Apple Announces New MacBook Air With 13-Inch Retina Display and Touch ID

Apple in New York today announced a new Retina Display-equipped MacBook Air, the first major update to the model in several years. The display is the centerpiece of the update, but it also gains a pair of Thunderbolt 3 ports and retains its headphone jack, mirroring other 13-inch notebooks in Apple's lineup. It's available in gold, silver, and space gray.

Pricing starts at $1,199, with preorders beginning today and first deliveries on November 7.


The new Air features 50 percent smaller bezels, allowing for a reduced footprint while retaining the same screen size. The 13.3-inch display has four times the resolution of the previous model at 2560x1600. The screen supports 48 percent more color than before, and the FaceTime HD camera remains tucked away at the top.

It has an 8th-gen Intel Core i5, with Intel UHD Graphics and 2133 MHz system memory up to 16GB (8GB standard), with faster SSDs up to 1.5TB in capacity.

There's a new Touch ID fingerprint sensor at the top right of the keyboard, alongside the physical function keys. Apple's T2 Security Chip is included, brought over from the MacBook Pro and iMac Pro — it protects Touch ID data, while also ensuring that the boot process has not been tampered with. There's an onboard SSD controller with on-the-fly data encryption for the Air's flash storage. It also enables "Hey Siri" support.


It uses the same third-generation keyboard as Apple's recent MacBook Pro models, and the Force Touch trackpad is here as well. Better, louder speakers are here, with 25 percent more volume and twice the bass.

It takes up 17 percent less volume, and is ten percent thinner than before, just 0.61-inches at its thickest point (by the hinge). It weighs 2.75 pounds, a quarter pound lighter than before.

Finally, Apple made much of the environmental impact of both the MacBook Air and the new Mac Mini, with both machines made from a new, custom-designed aluminum alloy that uses 100 percent recycled aluminum. Apple says this alloy helps reduce the Air's carbon footprint by 50 percent, "making it the greenest Mac ever."

In addition to the new $1,199 MacBook Air, the old version sticks around, beginning at $999.

Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
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22 months ago
there goes the only good keyboard on laptop...
Score: 31 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
128 GB seems like a lot... you could never use that much storage:rolleyes:
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago

Nope. They needed the space for the 100 year old headphone jack.

Can’t wait to see if the iPad rumors pan out now ...

So Touch ID is now the MacBook thing? I wonder how long until FaceID replaces it too? I was kinda surprised it wasn’t included in this redesign. Maybe next year?

headphone jack is still one of the most useful things on the laptop
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
22 months ago
Literally a 13" Retina MacBook with an extra port. And cheaper.. what
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
Interesting, what does this mean for the non-tbMPB and just standard MacBook? I feel like this new Air makes them irrelevant.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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22 months ago
No way am I buying one with this keyboard, it's borderline unusable to type on and people are still reporting tons of failures. They should never have put it into production, but Jobs wasn't there to kill it...

Only Apple makes good trackpads. The old Air was the last laptop made (by any manufacturer) with a good trackpad and a decent keyboard.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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