New MacBook Air (2020): What we know about the M1-powered laptop

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At Apple’s November 10 launch event, the new MacBook Air (2020) was announced. Although the MacBook Air (2020) has already been seen earlier this year, this new model comes with quite some changes.


The new MacBook Air (2020) unlike earlier models uses Apple's own ARM-based chip, the new Apple M1 instead of the Intel processor. It also comes with pre-installed macOS 11 Big Sur. Apple promises this to be the biggest change to macOS in years, and is built from the ground-up to take advantage of the M1 chip in the new MacBook Air (2020).


This custom chip, according to Apple will allow the new MacBook Air (2020) to perform better and run longer while it's on battery, while coming with other big performance benefits as well.


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Thanks to some software expertise with Apple's Rosetta tool, all applications that you usually run in macOS on Intel-based MacBook will work fine with the new MacBook Air (2020), which allows apps to run on the new architecture.


According to Apple, the new MacBook Air is three times faster than other laptops in its class, and faster than 98% of PC laptops sold in the past year. Compared to the previous MacBook Air, its neural engine is nine times faster and its SSD is up to twice as fast courtesy of the M1 and the latest flash technology.


In addition, with the low-powered M1 chip, it doesn't need a fan for cooling, making it completely silent. With regards to the battery life, it was expected that the new 'Apple silicon' would be more power-efficient, so it's not much of a surprise that the new MacBook Air has the longest battery life of any MacBook Air. According to Apple, up to 15 hours of wireless web browsing, or up to 18 hours of video.


All this comes with a 13-inch Retina display, auto face recognition, and more.


What is it? Apple's latest lightweight 13-inch MacBook. You can order it right now


How much will it cost?


At Apple's new MacBook Air (2020) launch event, the company stated that its revamped thin and light laptop is now available to buy, with units shipping out from November 16.


Prices for the new MacBook Air (2020) start at $999 / £999 / AU$1,599. As usual, there are a number of specifications available at launch, which can further be customized to get the MacBook Air (2020) that best suits your needs and budget.


So far, here are the configurations we know about so far, and their prices:


$999 / £999: 8GB/256GB, 7-core GPU, 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD


$1,249 / £1,249: 8GB/512GB, 8-core GPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD


The MacBook Air (2020) in comparison, was actually cheaper than the launch price of the MacBook Air (2019), as the MacBook Air (2020) was launched earlier this year for $999 / £999 / AU$1,599.


So, the great news is that you’re getting the new MacBook Air (2020) for the same price as the earlier model.


The fully maxed-out version of the MacBook Air (2020) comes with a 1.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM and 2TB SSD, and costs $2,249 / £2,249 / AU$3,349. Are expecting to see we see a similar top-end configuration for the new MacBook Air?


New MacBook Air (2020) specs.


Apple also announced details of the new MacBook Air (2020) specs and configurations. The base configuration comes with an Apple M1 chip, with an 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, plus a 16-core 'Neural Engine'. There's 8GB of RAM, 256GB SSD storage, including a 13-inch Retina display with True Tone. Touch ID is included, and there are two Thunderbolt ports.


There's also a version with an Apple M1 chip with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU. That extra core could make a significant difference in the graphics performance of the new MacBook Air (2020) – Apple has promised that it'll be able to play modern games, something which could not really be done by past MacBook Airs.


It has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage as well, plus the same Retina display with True Tone, Touch ID and two Thunderbolt ports.

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