After years of pleading from customers, Apple this week finally upgraded the woefully ignored MacBook Air. First introduced in 2008 by Steve Jobs with the now iconic manila envelope, the MacBook Air became Apple’s most popular computer. It was soon ignored and passed by the MacBook and MacBook Pro.
However, the MacBook Air is making a comeback as Apple refocuses its efforts. In fact, it’s the best MacBook you can buy right now.
Keep this in mind: the MacBook Air, which is cheaper than the base non-Touch Bar MacBook Pro and MacBook (each start at $1,299), offers things like a Retina display, two Thunderbolt ports, Touch ID, Force Touch trackpad, third-generation butterfly keyboard and the best battery life out of any of Apple’s laptops with up to 12 hours of wireless web surfing—the others cap out at 10 hours.
That’s a hell of a list and it doesn’t stop there. The MacBook Air’s internals are just as impressive with the base 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and Intel UHD Graphics 617—all for $1,199. Not cheap by most standards, but it is cheap by Apple standards. The only other Mac laptop you can buy that’ll cost less is the old MacBook Air for $999, but I’d recommend investing the extra $200 for the Retina display alone.
The new MacBook Air isn’t for power users (hello, MacBook Pro), it’s for everyone else who wants a MacBook that doesn’t make compromises. Here’s where the 12-inch MacBook failed, offering limited performance, a cramped design and a single port. The new MacBook Air eradicates those limitations and offers a solution with even more features to boot.
If anything, it kind of makes the MacBook obsolete. Except for the size and weight, there’s no reason to buy it now—it costs more and offers less.
About the only knock you can throw in the direction of the MacBook Air is that it’s not the mythical low-cost MacBook that has been rumored for years. Then again, this is Apple we’re talking about and that was never going to happen no matter how much we wanted it to.
What we got instead is the MacBook Air and it’s the MacBook most people should buy.