Macbook Air 2020 Review: Apple Cheapest Macbook Ever?

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Apple MacBook Air 2020 Review

Apple has launched the updated version of Macbook Air 2019 in March 2020- Macbook Air 2020. It has the new Magic Keyboard, Better and faster CPU performance, more significant storage, and a price tag of $999.

Plus, it has the nametag of the cheapest MacBook that Apple has ever made.

It is lightweight and cost-efficient but comes with an average battery backup. However, some of the users disliked its display performance. Also they noticed some significant thermal throttling issues when they use a few substantial/RAM consuming apps like adobe.

However, it could be best for someone who wants an affordable Macbook to do daily tasks such as browsing the internet, checking or send Emails, watching movies, etc. Plus, it is a Macbook that doesn’t contain unnecessary programs or extra features.

Every year Apple is trying to step up its product’s performance. They look at the aspects of the hardware, build quality and beneficial features in its products. The Macbook Air 2020 is Apple’s first thinnest laptop with a 16 GB RAM and a quad-core processor. However, Windows also has some laptops now, which are slightly lighter than Macbook Air 2020.

Except for an ultra-high quality screen, it comes with quite powerful hardware and features than most of the laptops in the market. Also, it’s capable of running most of the resourceful apps.

Now, is it worth investing? If yes, how profitable the deal would be? Or should you consider another laptop?

Let’s talk about the specifications and all these queries about it, in this whole Macbook Air 2020 review.

Apple Macbook Air 2020 Review

1. Design

Apple has not made any significant changes in Macbook Air 2020 as compared to Macbook Air 2019. However, some Apple users said that Apple is doing fine by not bantering the successful design of the Macbook.

Apple-Macbook-Air-side-angle-design
Picture credits:- Apple

Like 2019’s version Apple-features Macbook Air 2020 in three colors that are Silver, Space Gray, and Gold. And you don’t have to pay extra to choose a particular color between the three of them.

The company also used the aluminum alloy to build the Macbook Air that uses 100 percent recycled aluminum.

MacBook Air comes with the dimensions of 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.63 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.61cm). It’s considering as the thinnest and lightest Macbook of Apple, yet it is slightly thicker than Macbook Air 2019, which is .61 inches at its thickest point.

MacBook Air 2020 comes with a weight of 2.8 pounds (1.29kg). It is also slightly heavier than its predecessor, which has a weight of 2.75 pounds (1.25kg).

On the front of the screen, you’ll get a Retina display with slim black bezels. It gives a similar look to the Macbook Pro. And like always, you’ll see the logo of a bit-sized eaten Apple on the back of it.

On the left side of it, you’ll find two USB C Thunderbolt 3 ports, which will offer you a transfer speed of up to 40GB/sec. Also, you can transmit up to 6K footage to a compatible monitor. You can also use this to charge the device. Besides, you’ll find an audio jack on the right side of the Macbook Air.

Apple-Macbook-Air-side-angles
Picture credits: Apple

Also, you will not need a special charger to boost the battery of the MacBook Air, which is nice, but sometimes users feel a lack of port when they will be in hurry to charge the device and send some data from the two phones at the same time or vice versa.

2. Display

Apple features a 13.3-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2560 by 1600. It shows the 227 pixels per inch and more than 4 million pixels on the whole screen. Macbook Air 2020 comes with a clearer and crisper picture which you’ll not see in the Macbook Air 2018 and its predecessor. Also, that display offers 48 percent more true to life colors than the previous generation Macbooks.

Front-side-of-Macbook-Air
Picture credits:- Apple

Meanwhile, some resources also mentioned that the display seems a bit dim and lacking vibrant colors, as we see in OLED screens. Plus, in some parts of the movie, the display doesn’t get light up even with the max brightness.

It also supports a feature named True Tone. This feature will change the color settings of the screen according to the lighting of the place. True Tone feature work through a pre-installed multi-channel ambient light sensor in Macbook. It determines the brightness and color temperature of the room.

After that, Macbook Air adjusts the color and displays intensity to match the room’s lighting. In that way, the display gives you a paper-like experience with less eye-straining.

It will help Macbook users to work for long hours without eye-straining, especially for the writers and coders or developers.

3. The Magic Keyboard and Trackpad

Macbook Air 2020 got the same keyboard The Magic Keyboard as you’ll see in 16-inch Macbook Pro or with iPad Pro 12.9 inch 2020 edition.

Apple has been using a keyboard with a butterfly mechanism since 2015. However, lots of users facing technical and hardware issues due to entering dust and other small particles in it. Just after that, everyone started hating this mechanism. Although Apple noticed this criticism and accepted the mistakes.

Finally, Apple found a new and better Magic keyboard with a scissor mechanism and 1MM key travel of it. Also, almost every user is appreciating the durability and key comfortability of this keyboard.

