But the spirit of the entry level Apple notebook never dies. "Every part of the product has been redesigned and reengineered", said Laura Lagrove, vice president of hardware engineering at Apple, during the Apple event.
It should also have a good bit of endurance, with Apple claiming the new Air will deliver 12 hours of web browsing on WiFi and 13 hours of iTunes playback. It's not wide gamut DCI-P3, but it is 48% more sRGB than the old Air.
But not so much on ports.
The new MacBook Air maintains its classic tapered aluminum design, but now includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports along the left edge and a headphone jack on the right. The device can hook up to an eGPU external graphics enclosure and power a 5K external display, according to Apple. The speakers have also been given a full refresh with less plastic and they're now 25 percent louder. As a result, the Air should experience fewer keyboard issues than the 2016 and 2017 MacBook Pro, at least in theory. It nearly seems assured that we won't see run times hit double digits. And especially one Mac, in particular.
The old scissor switch keyboard has of course been replaced by Apple's third-generation butterfly switch variant, and the hinged trackpad has been retired in favor of a 20% larger Force Touch trackpad. The notebook has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, a dual-core eight generation Intel Core i5 processor that clocks at 1.6/3.6 GHz. It can turbo boost up to 3.6GHz. After all, the company is now positioning the iPad Pro as its affordable laptop alternative.
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Given the issues I've had with the MacBook Pro's display scratching, I expect the shift to glossy bezels that aren't raised will result in the Air suffering from the same problem.
"The MacBook Air has become the most beloved notebook ever", said Apple CEO Tim Cook during an Apple event in New York City on October 30.
Especially with the ultra-fast storage which makes swapping to disk nearly imperceptible. Same goes for the storage options as the 256GB, 512GB, and 1.5TB since they cost additional RM 850, RM 1700, and RM 5100 respectively.
The new Apple Pencil does correct some of the oddities of the original. This base configuration starts at $1,199, which makes this model the cheapest, until you start adding more to the configuration.
The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199, and is available to order today on Apple's website.
For it to work, Apple is going to have to prove significant value over price.