Apple’s latest flagship laptop — the 2018 MacBook Air — is a gorgeous, powerful, sleek device that feels like the truest expression of the Air line.
It’s absurdly thin, but it packs in a gorgeous, 13-inch “Retina” display. It’s got a smaller frame than ever before, yet it’s got the largest trackpad on any MacBook. Even the keyboard is brand new.
After nearly two weeks with Apple’s brand new MacBook Air, I’m convinced: It’s worth the high price tag.
First up: What I bought.
If you buy the base level MacBook Air that Apple released in early November, it costs $1,199 before tax. If you add RAM, like I did, it costs an extra $200.
I felt pretty comfortable with the CPU, and I refuse to pay $200 for a measly 128 GB of extra internal storage, but I relented on the RAM upgrade — I want this computer to last at least four years, and 8 GB of RAM simply isn’t going to cut it. I upgraded to 16 GB of RAM, and if I could’ve added even more, I probably would’ve.
After tax, I paid just shy of $1,450 — nearly $1,500. That was on the high end of what I was willing to pay for a new laptop, but I’m glad I did.
All that said, the base level MacBook Air that costs $1,199 is more than capable. I got more RAM because it fits my needs. It’s entirely likely you don’t need to spend the extra cash.
What’s so great about it? For starters, the screen is insanely impressive.
It wasn’t until I handed my new MacBook Air to a friend to use that I realized how impressive the new screen is. He was sitting next to me on a couch, and I was talking to him from the side while he used the computer. Despite the fact that I was looking at the screen from the side, no matter how thin I made the viewing angle, I could see fine details on the screen.
It might sound ridiculous, I realize — yes, I’m saying that the screen is so impressive because I can see it from the side.
But the screen acts like a piece of paper. Instead of doing what screens normally do when you look at them from the side — become a thin field of light with no discernible details — the MacBook Air Retina screen still manages to produce crisp details regardless of the viewing angle.
It’s something that doesn’t feel immediately impactful. In reality, it’s one of several crucial evolutions to the MacBook Air that make it feel so modern and fresh.