Magic keyboard and trackpad in Macbook Air 2020
Picture credits:- Apple

Apple featured the inverted “Tarrangement arrow keys on the MacBook Air 2020. Apple says that the new design will be more comfortable with easy to find arrow keys that save you a little time and help you to become more productive. Also, the Magic Keyboard features an ambient light sensor that controls backlit keys and lights up the keys when you’ll enter the dark rooms.

The Magic Keyboard in Apple Macbook Air 2020 also features a large Force Touch trackpad without any traditional buttons on it. This trackpad is an enhanced version of the trackpad of its predecessor. Users don’t have to click on a particular spot of it. They will get the same and better response every time and wherever they touch and tap on this trackpad.

The new trackpad is powered by a Taptic Engined with powerful magnets that give tactile feedback while using the trackpad. However, Apple replaced the real physical button, but every time a user clicks, it still feels and sounds like the physical button.

When a user will make a light press, it will work as a regular click. And, when the user will deeper press or “force click” as a separate gesture it’ll offer up definitions for a highlighted word like the options we receive in windows when we press left click.

4. CPU and GPU Performance

Apple has released two models of Macbook Air 2020. The first one comes with an entry-level configuration and the second one is a higher-end Macbook Air.

In entry-level Macbook Air, you’ll get a 1.1GHz Dual-core i3 10th generation processor. Also, you’ll get the storage memory of 256GB and 8GB of 3733MHz RAM in this model.

Apple is definitely making some drastic changes in their products. Because the storage memory you’ll get in the entry-level Macbook Air 2019 is the 128GB.

On the other hand, in the higher end model of Macbook Air, you’ll get a 10th-generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor. Also, in this model, you’ll get the storage memory of 512GB SSD and 8GB RAM.

That’s the first time that Apple has included a quadcore processor in 512GB storage and 8GB RAM.

In the aspect of performance, Macbook Air works very well. In this Techradar’s article, they said that they tested it by opening 25 Tabs of Chrome browser and started editing photos by side. Also, they did a video call with the opened browsers tabs in the background. As a result, they find very little slowdown time while doing multitasking. However, they said it lags a bit when we ran some heavy applications.

Still, we can’t consider it as a slow computer. It performs very well when you use it to complete your daily basic tasks like browsing, reading, watching videos, and checking/sending E-mails.

All the experiments have been done with the entry-level Macbook Air. It performs all tests well but gets hotter when you put a substantial load on it by performing intensive applications on it. Especially when you will try to do editing with software like Final Cut Pro.

However, thermal throttling works well in conditions like this. It lowered the power of the CPU in that situation to prevent it from overheating and damaging it.

Another essential configuration, you’ll see in the MacBook Air, which is a T2 chip. It has a built-in Secure Enclave which protects the user’s Touch ID information. Plus you’ll get on-the-fly data encryption for your SSD storage data. This chip also scans Macbook Air to makes sure it doesn’t contain any malware or suspicious application.

Besides, the T2 chip helps Macbook Air to always enable the “Hey Siri” feature. In that way, you’ll not get annoyed by pressing the “Hey Siri” button every time to activate Siri. Because of this feature, you only have to say “Hey Siri” command, and it will be activated.

In addition, Macbook Air features Intel Iris Plus Graphics in both models. On the other hand, The Macbook Air 2019 comes with an integrated Intel UHD Graphics 617. Also, Macbook Air comes with a 10th generation chip. As a result, you can expect better graphic performance as compared to its predecessor.

Techradar mentioned that while running a few CPU-intensive benchmarks, they saw the CPU’s temperature quickly rose to 100C when they ran heavy applications on it. The fans started kicking in to keep the CPU cool. However, after a few moments, fans became distractingly loud, and the bottom of the body got hotter to touch.

Besides, the CPU frequency reached the limit of 2.31GHz, which is higher than the base clock 1.1GHz. Although CPU is still capable to get a 3.2GHz boost.

Moreover, 9to5Mac also mentioned benchmarks score of the entry-level model, which was 1024 in a single-core score and 2163 in a multi-core score.

Geekbench score of Macbook Air 2020
Picture credits:- 9to5Mac

Definitely, we can see this machine is amazing to complete your daily basic goals, but if someone is choosing this machine to edit 4k videos or want to do multitasking with a high workload, then he is not making a wise choice.

However, customization options are also available. You can ramp up the storage up to 2TB, RAM up to 16GB. However, users can rely on iCloud storage too. Also, you can upgrade the i3 processor with a quad-core Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost speeds up to 3.8GHz.

5. Battery Life

Apple features a 49.9 watt-hour lithium battery in the MacBook Air. Apple claims that the battery lasts for up to 11 hours when browsing the web. And while watching a movie/show using the Apple TV will give you a battery backup of 12 hours.

However, in the test of TechRadar the battery performs way below that. They played a 1080p video on Macbook Air until the battery gets drained completely.

