At the beginning of 2020, it became clear that major IT presentations in the first half of the year should not be expected. Apple simply introduced a number of new products on its website, in addition to the iPad Pro 2020, of course, the updated MacBook Air aroused interest.
This event cannot be missed, yet the new generation of the “air” laptop turned out to be not just cosmetic. Immediately striking is the return to the previous type of keyboard, with a scissor mechanism (finally) and twice the volume of the drive in the basic version. And what else?
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What is the difference between the MacBook Air 2020 and the 2019 MacBook Air
It is the screen of the device that is almost the main element that the user pays attention to when choosing.
The 2020 MacBook Air left exactly the same display as its predecessor.
You can find both pros and cons in this. One can only praise the Retina display with a resolution of 2,560 × 1,600 pixels presented on the laptop. This is clearly better than the TN-matrix installed in the first Air models. The difference is visible not only in clarity, but also in viewing angles. The display supports Full sRGB color gamut, and True Tone technology helps to adjust the color temperature to the lighting conditions. When working in a home or office, the picture will look as warm as possible.
Speaking about the disadvantages, it is worth mentioning, first of all, the brightness of the screen. She was missing from the 2019 model, and in the new model this parameter did not change. The brightness parameters are 400 cd / m², even when working in a room there is a desire to add it. The MacBook Pro and iPad Air have higher cd / m2 – 500 cd / m², which is already quite a comfortable level. The new iPad Pros, whose screens the manufacturer himself calls the best on the market, received a brightness of 600 cd / m². Yes, the picture will fade in bright direct sunlight, but it will be clearly visible better than on a MacBook Air.
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MacBook Air has always been famous for its compact size, especially its thickness. Why was the new model more than its predecessor? This should not be surprising, because the reason for this is a return to the old keyboard design. Nevertheless, the “butterfly”, even if it was comfortable, was noticeably inferior in reliability to the “scissors”. This measure, designed to reduce the number of complaints of mechanical damage, affected the thickness of the device.
The thickest laptop seat is traditionally located near the hinge. If the model of 2019 in this place had a thickness of 15.6 mm, then the novelty is already 16.1 mm.
But hardly anyone will notice the difference in half a millimeter by eye – it is certainly not critical, although the fact itself is worth noting. Changes in the design of the keyboard could affect the weight of the device, from 1.25 kg it grew to 1.29 kg. 40 grams is a minor change, obviously few will feel it.
Geometric dimensions – length and width, remained the same – 30.41 cm and 21.24 cm.
I would like to believe that a slight change in height will not prevent the 2020 model from being placed in envelope covers suitable for its predecessor. It is worth noting that the new MacBook Air with a weight of 1.29 kg has become even closer in this parameter to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with a weight of 1.37 kg. This gives a good reason to assume that the new Pro model will become larger, both in size and weight. It is no coincidence that analysts predict the release of a 14-inch “firmware” with a scissor keyboard mechanism in 2020.
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Performance, memory, interfaces and storage
The 2019 MacBook Air is based on the Intel Core i5-8210Y dual-core processor. For office tasks, such a stripped-down and energy-efficient version of the eighth-generation processor was a good fit, but today it can already be considered obsolete.
2020 MacBook Air received the tenth generation of Intel processors, with an index of NG. Expect a noticeable increase in performance. Options with a dual-core i3 and quad-core i5 and i7 will enter the market. The number of control threads is twice the number of cores. The integrated graphics of the 11th generation Intel Iris Plus replaced the Intel UHD 617, which in some unobvious scenarios will achieve 80% speed increase. The 2020 MacBook Air based on the i5 processor scored 1047 points in the single-core Geekbench test, while the 2019 model scored 790 points. In the multi-core test, the difference is even more impressive – 2658 points versus 1628.
By default, in the 2020 model, 8 GB of RAM is installed, as was the case last year. For a model with twice as much volume, you will have to pay $ 200. It is not possible to replace the memory on its own. But the 2020 model received an LPDDR4X memory type operating at a frequency of 3733 MHz, while the predecessor had a DDR3 2133 MHz. It is to be expected that even with the same external characteristics, the new Air will be faster than the 2019 model.
It is important to note that in the basic version, a flash drive is installed at 256 GB, and not at 128 GB, as it was in 2019. This decision is fully justified, given the current contemporary scenarios for using a laptop. The maximum available storage capacity has also changed – from 1 TB to 2 TB.
Of the minor changes, it is worth noting the transition from Bluetooth 4.2 to version 5.0, but the FaceTime camera with a resolution of 720p remains the same, which is clearly surprising. The familiar laconic set of connectors has also been preserved: a 3.5-mm audio output and a pair of USB-C / Thunderbolt 3 outputs, which allow charging devices, connecting an external 6K monitor or other devices.
The 2019 MacBook Air received an identical Touch ID biometric sensor.
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From non-obvious and internal changes, let’s move on to more explicit ones. The new keyboard mechanism immediately attracts attention. In 2018 and 2019, the MacBook Air was equipped with a third-generation butterfly-type keyboard with a special rubber pad. According to the engineers’ plan, it should protect the mechanism from dust and dirt getting inside and makes pressing more quiet. But the “butterfly” keyboard, which was effective in appearance, from its first generation (starting in 2015) began to cause massive complaints – the keys stuck and stopped working. Subsequent iterations of the mechanism reduced the number of user requests, but could not completely eliminate the problem.
Apple nevertheless decided to heed the requests of users, and the technologically advanced convenient keyboard was replaced by a proven and reliable scissor mechanism. He first appeared in the 16-inch MacBook Pro in 2019 and turned out to be the same as it was 4 years before. Nevertheless, the “scissors” have a higher stroke relative to the “butterfly”.
On a keyboard of this design, it will be possible to type long texts a little slower. But it’s not worth talking about a momentary solution – in the long run, Apple’s decision is understandable and justified.
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As before, a couple of stereo speakers are responsible for the sound output in the MacBook Air. They were of acceptable quality anyway, but support for the Dolby Atmos format appeared in the 2020 model. It forms a feeling of volumetric sound and allows you to feel yourself right inside the presented scene. True, to reproduce such an effect, two built-in speakers will be clearly not enough – the speakers spaced around the corners of the room will help. It will be better to connect them to a TV that can play the required content through Apple TV and iTunes.
The 2020 MacBook Air, like its predecessor, is equipped with a system of three directional microphones. Outwardly, everything looks exactly the same as in the current status MacBook Pro. In fact, the difference in the quality of microphones – nevertheless, the “firmware” allows you to record sound in close to studio quality, the MacBook Air has a simplified version of the system.
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MacBook Air 2020 Detailed Specifications
It is already clear that the 2020 MacBook Air was a significant step forward relative to its predecessor. And if the external format of the device turned out to be the same, then the keyboard of the new “old” type immediately attracts attention. Many users, after listening to reviews, or based on personal negative experience, will meet the scissor keyboard with enthusiasm.
It is worth paying attention to significantly increased device performance through the use of current Intel processors. And the increase in the volume of the drive can not but rejoice. The basic configuration of the 2020 MacBook Air with a 256 GB SSD will cost 89,990 rubles, while a year earlier a similar model cost 109,990 rubles.