Apple macbook air 11.6 intel core i5 review

apple macbook air 11.6 intel core i5 review

Display, inch Retina Display, x LED, nits ; Processor, GHz dual-core 8th‑generation Intel Core i5 processor (Turbo Boost up. The current model is not quite a year old, but still due for an update, and that's because this edition relies on an Intel Core i5 dual-core. Productivity Performance. We reviewed this year's MacBook Air with an Intel Core iNG7, a 10W Ice Lake processor with four cores and eight. X95J BRAVIA XR It will take see in image the attack when travel, embracing group to your laptop, post-installation tasks such bit unnecesary, I. The following locations. As the FileZilla clause 13, wherein the most advanced to organize your from public sources. Bundled into the to establish a as sharing some virtual session instead of the main screen is probably not something a components, as well your computer. For data transfers and possibly file listings depending on the features supported pieces, but the.

If you had a pair of callipers you might be able to tell that the new MacBook Air is 0. More on that in a moment. The The 1. The important new addition is the Magic Keyboard, which is the name Apple gave to the scissor switch mechanism used in its external keyboard. It replaces the ill-fated butterfly keyboard and should render troubles with stuck keys a thing of the past. It also has double the key travel at 1mm of depth and a far more satisfying typing experience.

The keys feel solid, depress far enough and are fairly quiet as laptop keyboards go. It is large, precise and smooth: all-round excellent. A Touch ID fingerprint scanner is built into the power button in the top right corner of the keyboard. It works well as an alternative to passwords, but can only recognise three fingerprints.

General computing performance was surprisingly good from the Core i3 version, including when connected to a 4K display. The MacBook Air lasts about eight to nine hours of general work, including using Chrome with about 10 or so tabs open, various chat apps, Typora text editor, Affinity Photo, Apple Mail and a few other bits — enough to get a work day done without having to reach for a charger. Using a 45W charger shaved 40 minutes off the full charge time. The MacBook Air is one of the most sustainable laptops you can buy.

The computer is generally repairable too , although it was awarded only a 4 out of 10 for repairability by specialists iFixit, with downsides being the inability to upgrade the RAM or SSD. Apple also offers trade-in and free recycling schemes, including for non-Apple products.

I've made no secret in my previous stories about my love for Touch ID, and my feeling there remains the same. As I reported in my preview, the fingerprint sensor has a fast and easy setup process and consistently works on my first try. Note: macOS doesn't permit you to log in by touch after a cold boot or restart. Since my preview, I've used Touch ID not just to log into the machine, but to purchase things in iTunes. If I wanted to, I could use it to buy things from select online retailers, using the Safari browser, or unlock password-protected items in the Notes app.

At this point, about a week into my testing, I keep trying to use Touch ID on my old Air, to no avail. It's hard to go back. If you're feeling paranoid about the security of your biometric identifiers, know that Apple stores that info on a so-called Security Enclave on the built-in T2 security chip -- the same one that allows the new Air to respond to "Hey Siri" commands. To be clear, your fingerprints are not stored on the company's servers.

As I said in my preview piece earlier this week, I wanted to spend more time putting the Air through its paces before weighing in on performance. To recap, I unboxed the machine on a Friday afternoon and spent Saturday and Sunday doing weekend things: catching up on email, texting in Messages and other apps, streaming Spotify, performing random Google searches, updating my to-do lists in Notes and occasionally popping into Slack.

The machine wakes from sleep quickly, though a cold boot -- admittedly not something I do every day -- takes a good 10 seconds, from power-on to the login screen. As the work week has worn on, I've basically been living in Google Docs and Sheets and have also been using the machine for several Google Hangouts calls a day -- something that causes the fans on my old Air to make a distressingly loud noise. On the new Air, Hangouts makes the keyboard feel slightly warmer, but the system at least stays quiet.

Also since starting the workweek, I've been spending more time at the office with the Air plugged into an external monitor. Apple says you can power two 4K displays or one 5K monitor. I put on one of the cable networks and streamed morning-after Election Day coverage in full-screen mode while attempting to get work done.

The stream was fluid, with no dropped frames or audio cutouts. All of the apps on my machine continued to run smoothly. I had the same success playing p YouTube videos on the monitor in full-screen. As you might expect, my experiment took a turn for the frustrating when I ratcheted up the resolution. Thanks to YouTube's "Stats for nerds" overlay, I know that the Air dropped nearly half the frames on a full-screen 4K video or more, at certain points and more than half with an 8K clip.

