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Product Highlights
  • Made from 100% recycled aluminum
  • 8th-gen Intel Core i5 processor
  • 2560 x 1600 native resolution
  • 48% more colors than previous gen
  • Integrated Touch ID sensor
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • Support for Thunderbolt 3-enabled eGPUs
  • 3.5 mm headphone jack
Product Overview

Updated in October, Apple's 2018 update to the MacBook Air gives the lightweight notebook quite a few new features, making it one of the best versions in the product line's history. The biggest change people will notice is the upgraded 13.3-inch display, complete with thin bezels and a Retina-level 2,560x1,600 resolution.

Powering the MacBook Air is an Intel Core i5-8210Y processor clocked at 1.6GHz, rising to 3.6GHz under Turbo Boost, with options for 8GB or 16GB of LPDDR3 memory. Thanks to the use of two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left-hand side, it can be graphically bolstered by an eGPU, though its integrated Intel UHD Graphics 617 is more than capable of using Thunderbolt 3 to support a 5K external display or two 4,096 by 2,304-resolution screens.

The keyboard has been upgraded with the third-generation butterfly mechanism with individually lit keys, as well as including a Touch ID sensor for authentication and secure online Apple Pay transactions. The included T2 chip also enables "Hey Siri" on the MacBook Air, extending the utility of Apple's digital assistant on macOS.

The built-in speaker system is 25-percent louder than the previous generation, with double the bass for a more dynamic range and fuller sound. Joining the keyboard is a 20-percent larger Force Trackpad at the front.

Despite these changes, it is still offering all of the benefits expected of the MacBook Air name, with it taking up 17 percent less physical volume than its predecessor, and weighs in at a svelte 2.75 pounds, making it easy to carry from place to place. Battery life is also still high for the model, with its 50.3-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery claimed to offer up to 12 hours of wireless Internet browsing, 13 hours of iTunes movie playback, and up to 30 days of standby time.

It is also a much greener product than before, with Apple using a new alloy completely made from recycled aluminum for the casing. The logic board also uses 100 percent recycled tin, while 35 percent of the plastic used in other components stems from consumer-recycled materials.

  • Model Identifier: MacBookAir8,1
  • Battery: Lithium-polymer
  • Battery Wattage: 50.3
  • Color: Space Gray
  • Max Boost Speed: 3.6 GHz
  • CPU Cores: 2
  • L3 Cache Size: 4 MB
  • CPU Manufacturer: Intel
  • CPU Model: Core i5 Dual-core
  • CPU Speed: 1.6 GHz
  • Depth: 8.36 inches
  • Height: 0.61 inch
  • Width: 11.97 inches
  • Front-Facing Camera: 720p FaceTime HD camera
  • GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 617
  • Introduction Date: October 30, 2018
  • Original Price: $1,199 (USD)
  • Maximum Runtime: up to 12 hours
  • More Information: Support for Thunderbolt 3-enabled eGPUs
  • In the Box: MacBook Air, 30W USB-C Power Adapter, USB-C Charge Cable (2 m)
  • Part Number: MRE82LL/A
  • 3.5mm Headphone Jack: 1
  • USB3.1 Ports: 2
  • RAM Size: 8 GB
  • RAM Speed: 2133 MHz
  • RAM Type: LPDDR3 onboard
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:10
  • Panel Type: LED-backlit with IPS technology
  • PPI: 227
  • Resolution: 2560 x 1600
  • Screen Size: 13.3 inch
  • OS Version: macOS Mojave
  • Storage Capacity: 128 GB
  • Storage Type: SSD
  • Touch ID: Y
  • Weight: 2.75 pounds
  • Bluetooth: 4.2
  • WiFi: 802.11ac Wi-Fi wireless; IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible

Andrew O'Hara

  • Apple has repeatedly described the MacBook Air as the most popular Mac in its lineup, with years of neglect leaving some intimidatingly large shoes for the new 2018 upgrade to fill. After spending the last several days using it as our daily driver, we're here with our review of Apple's latest portable Mac.