Apple’s newest MacBook Air is the first version of the company’s thin and light laptop with a so-called Retina Display, featuring a resolution of 2560 x 1600 for a total of 4-million pixels (or four times as many as you’d find in early MacBook Air models).

The 13.3 inch laptop also has an edge-to-edge glass display with narrower bezels, 48 percent more color, and an updated design — it’s 17 percent smaller than earlier models in terms of volume, and measures just 15.6mm thick, which is a 10 percent reduction.

It weighs 2.75 pounds and the new MacBook Air is made from 100 percent recycled aluminum.

The new MacBook Air goes up for pre-order today for $1199 and up and ships November 7th.

The new MacBook Air features an updated keyboard that Apple says is 4 times more stable, and which has a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in the upper right corner. You can use Touch ID  to unlock the device, login to apps, or make purchases using Apple Pay.

The touchpad is also 20 percent larger.

Apple improved also improved the speakers, promising 25 percent more volume, and there’s a 3-mic array for Siri voice detection.

The notebook features two Thunderbolt 3 ports for connecting storage, displays, an external graphics card, a power adapter, and everything else… but those are the only ports you get.

It’s powered by an 8th-gen Intel Core i5-8210Y Amber Lake processor and supports up to 16GB of DDR3-2133 RAM and up to 1.5TB of solid state storage, which Apple says is 60 percent faster than the storage on earlier models.

Apple says the notebook offers up to 12 hours of battery life while web browsing, and up to 13 hours during iTunes movie playback.

The company will offer the MacBook Air in silver, grey, and rose gold color options, and the company says it developed a new aluminum alloy in order to make it possible manufacturer the computer from recycled aluminum. That reduces the carbon footprint of the computer by 50 percent.

The $1199 starting price gets you a model with a Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. While you can find plenty of Windows PCs with similar specs for a lower price, that’s the lowest starting price for any Retina Mac computer to date.

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8 replies on “Apple launches the first MacBook Air laptop with a Retina Display”

  1. As a former Macbook Air user (mid-2011, lasted 7 years and sold it a few months ago), I have to say this is nice but certainly not enough. A colleague was flabbergasted that his 2017 MBA looked identical to my 2011 MBA, and the only real difference (besides processor generation) was 8gb of ram vs. my 4gb. A retina display doesn’t really do anything, since the display is not closer to the eyes where it matters. This is the main reason why Apple resisted so long (at least, the most plausible reason).

    Two Thunderbolt 3? Who cares! We are firmly in the land of USB-C. This “go my own way, not invented here” approach is killing the brand, and it is another reason for the cultishness. TouchID, TouchPad, but no Touchscreen? WTF?

    Basically, they are ignoring all trends (including lower prices). Anyone who has tasted the Kool-Aide should have sniffed the past-expiration-date scent of a company past its innovative prime.

    My MBA served me well and lasted a long time (and retained a lot of value). But the specifications these days are not addressing most needs, nor is ultimately the operating system shipping with this overpriced, underspecified laptop.

    Real innovation would be making this much, much lighter, and of course making it a convertible/2-in-1. But Apple, for all its “insanely greatness” and “the best” can’t actually offer this kind of fairly pedestrian offer. After all, Chromebooks can run ChromeOS Apps, Android Apps, and now Linux Apps. And Apple Macbooks, after years of neglect, can’t offer a touchscreen, flip-convertible hardware, a touchscreen, nor dual-OS app support.

    This just proves how huge the gap is between profits and actual innovation.

    1. “Two Thunderbolt 3? Who cares! We are firmly in the land of USB-C.”

      They’re still USB-C. They just support Thunderbolt as well.

    2. > the only real difference

      They also went with a 16:9 aspect ratio. 13.3 inches isn’t a large screen size – so after taskbars, window borders, headers, etc… a real loss of vertical space. At least they didn’t go 2:1 aspect. Maybe that’s the next refresh…

      1. Other articles and Apple’s specs say “2560-by-1600 native resolution”. Also the display is IPS, so yes, it’s quite a visible upgrade from the old one.

      2. Be careful, they’ll remove the old webcam and put in FaceID. It might come with a notch and a crappy 19.5:9 aspect ratio.

        Also the port might move up to the display section, and they’ll replace the Solid Keyboard with a Flexible removable (folio) one. And it won’t be in the box.

        Not to mention the chassis. They’ll move away from Aluminium and go with Tempered Glass. Innovation, yay! (/s)

    3. Dear fellow designer, you haven’t managed to convince me, personally, that I should be better off with a 2-in-1 hybrid, neither great in any of its two tricks, instead of a separate laptop (great for one thing) and/or a separate tablet (great for one other thing).

      Nor you didn’t convince the designers at Apple (speaking of their software department in the first place, that an iOS/macOS hybrid is a good idea to begin with), or Microsoft for that matter, thinking of their basic Surface 2 laptop that the world doesn’t need simple laptops anymore.

      Yeah, Macs don’t do Linux, but they do similar Unix, they have their package manager and all.

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