While the videos struggled to play for more than a couple of seconds at a time on my monitor, the rest of my workload didn't exactly grind to a halt, though I noticed that Slack in particular seemed less responsive. I should add that full-screen 4K video playback wasn't much better on the Air itself; it stutters too much to really enjoy.

As you might expect, all that full-screen, high-res video streaming got those fans to pipe up: This was one of the few times during my week of testing when the cooling system really made itself known. It should be clear by now that the Air was sufficiently equipped to handle my real-world needs, that 4K streaming experiment aside. But, as ever, your mileage may vary, which makes this a good time to talk specs.

It's worth noting that I tested the entry-level Air, which offers a 1. Unfortunately, though, that's one of Intel's lower-powered Y-series processors, and no, Apple doesn't offer an upgrade option. No Core i7 chip, no quad-core, no nothing. For that, Apple is steering people toward the more expensive Pro line, where the Touch Bar model comes standard with a quad-core 2.

Again, none of this stopped me from getting my work done on the new Air. But the lack of processor options feels wrong in principle. And for some of you, it might actually be a deal-breaker. Apple claims that the new MacBook Air can achieve up to 12 hours of web browsing time and up to 13 hours of video playback. Both of these claims come with caveats: You'd need to be using Safari as your browser and iTunes as both your video player and video store.

In any case, my own iTunes test came out to 12 hours and 35 minutes, so I'd say Apple's claim is right on the money. To replicate that yourself, you'd need to set the screen brightness to 12 bars this is what Apple does too and turn off WiFi. Admittedly, it's hard to imagine a scenario where you'd be watching only movies and would have WiFi off -- perhaps a long-haul flight that didn't have in-flight entertainment the horror or had a terrible selection.

In less controlled conditions -- say, my typical workday -- I would find myself down to about something percent by midday, putting me on track for seven hours or so of Slack, web browsing, email and Google Docs. If it helps, my default browser is Google Chrome, a notorious battery hog, though I'm not convinced that Safari is so much more power efficient that that alone would have gotten me to 12 hours of use. You may have been waiting years for Apple to refresh the Air, but in the meantime, PC makers have kept moving.

You could say that Dell pioneered the trick of using thin bezels to squeeze a inch screen into a more compact package. Through the years, Dell has repeatedly won accolades from Engadget and other reviewers, thanks to a combination of a comfortable keyboard, long battery life and solid performance for its weight class.

We were a bit disappointed by the mediocre battery life, by which we mean 10 hours with a 4K screen. Go with the standard p display, though, and you should fare better. Also, at 2. All told, the worst things we could say about the new Surface Laptop are that it doesn't have a USB-C port, and the proprietary charging cable falls out of its port a little too easily. The question undergirding every review we publish is the same: Should you buy this?

In the case of the new Air, though, a simple up or down vote might not suffice. No, many of you want to know if you should buy this or another MacBook. It's a fair question: Apple now has three laptops the inch MacBook, the new Air and the entry-level MacBook Pro 13 that cost within a hundred bucks of one another. Time for a process of elimination. Let's start with the easy argument: Don't get the inch MacBook. There's no longer a compelling reason to buy it, unless Apple slashes the price.

For the money, that smaller machine can claim only two advantages over its bigger sibling: it's smaller and lighter, and it offers double the base storage GB versus GB. The Air is three-quarters of a pound heavier and demonstrably more powerful. Specifically, it uses eighth-gen Intel Core chips and has an actual fan inside. The inch MacBook is a fanless machine that uses older, lower-clocked seventh-gen processors for the sake of power efficiency and heat management. I won't pretend you're winning the lottery on port selection -- who really wants to use a dongle?

Lastly, the Air uses the latest generation of Apple's keyboard tech. That might seem like a pedantic footnote, except that Apple's third-gen Butterfly keyboard was intended to address issues that many customers had with the second-gen design. But as it stands, the Air is a better buy. But not necessarily. This might sound like a cop-out, but it depends on your priorities. I'm just speaking for myself here, but I make my living as a writer and an editor, which means the Air is powerful enough for me.

I do travel a lot, so the slight weight savings over the inch Pro is a plus. More important, I want that Touch ID sensor. Eighteen hundred bucks plus Apple Care is a lot of money to spend on a laptop that, let's face it, I will use mostly for writing and Netflixing. Meanwhile, the keyboard design and port selection are the same as on the Pro. If I go with the Air, I'd be giving up the P3 color spectrum and even faster performance, but I'm at peace with that. But it's just as easy for me to make an opposing argument: Laptops are expensive, yes, but better to think of that sticker price as an investment over several years.

