Apple MacBook Air (2019) review – Is it the best tech deal at the moment?

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The MacBook Air has been a staple for many years now. For some people, it is the first MacBook they owned and that’s how they got introduced to the Apple ecosystem.

That was the case for me. Back in 2015, when I was in the US, I bought my first MacBook, the 2015 MacBook Air, after two weeks of getting used to the software, I just fell in love with everything it had to offer. After four years of satisfactory usage it was time to upgrade.

I asked myself: should I get the new 2019 MacBook Pro or go for the Air again? Working as a graphic designer for Icecat and for several other clients on a daily basis, I use a lot of power-consuming apps such as Photoshop and Final Cut Pro, and of course for these purposes the MacBook Pro should and will be an option for many, but after reading a lot of reviews and mixed opinions about the Air vs. the Pro, I had to make a final choice.

I went for the gorgeous space-grey colored Air with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, which are matched with a 1.6GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor. I got it for a student discount and the deal was jaw-dropping. I saved around 350€ on it, took it home and turned it on. To my surprise, the new true-tone display on the laptop made a big difference in how you read or watch videos. Because of the new sensors, the display adapts to the surrounding light, just like the newer iPhones and iPads do. Even though you can live without this feature, it was something I didn’t know that I wanted it until I started editing graphics and videos: once you get used to it, going back to regular screens feels like a big step backwards.

The Air now has True Tone support, which is Apple’s tech for adjusting the screen’s colours slightly to match the ambient lighting in the room you’re in, so you don’t become uncomfortable using a blue-tinted screen when your room lights are a soft orange.

The MacBook Air now has the same keyboard you’ll find on Apple’s MacBook Pros, which is shallow and clicky and provides a decent typing experience. A feature that I truly enjoy is the TouchID on the keyboard: now I unlock, pay, and input passwords only with my fingerprint.

Touch ID button allows for superfast system unlocking, confirmation of your identity for Apple Pay and also functions as a power button.

Thanks to its ability to boost when needed, and the fast storage used, everything I’ve done on the MacBook Air has responded instantly. Apps and files open in a blink, I haven’t seen a spinning ball telling us to wait once, it comes on immediately… there’s no slowing down here.

Along the side are two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which double as USB-C ports. The MacBook Air is also powered through them, so everything wired, except the headphones, goes through here. I have to say that I really miss the SD card slot I had on the previous one as well as the MagSafe magnet charger. Now, if someone trips over the cable, the MacBook will fall down with it. But, on the other hand the battery life on the new one is superb. Apple claims that this version can hold up to 12 hours of easy usage, which is something that I still have to experience for myself.

The MacBook Air features dual Thunderbolt 3 ports on its left side. One of those can be used to charge the MacBook Air.

This is also the greenest Mac ever, and the first Mac made with 100% recycled aluminum.

So in conclusion: it’s a really nice machine, if not the best deal in tech at the moment, especially for a student.

MacBook Air (2019)

€ 1.249
9.4

Display

9.0/10

Battery Life

10.0/10

Design

10.0/10

Processing Power

8.0/10

Portability

10.0/10

Pros

  • The perfect notebook for starters
  • Adaptive TrueTone display ambient lighting
  • 100% recycled aluminum
  • Premium feel
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • Lacks ports
  • Uncomfortable keyboard
  • Needs more storage

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