MacBook With the 2020 MacBook Air, Apple has delivered the perfect laptop for everyday use. The Butterfly keyboard is gone, leading to an improved and more reliable typing experience. This is the Mac laptop most people should buy.
The Year of Finally
The 2020 MacBook Air is the first internal upgrade for this laptop, which was redesigned in 2018. The 2018 model came with a 13.3-inch Retina display, Butterfly keyboard, two USB-C ports, a Touch ID sensor, and the same, wedge-shaped design in an even lighter body, and a gold color option.
However, the previous generation was a bit underwhelming. It was so close to being great, but it missed a couple of key aspects. With the 2020 MacBook Air, Apple seems to have checked all the following boxes:
- Price: At $999 for the base model, it’s $100 less than the previous one.
- Magic Keyboard: The troublemaker, breaker of keys, and general nuisance, the Butterfly keyboard is gone! The new MacBook Air comes with scissor switches and 1mm of travel. It’s clicky, reliable, and awesome.
- 256 GB base storage: This is the first laptop in which Apple has doubled the base storage. After years of struggling with 128 GB, this is a welcome change. And if you need more, you can go all the way up to 2 TB.
- Quad-core CPU options: While the base configuration includes a dual-core, Core i3 chip, you can spec it up with a quad-core, Core i5, or even i7, to get some serious performance in a small package. Plus, the new 10th-generation Intel chips are quite power efficient.
- Intel Iris Pro graphics: The integrated Iris Pro graphics chip offers 80 percent better performance than the previous generation.
- High-performance RAM: While you’re still stuck with the 8 and 16 GB RAM options, the RAM itself is faster. The new model features 3,733 MHz LPDDR4X memory (the previous model had 2,133 MHz LPDDR3, for comparison).
- 6K external monitor support: You can connect an external monitor with up to 6K resolution and run it at a smooth, 60 Hz refresh rate.
So, finally, the MacBook Air can serve as the default option for most Mac-lovers. It’s priced right, the keyboard’s been fixed, the performance has improved, and the storage has doubled.
On the surface, this all sounds like a great deal. However, before you press that Buy button, there are two questions we need to answer. Is it for you? And, if so, which configuration should you get?
Who Should Buy a 2020 MacBook Air?
Given its price and form factor (it weighs just 2.8 pounds), the 2020 MacBook Air is a great option for students and frequent travelers. It’s also fantastic for people who primarily use their computers for surfing the web or performing basic tasks.
First, let’s look at this computer purely from the performance standpoint, and compare the Core i3 and i5 CPUs from the 2020 MacBook Air with the previous generation. Here are the results of the Geekbench 5 benchmark, which tests the system and CPU performance (via Six Colors and Apple Insider):
- 2020 MacBook Air (Core i3): Single-core: 1095. Multi-core: 2385.
- 2020 MacBook Air (Core i5): Single-core: 1047. Multi-core: 2658.
- 2018 MacBook Air (Core i5): Single-core: 790. Multi-core: 1628.
This makes things quite clear. Even though the new processor is a Core i3, the new, 10th-generation intel chips are much faster than the 8th-generation Core i5 in the previous model. Both single- and multi-core performance are significantly higher.
And the Core i5 upgrade (which costs just $100 extra) is better still.
While the base dual-core Core i3 chip is not the greatest, it should be enough for daily tasks. If you’ll use your MacBook Air to browse the web, write, email, or watch media, go with the $999 model.
Coupled with the faster 8 GB RAM and 256 GB default storage option, the 2020 MacBook Air is the new choice for most Mac customers. If you just want a MacBook for everyday tasks and don’t have specific, high-performance needs, just get a MacBook Air.