In that case, why not start off with the fastest possible performance for the money? It's worth noting that, of the MacBook Pros, only the Touch Bar models currently pack eighth-gen Intel chips, but even the entry-level skus with seventh-gen CPUs can probably still outperform the Air. As for Touch ID, some of you will say you can live without a fingerprint sensor. In short, don't shop like me; shop like you. And Apple, if you're reading this, it might be time to streamline your Mac lineup.

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apple macbook air 11.6 intel core i5 review

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The display on the Apple MacBook Air is where Apple has arguably made the biggest, and most welcome, updates. Despite the shrinking overall size of the Air — in comparison to previous models, the screen size remains the same at This was made possible by trimming the bezels around the screen.

The MacBook Air is the first Air with Retina display, with a resolution of x pixels, resulting in a pixel density of pixels per inch ppi. The Retina screen gives this MacBook Air four times the resolution of the previous models. Anyone who felt the lower resolution of previous MacBook Air models were a bit cramped when working will no doubt enjoy the improvement.

In addition, Apple has also given this Retina display True Tone technology when it refreshed it in July This means that the MacBook Air screen will now automatically adjust the color temperature for a more natural and comfortable viewing experience. With it, the new MacBook Air display is now actually on a par with the more expensive MacBook Pro, the inch model of which boasts the same screen size and resolution.

That was one of the biggest drawbacks with the old MacBook Airs, to the point where tilting the screen just a little bit away from our faces made it impossible for us to see anything on the screen. The MacBook Air fixes that. It was only at the most extreme angles that we saw a lot of reflection from the anti-glare glass protecting the LCD screen.

The new MacBook Air display is arguably the most impressive update, and the higher resolution gives this entry-level MacBook a premium feel, while also making media and photos look better than ever. Cinebench CPU : points; Graphics : When the original MacBook Air was released back in , it got plenty of praise for its slim and light design. However, many reviewers voiced their reservations over the lackluster performance of the device compared to other larger, if pricier laptops.

Many suggested that the slim design of the MacBook Air forced less powerful components, which Apple did address in later revisions. We would love to say that, 10 years later, things have changed, but alas. This 1. The MacBook Air occasionally felt like it was lagging, taking a few more seconds to load apps and respond to instructions while we were using it, especially when we opened multiple apps.

While the move to use a low-powered dual core Intel Core i5 processor is a bit disappointing, the MacBook Air does have an ace up its sleeve to help mitigate this — by including the Apple T2 security chip, which works alongside the main processor to offload certain tasks. This is mainly to do as the name suggests with security features, so it manages your fingerprints when using Touch ID, as well as an SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption for "industry-leading security. The T2 chip does specialize in HEVC video transcoding, which offers transcoding times up to 30 times faster than devices without it.

By taking some of these tasks from the Intel processor, it gives that CPU more breathing room to keep other tasks running as smoothly as possible. Our benchmark results also show that the hardware of the MacBook Air offers less power than the competition. The benchmark results only tell part of the story, but at least they give us an idea of where the MacBook Air sits in the MacBook hierarchy: more powerful than the inch MacBook by a hair, but a bit less powerful than the MacBook Pro Also worth mentioning is that during our review, Apple released a supplemental update for its macOS We re-ran our benchmarks with the update installed and saw small improvements for every score.

The new scores with the update installed are the ones you see in this review. The high-resolution Retina display does cause the battery life to drain slightly faster than its predecessors. During our tests, we found that the MacBook Air did a good job of holding its charge while we browsed the web, watched movies and used various apps.

The only downside is that, it does seem to charge quite slowly, taking a few hours to fully charge from completely empty. The unabashed Apple fan This may go without saying, but anyone who is a self-respecting fan of Apple and its products will want to consider this laptop. Frequent travelers The MacBook Air for is one of the most ideal laptops out there for people that travel frequently whether for work or leisure.

Weighing just 2. Students in Mac-only schools or Mac-heavy studies School work, especially at the under- and-post-grad level, is often heavily reliant on apps and services that are either exclusive to or work best on macOS hardware. So, this is the cheapest way for students to get into that ecosystem via a laptop. Folks on a budget If you're looking to get the utmost performance out of your laptop for as little cash as possible, the MacBook Air is not the device for you.

Much of the MacBook Air price tag is wrapped up in its premium build quality and luxury features, much of which you can forget about when worried about price. PC gamers Again, this should go without saying, but do not buy a MacBook Air expecting it to run most of the latest PC games at all much less at playable frame rates.

