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2020 MacBook Air Review Roundup: ‘I Love This Keyboard’

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The first reviews of Apple’s new and improved MacBook Air are out just days after its official unveiling.

New configurations, increased storage, a reduced price, and — most importantly — the brand-new Magic Keyboard make this a stellar MacBook Air upgrade.

TechCrunch‘s Brian Heater recommends upgrading to the i5 processor for the MacBook Air:

For even basic users, however, I’d recommend adding $100 back onto the system price in order to upgrade to an i5. That’s the chip ours came with. The system scored 5244 and 14672 on Geekbench 4’s single and multi-core tests, respectively, presenting a marked upgrade over the last model we tested, back in 2018.

Heater does note that the MacBook Air’s battery life might not be quite as good as Apple claims:

All-day battery life seems like a fair enough description, when you’re multitasking; 11 hours is probably a stretch. It’s worth noting that this can vary quite a bit based on a number of factors. I’ve only really had a full day with the laptop, so I’ll update retroactively.

Todd Hasleton from CNBC is a fan of the keyboard, Retina Display, and the new 256GB base storage capacity, going as far as to claim that everyone should consider upgrading:

Lots of people have asked me over the last several months if they should ‘buy the MacBook Air or wait.’ And I always said, ‘Just wait.’ The old model desperately needed a new keyboard.

It’s finally here. That means folks who have the 2018 MacBook Air, or even the 2019 model with the older keyboard, should seriously consider picking up the new one. The processor bump alone is worth it, and then there’s the new 256 GB entry-level storage and a keyboard you can actually type on. Toss in the good speakers, solid display, and lightweight design, and you have the complete package.

SixColors‘ Jason Snell notes that Apple should have made these changes to the entry-level MacBook Air two years ago, saying that more powerful configuration options make the laptop a great choice for almost everyone:

This 2020 MacBook Air finally sets the bar at the right place: $999. While that price will only get you a dual-core i3 processor, it’ll get you 256GB of storage, double the base storage available on the old $1099 Air. (You can also upgrade to 512GB for $200, 1TB for $400, and 2TB for $800.)

I wish Apple had hit this price two years ago, but I’m glad it’s gotten there today. $999 (and $899 for education) makes this Air a lot easier to recommend to price-conscious Mac laptop buyers. Fortunately, if you were hoping for more power than a dual-core i3, Apple has options for you, too.

Engadget‘s Dana Wollman also loves the new keyboard, but does note that it’s a bit loud:

If you can’t tell, I love this keyboard. I won’t be returning to my company-issued MacBook Pro unless I need to use the VPN. Just know that the slight trade-off to this new and improved typing experience is that it’s a tad noisy. It’s not a problem when I’m working alone in my apartment, but if I were in an office or coworking space I might feel a little self-conscious.

According to these early reviews, it seems as if you’re an Apple person, the new MacBook Air is the best laptop for most people.

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