2020 MacBook Air Reviews Praise Magic Keyboard and Faster Performance at Lower $999 Starting Price

The media has got its hands on the new MacBook Air and first impressions of the notebook after a day or two of usage are largely positive.

Following in the footsteps of the 16-inch MacBook Pro, the new MacBook Air features a redesigned Magic Keyboard with scissor switches that deliver 1mm of key travel for a comfortable and stable key feel. As with the 16-inch MacBook Pro, reviews find the keyboard on the new MacBook Air to be far better than the problematic butterfly keyboard of recent years.

Apple new macbook air wallpaper screen 03182020 big
TechCrunch's Brian Heater:

Unlike other iterative attempts to update the butterfly mechanism, the move back to a scissor switch is a marked improvement. The keys are still relatively soft compared to other systems, but the feel is much improved — not to mention not as loud while typing. The feeling here is pretty similar to what you get with Apple’s Bluetooth Magic Keyboard peripheral. Honestly, that makes it a valuable upgrade in and of itself.

CNBC's Todd Haselton said "I'm pleased to report that the new keyboard is a vast improvement."

Engadget's Dana Wollman went as far as putting "buy it for the keyboard" in the title of her piece.

Apple significantly redesigned the MacBook Air in 2018, but it also increased the base price of the notebook from $999 to $1,199. Fortunately, the 2020 base model not only starts at $999 again, but also comes with a doubled 256GB of storage. Writing for Six Colors, Jason Snell said this price "finally sets the bar at the right place."

One caveat of the new $999 base model is that it is equipped with a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3 chip, but it is a newer 10th-generation Intel processor. Apple told CNBC's Todd Haselton that the Core i3 chip is a "big upgrade" from the 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 chip in the base model 2018 MacBook Air.

Still, many reviews recommend spending an extra $100 to upgrade to a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 chip — the first quad-core MacBook Air configuration ever.

One criticism that Haselton offered is that the new MacBook Air continues to have a 720p webcam, with many customers wishing that Apple would offer a 1080p front-facing FaceTime camera on its notebooks.

More first impressions were shared by CNET's Dan Ackerman, Business Insider's Lisa Eadicicco, TechRadar's Gareth Beavis and Matt Hanson, PCMag's Tom Brant, Pocket-lint's Stuart Miles, and the Daily Express' David Snelling.

Video Impressions and Unboxings





Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Tag: reviews
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Caution)
Related Forum: MacBook Air

Top Rated Comments

MacFather Avatar
24 months ago
Deleted.
Score: 37 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ani4ani Avatar
24 months ago
I think calling the new keyboard magical because this one actually works is letting Apple’s marketing department get a little carried away.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Zdigital2015 Avatar
24 months ago
Core i5 Geekbench scores has an excellent single-core score - 1192, which put it at second place behind the Core i9-9900K AMD the multi-core score of 3238 puts the Core i5 in the hunt with 2015, 2016 and 2017 15” MacBook Pros, the 2018 Core i3 Mac mini and the 4-core and 6-core 2013 Mac Pro. It will be interesting to see how the Core i7 does, but I suspect it won’t be beyond a 5%-7% increase as the clock speed (base and turbo) of the i7 really isn’t that much higher than the Core i5. Overall, this is a huge update over the previous 2018/2019 MacBook Air. Looking forward to seeing one in person, someday. Kudos to Apple, they appear to now have the MacBook Air on the right side of the value equation.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
InuNacho Avatar
24 months ago
Why do Youtubers all have facial expressions regular people never actually make?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DaveOP Avatar
24 months ago

Can you explain what benefits the average user would see from this?
WiFi 6 isn't just about speed. It helps in congested areas, has better range, and more throughput. I would suggest that the average user could benefit from WiFi that is better in every way. It will take time for routers to be replaced, but many people use their laptops for years and years.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
PatriotInvasion Avatar
24 months ago

No mention of Wifi 5 in a Wifi 6 world?
Can you explain what benefits the average user would see from this?
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
Upcoming Products 2022 Feature

Gurman: Apple Preparing 'Widest Array of New Hardware Products in Its History' for Fall

Sunday January 23, 2022 10:32 am PST by
Apple is working on a number of new products that are set to launch this fall, and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman says that it will be "the widest array" of new devices that Apple has introduced in its history. In his latest "Power On" newsletter, Gurman explains that Apple is working on four new flagship iPhones (iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max), an updated low-end Ma...
Questionable Design Decisions

Apple's Most Questionable Design Decisions in Recent Memory

Sunday January 23, 2022 2:59 am PST by
Apple has always emphasized the depth of thought that goes into the design of its products. In the foreword to Designed by Apple in California, a photo book released by the company in 2016, Jony Ive explains how Apple strives "to define objects that appear effortless" and "so simple, coherent and inevitable that there could be no rational alternative." But every once in a while even Apple...
top stories 2022jan22

Top Stories: Spring Apple Event Rumors, Apple Opposes Sideloading, and More

Saturday January 22, 2022 6:00 am PST by
As we roll into the latter half of January, we're starting to hear more about a potential spring Apple event, which is likely to take place in March or April. There are a number of potential announcements on deck, so an event would be a good opportunity for Apple to get them all out there. We've also been going back and forth on some iPhone 14 rumors, and we've taken a look at a number of...
att gigabit internet

AT&T Bringing $180/Month 5-Gigabit Internet to 70 Cities

Monday January 24, 2022 9:20 am PST by
AT&T today announced the launch of upgraded AT&T Fiber plans, which support speeds of up to 5 Gigabits for some customers. There are two separate plans, one "2 GIG" plan and one "5 GIG" plan, available to new and existing AT&T Fiber subscribers. According to AT&T, the new plans are available to nearly 5.2 million customers across 70 metro areas including Los Angeles, Atlanta, Chicago, San...
macbook pro 14 16 2021

Three Months After Launch, Apple Still Struggling to Meet Demand for Redesigned 14-Inch and 16-Inch MacBook Pro

Monday January 24, 2022 7:12 am PST by
Three months after their launch, the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros continue to experience high demand and seemingly short supply, with shipping dates for both models stretching into multiple weeks in several of Apple's key markets. In the United States, the baseline 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Pro chip is estimated to ship in three to four weeks, promising an arrival by at least...
peloton tv workout cardio

Apple Floated as Potential Buyer of Peloton

Friday January 21, 2022 6:11 am PST by
Following months of bleak news about Peloton's "precarious state," including the revelation that it has halted production of its bikes and treadmills, Apple is being floated as a potential buyer of Peloton's troubled fitness business. Yesterday, CNBC reported that Peloton will temporarily stop production of its connected fitness products due to a "significant reduction" in consumer demand, a ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...