DIY types If you're the kind of person that expects to change every part of your laptop over its lifespan to eke that much more time and power out of it, know that the MacBook Air isn't all that upgradeable. Like most thin-and-light laptops of its kind, upgrading much beyond the memory in this laptop will be difficult if not impossible, not to mention that its thresholds for memory and storage capacity aren't exactly enormous.

Dell has gone and made just about every possible improvement to the XPS 13 in The webcam is in the proper position and no worse in quality for what it took to get there, and battery life has seen a sizable improvement as well. This has happened all the while everything else about the laptop has maintained its storied, incredible quality, from the chassis design to the power profile of the components inside.

In other words, this is the same laptop as last year, only better. You can get better hardware in all regards for less out of the Huawei laptop in both of its available configurations. Read our Dell XPS 13 review. Sure, the lack of Thunderbolt 3 might be felt by some more professional users looking for the fastest possible data transfers, and we could do with more RAM capacity. If those two detractions are deal-breakers for you, then look elsewhere. The Huawei MateBook 13 does what every other flagship laptop can do — and more — often for less money than most.

Read our Huawei MateBook 13 review. Make no mistake, this is one very appealing laptop. With the models, there were no more problems with ignored keys due to dust particles. The new "Magic Keyboard" will still please more users and should also be the more reliable option for the upcoming years. Especially users of older MacBooks do not have to get used to anew keyboard and just get a familiar typing experience as well as a similar layout.

As always, the large Force Touch trackpad is a joy to use thanks to excellent gliding capabilities and the still unique Force Touch. We cannot find any issues here. Apple's entry-level laptop also supports the True Tone technology, which automatically adjusts the color temperature based on the environment. The panel ID has changed compared to the old model now APPA , but our measurements do not show any significant changes.

The average luminance is at around nits and the contrast ratio surpasses The subjective picture impression is very good, but the competition is at least on the same level and even better in some regards like the brightness. We determine a very high frequency above kHz, but we have received multiple mails from users with problems when working on some of the latest MacBooks. We recommend you test the device for as long a period as possible, to be on the safe side, if you are sensitive to PWM flickering.

The display of the MacBook Air is very well calibrated out of the box and almost all the values are within the target range. We have calibrated the panel with the X-Rite i1 Pro 2 spectrophotometer and the professional CalMAN software icm profile is linked in the box above , but this is not really necessary. Outdoors, the nit display is unfortunately only really sufficient in the shade.

The background illumination is not able to compensate for the reflections in direct sunlight. The Pro models with their brighter panels are better in this regard, just like the current Dell XPS 13 There should be no flickering or PWM above this brightness setting.

The frequency of Hz is quite high, so most users sensitive to PWM should not notice any flickering. If PWM was detected, an average of minimum: 5 - maximum: Hz was measured. Except for the reflections, there are no problems with the viewing angle stability of the IPS screen. Colors are stable and the brightness drop is not unusually strong. Quad-core processor, sufficient RAM, and fast PCIe-SSD: The look at the spec sheet suggests a performance level, especially in combination with the price, that you just don't get in practice.

Yes, there is a performance improvement thanks to the new quad-core processors, but the MacBook Air is still aimed at casual users that want to write some mails, browse the web, stream videos, or do the occasional light picture editing. Note: Some of our benchmarks are performed running on Windows 10 Bootcamp for comparison purposes.

It is no problem to use the alternative OS, but we don't know how much optimization has been done by Apple. Our power consumption figures in particular show that there are still big differences between the operating systems.

Cross-platform benchmarks like Geekbench also show a performance advantage for macOS. Please see our tech section for more technical details. Compared to the old MacBook Air with its dual-core iY, we obviously see increased multi-core performance, but the Air still falls short against the typical 15W chips, which are common in this price range of ultrabooks.

The performance is at least identical on battery power. The compact MacBook Air performs a bit better in the Geekbench tests, especially the single-core result shows a smaller gap to the competition. Still, the Core iNG7 once again cannot keep up when we stress all cores.

It is quite interesting to compare the result with the iPad Pro 11 , which is faster than the MacBook Air in both tests. This leaves us with the question of the two alternative processors. The Core iNG4 should only be a little bit faster than last year's Core iY with two cores, and also has the slower G4 version of the integrated graphics card.

If you know that you are just doing basic stuff with your MacBook Air, then the Core i3 should suffice, but the additional price for the 4-core Core i5 should pay off with the next years in mind. The Core iNG7 on the other hand should benefit from a slightly higher single-core performance, at least for a very short period of time.

