At its second fall hardware event today, Apple finally raised the curtain on the new MacBook Air. A device that has been expected for years as finally arrived. Indeed, this is the first significant refresh of Cupertino’s portable PC in years. It arrives at the right time, just as Microsoft’s Surface products make their mark.

In recent years, Microsoft has taken plenty of thunder from Apple with its Surface products. The Surface Pro has brought sleek designs, high-end hardware, and excellent performance to Windows. Sure, the platform always had those things, but Surface devices showed Windows could match Apple in all departments.

In fact, the Surface range is a contributing revenue stream for Microsoft these days. All this means that the MacBook Air has looked dated while Apple seemed to ignore releasing a refresh. That changed today with the all-new MacBook Air and the early signs are it is a potent Surface Laptop 2/Surface Pro 6 competitor.

Advertisement

To highlight how long its been between MacBook Air releases, the previous model was still running Intel fifth-general Broadwell CPUs. Luckily, the new offering as something more up-to-date, the 8th generation Amber Lake chips to be exact. These are dual-core 5W processors and are available up to Core i7.

Apple has also splashed a Retina Display on the front of the laptop. This replaces the older 1440 x 900-pixel panel with a screen with over four million pixels. That’s a lot for a 13-3-inch display and means 48% more colors. Stereo speakers have also been added this time around, so expect the media experience to be excellent.

Design and Price

Apple laptops rarely deviate far from a set aesthetic, and the new MacBook Air is no different. That said, it does replace the outgoing aluminum bezel with a thinner black on, allowing for a sleeker front-facing design. Overalls, the body of the new device is 17% smaller than the previous model and it is also a quarter of a pound lighter.

Cupertino says the device is available for pre-order today, starting at $1,199 for the 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD version. The new MacBook Air will begin shipping on November 7.

Advertisement