Written by Gijs

Expert review Apple MacBook Air (2018)

Compared to its predecessor, the Apple MacBook Air (2018) has seen vast improvements. The casing is a little smaller and the laptop's a little lighter, but I think what's most important is the greatly improved screen. Want to know about the other improvements and changes in the MacBook Air? I'll try out the MacBook Air for a week, and tell you my experiences in this article.

In short

Powerful enough for photo editing | Intel Core i5 - 8GB - 128GB SSD | Nearly edgeless Retina display
no longer available
  • The MacBook Air 2018 has a Retina display, which gives you an image that's 4 times sharper than that of previous MacBook Air models.
  • The 13.3-inch Retina display is nearly edgeless, so you have relatively more screen space than when you have thicker edges.
  • Use Touch ID to log in to MacOS without typing a password.

From the box

A MacBook Air, MacBook Air box, and MacBook Air charger.

The first thing I notice when I get the box of the MacBook Air (2018) on my desk is the size of the packaging. I think it's rather small, which means the MacBook Air (2018) is compact as well. I quickly unpack the laptop to confirm this. The MacBook Air (2018) is 10 percent thinner than its predecessor, while its thickest point is only 0.4 centimeters thick. The MacBook Air (2018) only weighs 1.24 kilograms too, which is 113 grams lighter than the MacBook Air (2017). The gold color might not be my thing, but it's definitely special. The other available colors are Space Gray and Silver.


A MacBook Air with different programs open.

The MacBook Air (2018) boots really quickly, thanks to the eighth-generation Intel Core i5 processor combined with the fast SSD. According to Apple, the new SSDs are supposedly 60 percent faster than those of the previous generation, and I can definitely tell. Both the MacBook Air (2018) and programs like Photoshop and InDesign start up really quickly. I use different programs side by side without any problems. The laptop stays silent and doesn't stutter. I don't need the charger throughout the day, since it still has quite a bit of power left at the end of the working day.

The display

The screen of a MacBook Air.

The display of the MacBook Air (2018) has you forgetting about the annoyances of the last MacBook Air generation's low-quality screen in one go. The Retina display has a 2560x1600 resolution. I can clearly see all the colors, and I see a lot of contrast. Even when I'm not sitting directly in front of the laptop, the IPS screen shows me all the colors and images without distortions.


Man is typing on keyboard MacBook Air.

It takes some time for me to get used to the keyboard of the MacBook Air (2018). The butterfly keyboard is flat, and the distance between the keys is too small for me to press. What I do like is that the keys are much larger than those of the last MacBook Air generation. It also doesn't matter whether I press the keys in the middle or the corners, since they always respond properly and don't feel wobbly. I've gotten used to them after only half a day's worth of typing on the MacBook Air, and I barely make any typing errors.

Trackpad and Touch ID

Man puts fingers on Touchpad and fingerprint scanner MacBook Air.

The 20-percent larger touchpad with Force Touch works great. I have plenty of room for multi-touch movements, and by firmly pressing down on the trackpad, I can use quick functions. For example, if I firmly press on an address, a card will pop up. Touch ID is another good addition. Now I won't need to remember my passwords anymore. I can just place my finger on the fingerprint scanner and log in to the MacBook Air (2018) and websites.


Netflix on MacBook Air.

I usually don't want to discuss laptop speakers due to the (often) bad quality. The MacBook Air (2018) proves that it doesn't need to be that way. The 2 speakers on the sides of the keyboard sound clear, and the volume goes up a long way. It's louder than I would ever set it myself. I do miss the bass of course, but the mid and treble tones sound virtually perfect. I even enjoy the sound when I'm watching a show on Netflix.


Side and connectors MacBook Air.

The MacBook Air (2018) is very compact, though at the cost of the ports. I only see 2 USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 3 and a headphone jack. That means I can't use HDMI to connect a screen of USB-A to connect a mouse. Luckily, you can get some nice docks that give me plenty of ports for all my peripherals. Unfortunately, it's not included with the MacBook Air (2018).


After using the MacBook Air (2018) for a while, I can definitely say that I think this new version hits all the marks. The crystal-clear sound, the razor-sharp Retina display, and the addition of Touch ID make it very comfortable to work with the MacBook Air (2018). Thanks to the fast i5 processor and the fast SSD, I don't need to wait for programs to start, and I can work in multiple programs at the same time without delays. For people who often take their laptop with them on the road, but don't want to sacrifice quality, the MacBook Air (2018) is a good choice.

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