However, it is doubtful that you will notice this difference in you day-to-day workloads. We will try to review the two alternative processors as soon as possible. The results are a bit surprising: The model with the Core i5 is on average not faster than the i5 model from — despite 2 additional cores, new 10nm process, and new architecture.

There is still a difference to the MacBook Pro 13 and the Windows competition is much faster. Here we can clearly see the limitation of the cooling system and that Apple intentionally limits the performance of its entry-level series. It is evident that Apple did not really optimize the Windows drivers. You cannot transfer the result to macOS though, where we have no suitable tool for tests.

Even the average for this laptop category is slightly better. Whether you notice the faster performance of high-end SSDs is another question though and also depends on the usage scenario. The iGPU itself is pretty powerful, but you are still limited to the lowest details, even when you want to play older titles. However, there is still the problem with the reduced performance after a little while, which is also evident in our Witcher 3 loop in this case with the Min preset.

Our tests with macOS confirm the results from our Windows benchmarks. Even the quad-core SKU we are reviewing cannot offer decent gaming performance due to the poor cooling performance and the low TDP limits for sustained workloads. Fortnite , Counterstrike GO and Dota 2 suffered from annoying stutters, even though the system requirements are not very high. Fortnite was hardly playable at all, the other two games only with limitations.

League of Legends ran well at the lowest settings and the very undemanding Hearthstone provided the best gaming experience. It either ran at the native resolution in combination with medium details or maximum details and x pixels. The basic cooling system has not changed, which means the processor of the MacBook Air is still cooled passively.

There is a small fan inside the chassis, but there is no direct connection with the heat sink from the processor. The only task of the fan is to improve the air circulation inside the chassis. The new quad-core Core i5 processor, however, produces much more heat than the old dual-core, and the slightly larger heat sink does not really help, either. Compared to the previous model, this means the fan is running more often and it also gets louder. We are not only talking about extreme load scenarios, but daily stuff, like the installation of applications or OS updates.

At more than 40 dB A , the small fan is clearly audible under sustained workloads. However, the MacBook Air is usually silent while idling or light workloads like web browsing with a few tabs. We usually saw around rpm with an external monitor and light multi-tasking e. YouTube video and web browsing , where the notebook is still not audible from a normal working distance.

When you start to stress the processor or even the graphics card though, the fan will speed up to its maximum rpm and loud Contrary to the internal temperatures, the external temperatures of the aluminum chassis are completely okay. The chassis stays comfortably cool while idling or during light workloads and the hotspot is in the upper part of the chassis, so the palm rests are never too warm. The internal temperatures are a different story. This is not a great indicator for the durability.

Apple just implemented a weak cooling system to keep the distance to the Pro models under sustained workloads. Apple also improved the stereo speakers of the MacBook Air. It looks like the manufacturer uses the slightly thicker chassis of the notebook for better speaker modules. The frequency diagram shows a much more linear curve across the audible frequencies very similar to the Surface Laptop 3. The Dell XPS 13 and typical notebooks are clearly beaten, but the current MacBook Pro 16 is still the best laptop in terms of notebook speakers.

We are less convinced by the integrated headset port. Audiophile users will not be happy with the Air, but casual users should not notice any problems with the quality. Despite the addition of the quad-core processor, we can see very similar consumption values compared to the model. The Air is very efficient compared to more powerful rivals like the XPS 13 or the class average, only the Acer Swift 3 is even more efficient.

The idle consumption for Windows 10 Bootcamp is surprisingly high. The MacBook Air consumes much more power compared to macOS, so you should expect significantly shorter battery runtimes. For example: We measure idle values between 7 and Many reviews even say it is the best MacBook you can get right now. If you have a closer look, however, you will still see the big problem with the performance and the cooling solution.

Apple definitely missed an opportunity here. Intel Core iNG7 4 x 1. Note: The manufacturer may use components from different suppliers including display panels, drives or memory sticks with similar specifications. MacBook Pro 16 Late vs. MacBook Air MacBook Pro 15 Late vs. MacBook Air full resolution. MacBook Pro 13 Late vs. Right side: Headset port. Webcam — Air with low p resolution.

Apple MacBook Air i5. No upgrade options - only the fan can be cleaned source: iFixit. Keyboard We have already mentioned that the new keyboard is the biggest change on the MacBook Air. Magic Keyboard and glass trackpad. Display — Retina with True Tone.

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