If you like Apple devices — iPhones, MacBooks, Apple Watches — it’s likely that you’ve noticed the long-awaited recent renewal of one of the most iconic laptops — Apple MacBook Air 2020.
The latest MacBook Air laptop, announced on March 18, 2020, replaces the 2018 model and features one significant change that everyone has been waiting for — a brand new Magic Keyboard with scissor-based mechanism in place of the old butterfly keyboard that has given lots of headaches to MacBook owners since it was first introduced five years ago.
There’s, of course, lots more to discuss in the new MacBook Air review, from longer battery life to increased storage space to decreased price. And, more importantly, is the MacBook Air worth it after all and should you get one? Let’s find out.
Why 13 Inch MacBook Air Is A Great Laptop
Those who haven’t used a Mac Air before might wonder what all the hype is about and why every coffee shop seems to be lined up with MacBook Air laptops at any given time.
The truth is MacBook Air is great — arguably, the best Apple laptop for everyday use: checking email, writing, watching videos, creating presentations, listening to music, etc. MacBook Air is lightweight, sturdy, affordable, relatively powerful, has great battery life and a good display. It’s just the near-perfect combination of all the laptop features out there.
Some people argue about the difference between MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, as to which they should buy. A simple answer here is if you’re not sure whether you need a MacBook Pro, don’t buy it. As the name suggests, MacBook Pros excel at heavy-duty work, such as video editing, photo retouching, software development, design, etc. If you don’t do any of those things on a daily basis, you’re perfectly positioned to save some money by buying a MacBook Air.
What’s even better, the new MacBook Air 2020 has improved on nearly everything that came before and now presents an almost irresistible proposition. Get ready to explore one of the detailed, step-by-step MacBook Air reviews.
What’s new in MacBook Air 2020?
The first thing that everyone talks about in the new MacBook Air is its updated keyboard. After years of promoting a faulty butterfly-style keyboard, which would often break with even the tiniest amount of dust, Apple has finally issued a new redesigned Magic Keyboard. And it’s great. Suddenly, typing is much easier on the fingers and much more pleasant, and the design allows for quick repairs should your keyboard get dirty.
Among other updates, there are new 10th-generation Intel processing chips, at least 256 GB of storage space, a new Apple T2 Security Chip, a new battery, lower price, and a few other things.
New 10th-generation chips
The whole Apple MacBook Air lineup right now runs on the latest 10th-generation Intel Core chips, which are much faster compared to the 8th-generation ones used previously. Your base selection is 1.1 GHz dual-core i3, which you can upgrade to 1.1 GHz quad-core i5 (for just $100 — highly recommended) or 1.2 GHz quad-core i7 (could be an overkill for many).
In addition, for the first time, a MacBook Air laptop comes with an Apple T2 Security Chip, which monitors all the software being installed and encrypts your data on the fly. The T2 also powers the Touch ID functionality, so you can unlock your Mac Air with a fingerprint.
A great byproduct of a more powerful MacBook Air is its support for one 6K external display — something MacBook Airs could never handle before.
New MacBook Air battery
Since the very beginning (2010), MacBook Air battery life has been truly outstanding. With up to 12 hours of battery life on a MacBook Air 13.3-inch display, you can leave your charger at home and go out for the day of business (or a long flight) without worry.
New MacBook Air price
If there’s one announcement everyone is going to love it’s the new reduced MacBook Air price. The base model now starts at just $999 and $899 for students. For that price, you now also get 256 GB of storage — double the 128 GB amount that MacBook Air laptops always used to have.
The only feasible downside for the MacBook Air 2020 is the cost of upgrades. The lower base model price is largely made possible by the shift from the Intel Core i5 chip to the cheaper i3 (although the 10th-generation i3 is faster than the 8th-generation i5). But when you start upgrading — $100 for i5, $250 for i7, $200 for 16 GB of RAM, $200 for 512 GB SSD, and so on — you quickly get into the MacBook Pro territory of generally much more powerful laptops that start at just $1,299.
As a result, MacBook Air 2020 is a nearly flawless laptop, perfect for the daily tasks most people need to do. But only as a base model (plus maybe a $100 upgrade to i5). If you need more, it’s probably better to go with the MacBook Pro.
Once you decide on the new laptop, you might wonder what’s the most essential software you need to get?
How to monitor your Mac’s performance
When you pick your new MacBook Air, you might be tempted to go for the most powerful i7 model. But, remember, that a MacBook Air is a very thin device and doesn’t have much room for thermal regulation. In other words, a more powerful MacBook Air is much more likely to get overheated and freeze. What you need is just a simple monitoring tool to keep an eye on its performance.
iStat Menus is a nifty utility that lives in your menu bar and tracks everything that’s going on with your Mac, from internal temperatures to CPU processes to memory utilization to bandwidth. Stop touching your Mac to see if it’s hot — get an exact reading and know when it’s time to quit some apps, close some Chrome tabs, or even shut your Mac down altogether to avoid overheating.
How to always keep your Mac optimized
Once you know which area of your Mac is not performing correctly, you need a simple way to fix the problem. Of course, it’s sometimes possible to dive deep into Terminal and reconfigure something yourself manually, but how much nicer it would be to have an automatic solution ready at all times?
CleanMyMac X is one of the best optimization apps available for Macs today. Within seconds, it’s able to detect and fix performance issues, trace malicious scripts, free up disk space, maintain your privacy, update or uninstall software, and much more. If you want to keep your MacBook Air as fast as it can be, CleanMyMac X is the only tool you need.
How to extend your Mac’s battery life
As discussed above, MacBook Air battery life is nothing short of outstanding. But once your Mac is a few years old, the battery is simply not the same anymore and continues to drop significantly. What if there was a simple way to extend it?
Endurance is a tiny addition to your menu bar that seamlessly prolongs your MacBook Air battery life by up to 20%. How? By automating a few simple tricks, such as slowing down your processor, pausing unnecessary services, hiding background apps, dimming your screen, and much more. You won’t even notice that your Mac Air is any different — except for its whole new battery life.
So if you’re looking for a reliable laptop that’s good for casual use, look no further than MacBook Air 2020. Just make sure to keep an eye on it with iStat Menus, optimize it with CleanMyMac X, and prolong its battery life with Endurance.
Best of all, iStat Menus, CleanMyMac X, and Endurance are available to you absolutely free for seven days with a trial from Setapp, a platform containing more than 180 apps for any Mac user. Sign up at no cost today, see the whole list, and try the ones you like — what’s stopping you?