Apple’s new MacBook Air is a 2.8 pound laptop that measures 0.63 inches at its thickest point, and which packs a 13.3 inch, 2560 x 1600 pixel IPS display, a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, and a 49.9 Wh battery for up to 12 hours of run time on a charge.

But there are three things that make the 2020 MacBook Air stand out from its predecessors:

  • 10th-gen Intel Ice Lake-Y processors with Iris Plus graphics
  • 2X as much storage on entry-level configurations
  • A keyboard that shouldn’t stink

The new MacBook Air is available from Apple.com for $999 and up.

In terms of performance, the move from an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 Amber Lake processor with Intel UHD 617 graphics and a 7 watt TDP to 10th-gen Ice Lake-Y chips with Iris Plus graphics and 9 watt TDPs should bring up to an 80-percent boost in performance.

But not all Ice Lake-Y chips are created equal.

What you get for $999 is a laptop with a Core i3-1000G4 (or similar) dual-core processor and Iris Plus graphics, 8GB of LPDDR4X 3733 MHz RAM, and a 256GB solid state drive.

Update: It looks like the new MacBook Air will be powered by previously unannounced Core i3-1000NG4/Core i5-1030NG7 and Core i7-1060NG7 chips. 

You’ll have to pay $1299 or more if you want a model with a quad-core Intel Core i5 Ice Lake-Y series processor, although you’ll also get at least 512GB of storage if you go that route.

Apple says the new MacBook Air is also configurable with up to a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM and 2TB of solid state storage. A fully-decked-out Core i7/16GB/2TB model will set you back $2249.

One thing that should be improved on all models is the keyboard — Apple says the 2020 MacBook Pro features a new “Magic Keyboard” with improved scissor switches featuring 1mm of key travel. It’s basically the same keyboard used on the 16-inch MacBook Pro that launched late last year rather than the much-maligned “butterfly” keyboard the company had been using in laptops until recently.

Other features include an Apple T2 scurity chip, a pressure-sensitive “Force Touch” trackpad, a 3-mic array for FaceTime calls or other video activities, and Thunderbolt 3 ports. Apple says the 2020 MacBook Air is the first in the series to support up to a 6K external display.

Apple press release

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  1. Unless I want to upgrade to a less portable 16” MacBook Pro, this new Air model is a better choice than my 13” MacBook Pro just because of the keyboard. It seems like it has enough zip for development work.

    I have a Dell laptop at home, running Ubuntu, which has a touch screen and quite frankly, I don’t take advantage of it. Not sure how it’d be a dealbreaker.

  2. Im not buying without touch screen. they will never give touch screen because then ipads wont sell. cheating customers as much as possible Apple makes way more money on apps and iphones and ipads. macs are an afterthought right now. they are produced to continue the legacy but their use is discouraged by apple