Design and Screen Quality
Throughout its history, Apple has been well regarded for its design. Whether it’s the original compact design of the Macintosh Plus, or the Jolly Rancher-inspired luminous bubble that is the Mac G3, Apple makes things that stand out and are visually appealing. Its become harder for them in recent years, with other manufacturers aping their style, and yet the 2018 MacBook Air still retains its crown as an impeccably designed laptop.
This is no more true than when you have the thing in your hands. It’s begging to be picked up and played with, and that’s even truer now with the introduction of the Touch ID, which has trickled down from the MacBook Pro model. While you don’t get the fancy Touch Bar here, you do get a single, unassuming black pad that will read your fingerprint, and is used for logging in, confirming purchases, and pretending you’re Ethan Hunt.
Elsewhere, Apple has somehow made the Air even thinner and lighter, while taking design points from the Pro. The end result is the best of both worlds, as the 2018 Air retains the tapered keyboard of the 2017 Air model, over the chunky base of the Pro, which keen typists can attest is burden on the wrists during long sessions. The trackpad has also been made larger too, which adds to the comfort.
It’s lost a little fat too compared to the 2017 model, shaving off 10 grams to bring it down to just 1.25kg. Yes, the 12-inch MacBook is still the lightest at 0.92kg, but it’s still impressive how Apple manage to make something so light, yet feel solid and robust at the same time.
Then there’s the screen. Pro owners were gifted Apple’s infamous, ultra-clear Retina display in 2012; the 12-inch MacBook, 2015. It’s taken until 2018 for the Air to catch up, and now it’s here, we’re over the moon. The 13.3-inch screen on the Air looked good before, but now it’s gorgeous, boasting bright, vibrant colors and detail that will make you want to throw yourself into your creative work (or simply watch some Netflix – we won’t judge).
Just as important as the visuals is sound. With the redesigned Air, Apple has moved the speakers to the sides of the keyboard – as it did with the Pro – whereas the previous model had them placed under the keyboard. You can hear the difference too, with meatier bass and generally louder sound coming from the 2018 model compared to the 2017.