The MacBook Air has risen from the ashes. The reports of its demise, over the years, were greatly exaggerated. It is back, with the biggest update Apple could have given up, but in many ways, this really isn’t the MacBook Air as we knew it. The new MacBook Air is priced Rs1,14,900 onwards, and will be available in India from November.
It now has a 13.3-inch Retina Display. The MacBook which was still soldiering on had a display that was now aging, and anything less than a Retina Display wouldn’t have been expected. The new MacBook also has TouchID built-in, which means you can unlock the MacBook Air with your fingerprint. How cool is that, and this puts it at par with the MacBook Pro line-up. This doesn’t have the TouchBar controls, but that’s not something we would hold against it.
Under the hood of the Air are the newest Intel Core i5 processors, with storage options going as high as 1.5TB SSDs.
Perhaps as expected, Apple has integrated the T2 chip in the MacBook Air as well. It enhances the data security by doing a whole host of background tasks, one of which is to ensure that the integrity of the solid state drive (SSD) in the MacBook Air isn’t compromised in any way. Each T2 is linked to each MacBook Air. This means that even if someone was to remove the SSD from your MacBook Air and attempt to access that data through another MacBook or computing device, that will not work. This is a great security measure, which should be useful for business users, who may want that extra layer of protection for their sensitive data.
The MacBook Air also gets the third-generation keyboard, a larger trackpad and Apple claims this has battery life as high as 13 hours on a single charge.
Apple says that the new Air is made from recycled aluminum, which is otherwise left behind as waste on production lines. In fact, the new MBA has 17% lesser overall volume too than its predecessor and weights 2.75 pounds.
But that is perhaps where the problem lies.
The prices for the new MacBook Air start at Rs1,14,900—that’s significantly more than the current market price of the outgoing model, which is anywhere between Rs55,000 and Rs65,000 depending on the deals and offers available at the time. While the Air has almost always been the entry point into the MacBook line-up, it wouldn’t be that anymore.
The price advantage is lost, but that isn’t the only challenge. Despite the name ‘Air’, this is no longer the lightest MacBook that Apple sells. The MacBook weighs around 2 pounds while the Air weighs around 2.75 pounds. And it is just 0.27 pounds lesser in weight than the MacBook Pro 13.
As things stand, it is hard to see where the MacBook Air currently fits in Apple’s MacBook line-up. It is priced far too close to the MacBook Pro, and is no longer that “affordable” MacBook that many expected.