No one thinks the 2018 MacBook Air is a bad computer. By the same token, no reviewers seemed to think it was a bold step forward into the future. Rather, it is a combination of obvious tweaks that bring it in line with the rest of the Mac laptops. Consider all the little updates it missed over the years:
- Thin, black bezels
- Force Touch trackpad
- Butterfly keys
Walk into any Apple Store and you would see one laptop that didn’t even look like it was made by the same company. That was the MacBook Air. The new Air fixes all that. Apple has made sure the 2018 MacBook Air feels right at home with its more powerful siblings.
While reviewers are happy that is the case, they also feel like the MacBook Air has always served a greater purpose. In the beginning, the Air was the computer that led the way, showing what tomorrow’s laptops could be. The unibody design is just one such example. It was always forward thinking. The new Air seems content to just catch up with 2017. There is very little of the future on display.
The Verge summarized it best in their review title, “The Present Of Computing.”
“Now, the wait is over. But if you were hoping that lightning would strike twice and this new MacBook Air would be as revolutionary as the old MacBook Air, well, it’s not. It’s basically a MacBook that finally includes all of the stuff that has been happening with laptops for the past few years. It is on par with the rest of the laptop world, but it hasn’t moved beyond it. Sometimes that means the fan is going to spin up on you.”
Macworld had similar observations, concluding that you will be disappointed if you are expecting something revolutionary, and that “…it has only been brought up to the standards of other modern Mac laptops, with all the good and bad that goes with that.”
None of this is to say that you shouldn’t buy the new MacBook Air, or that you wouldn’t enjoy it. Just buy it for what it is, a modern, low-end Mac laptop that will be perfectly adequate for the masses.
The biggest indictment of the new Air comes from Apple. The old MacBook Air is still on the price list. There was a time when the MacBook Air was for everyone. Now, Apple recognizes that the new Air isn’t for everyone. The previous Air that should be enjoying a well-deserved retirement is still the entry-level Mac Laptop.
One reviewer said the MacBook Air is dead. Long live the MacBook Air. But that isn’t quite right. The old MacBook Air still lives. And the new one has to make a name for itself. Only time will tell if it will become the new standard.