from today for NZ$1799 (check Apple's website for pricing in other countries).

The Mac mini is available to order from today for NZ$1449.