Although the battery lasts long for only 8 hours. They also ran both types of multiple battery eater apps: Apple apps and third-party apps. In this test, the battery completely ran out in only 7 hours.

Well, that’s pretty disappointing. However, while testing the battery backup, they found good news too.

After leaving the new Macbook Air on standby mode for a night, they hardly found a drop in battery life. This feature makes it a worthy investment because most of the laptop ran out of battery life even on the standby mode or when no one is using it for long hours.

Meanwhile, you can’t expect a battery backup of 11 hours or near about it. Still, you can expect a little hike up in battery performance if you use apps with low RAM and battery consumption. Also, if you don’t do overload multitasking and play videos or surf the internet with low brightness.

Whats-you-get-with-Macbook-Air
Picture credits:- Apple

The MacBook Air comes with a USB-Charger that includes a 30W USB-C power adapter. It takes near about 3 hours to charge it completely. You can use any of these two thunderbolts 3 ports to charge the device. Moreover, the Macbook charge faster while it is switched off.

Also Read: Apple MacBook Pro 2020 13-inch: Release date, Price, Magic Keyboard and Specifications

Macbook Air 2020: Other Features

1. Connectivity

The MacBook Air comes with Bluetooth 5.0 and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. As we already told, it has two thunderbolts 3 ports and has a combo jack of mic and headphone. However, Macbook Air does not support (802.11ax) the newer WiFi 6  protocol.

2. Speakers and Microphone

Apple features stereo speakers in the Macbook Air 2020, which supports wide stereo sound to get you a good experience while watching Apple TV+ content or playing iOS games.

Apple did an excellent job to create a great speaker system while making it so thin and light at the same time. It got clear dialogue/vocal sounds, enough volume pitch, and better sound effects. Plus Apple added a three-array microphone with directional beamforming for FaceTime calls.

3. FaceTime Camera

Apple features a 720p HD built-in camera on the front of the Macbook Air. The camera is specially made to make video/Facetime calls. However, Apple users are a bit disappointing because the company has been using a 720p front-facing camera for many years now, yet they haven’t upgraded the quality.

4. Touch ID

Like most of the Apple products, Apple MacBook Air has also got a Touch ID fingerprint sensor, which is located next to the function keys at the top of the keyboard.

Apple also features a T2 chip with a Secure Enclave that helps Macbook to secure your fingerprint data and personal information.

Users can also use a password, but this feature seems more secure to lots of users. They just have to place their finger on the sensor to unlock the device. You can use this feature to replaces a password for password-protected apps, and also to make Apple Pay purchases in Safari.

Macbook Air 2020: Price and Where to Buy

As we told, there are two models available in Macbook Air 2020– The entry-level variant and Macbook with high-end configuration.

The entry-level variant will cost you $999 and comes with specifications:-

  • 1.1GHz Dual-Core i3 10th gen processor
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz
  • 256GB SSD storage
  • Touch ID
  • LPDDR4X memory with 8GB
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

The Macbook Air with high-end configuration comes with a price tag of $1299 with specifications:-

  • 1.1GHz Quad-Core i5 10th gen processor
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
  • 512GB SSD storage
  • Touch ID
  • 8GB LPDDR4X memory with 3733MHz
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports

Users can upgrade RAM, storage, and processor of Macbook Air 2020. However, Users will have to pay extra bucks every time they will make a single upgrade.

Meanwhile, Techradar mentioned that a fully upgraded variant of Macbook Air 2020 will cost you $2,249 with the specifications:-

  • 1.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor
  • Retina display with True Tone
  • Turbo Boost up to 3.8GHz
  • Touch ID
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics
  • 16GB LPDDR4X memory with 3733MHz
  • 2TB SSD storage
Pricing in Macbook Air 2020
Picture credits:- Apple

The local Apple stores are still closed because of COVID-19. However, You can order online by visiting the Apple official online store and official Amazone site.

Also, if you’ll be qualified for Apple education program, you can buy the Macbook Air 2020 at $899. You just have to check all the requirements to know, are you qualified for this program or not?

Conclusion

If we compare the new Macbook Air with its predecessor, you see Apple made some drastic changes in it. The company has enhanced its performance, double the storage of it and also make it ultra-light and thin. Plus, it is less expensive than Macbook Air 2019, so everyone could afford it. Also, it comes with a new Magic Keyboard and trackpad, which is appreciated by everyone. However, the new Macbook Air comes with some low-key points such as weak battery backup and dull quality display. Plus, it can lag if you’ll try to run intensive apps on this.

As a conclusion, we can say that if you want to buy an affordable Macbook for doing some daily basic tasks, definitely go for it. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a machine to run heavy applications or want to edit 4k videos, then you should consider another Apple product.

So, that was the Macbook Air 2020 review. I hope this post will answer your queries and clear your confusion regarding should you buy it or not? Let us know what you think about the new Macbook Air by commenting below. Also, share this post with a person who is thinking to buy it or love reading reviews of Apple products.