Apple’s 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the ‌iPad Pro‌ increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we’d compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

We’re comparing the base model 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ and the base model 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌. The base 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ features an A12Z chip with an 8-core CPU and GPU, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage space. It’s priced at $999, but there’s no keyboard included, and a keyboard is a definite requirement for using an ‌iPad Pro‌ in lieu of a traditional notebook computer.


Keyboards can be cheap if you’re using a simple Bluetooth solution, or expensive if you choose the $179 Smart Keyboard Folio. If you’re holding out for the Magic Keyboard with trackpad that’ll bring an even more MacBook-like experience to the ‌iPad Pro‌, expect to spend an additional $350 for the 12.9-inch version ($300 for the 11-inch model).


The base 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ features a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3 processor and Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 256GB of storage, and 8GB RAM. It too is priced starting at $999, and doesn’t require any additional purchases, though it’s often worth paying extra to upgrade the processor and the RAM if you can afford it.


When it comes to raw performance, if you compare Geekbench scores, the ‌iPad Pro‌ comes out on top, and by a wide margin. Single-core scores for the i3 chip in the ‌MacBook Air‌ are typically right around 1070, while multi-core scores are around 2100.

iPad Pro scores, though, are right around 1,100 when it comes to single-core performance, and much more impressive in multi-core performance with scores closer to 4670. In raw performance, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is going to give you more bang for your buck, but operating system limitations are worth taking into account.


macOS and iPadOS are incredibly different, with ‌iPadOS‌ being quite a bit more limited when it comes to multitasking and attaching peripherals. The ‌MacBook Air‌ has two USB-C ports, while the ‌iPad Pro‌ has just the one. The ‌iPad Pro‌ can support 4K and 5K displays, while the new ‌MacBook Air‌ works with 4K, 5K, and 6K displays, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ also works with Apple Pencil, while the ‌MacBook Air‌ does not.


Both of these devices are designed for content consumption and creation, but are not ideal for some of the most system intensive tasks like 3D rendering or video editing. In general, though, they’re both capable of the same kinds of basic tasks – browsing the web, coding, sending emails, writing documents, playing games, etc., but the ‌iPad Pro‌ is going to be better for gaming and it has features the ‌MacBook Air‌ is just lacking, such as the dual camera setup and LiDAR Scanner.


Given the faster processor, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is better if you do want to do things like edit videos, record music, edit photos, and more. It’s quiet, it’s fast, and it definitely has an edge over the ‌MacBook Air‌ for system intensive tasks. It’s a wash when it comes to battery life as both offer 10 to 11 hours, but in terms of connectivity, the ‌iPad Pro‌ offers both WiFi 6 and a cellular option, useful for working anywhere.

As for design, both devices are portable and easy to take anywhere, but there are also a lot of differences to be aware of. You have a traditional notebook form factor with built-in trackpad and keyboard with the ‌MacBook Air‌, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ offers a touch-first experience. You can add a keyboard, of course, but it’s still a much different usage experience.


Someone who has a long history working with a notebook form factor may have a harder time adjusting to the touch experience of the ‌iPad Pro‌, while someone who primarily works off of an iPhone or other touch device will be able to adjust to non-notebook life more quickly.

With trackpad and mouse support added in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4, using an iPad is more like using a Mac notebook than ever, but so far, the trackpad experience just isn’t as good as the built-in trackpad on the Mac. It’s just not as simple to use, at least not yet. That could change when Apple releases its Magic Keyboard.


Both the ‌iPad Pro‌ and the ‌MacBook Air‌ are capable machines able to easily complete everyday tasks, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ wins out in terms of feature set and power while the ‌MacBook Air‌ wins for ease of use in multitasking situations. It’s easy to say the ‌iPad Pro‌ is better because it’s more capable, but it’s still just not able to replace the functionality that you can get with a ‌MacBook Air‌.

Choosing between the ‌iPad Pro‌ and the ‌MacBook Air‌ as a main machine for work and home use will come down to each individual’s work habits, preferences, software requirements, and workflow. A multitasking heavy workload that requires multiple apps to be used at once won’t translate well to an ‌iPad‌, but a job that requires more focus on a single app like writing or coding could work well on an ‌iPad‌.

Do you use an ‌iPad‌ as a main work machine in lieu of a Mac or PC? Do you prefer the ‌iPad Pro‌ over the ‌MacBook Air‌, or vice versa? Let us know in the comments.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air

This article, “Apple’s 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the ‌iPad Pro‌ increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ and the base model 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌. The base 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ features an A12Z chip with an 8-core CPU and GPU, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage space. It's priced at $999, but there's no keyboard included, and a keyboard is a definite requirement for using an ‌iPad Pro‌ in lieu of a traditional notebook computer.


Keyboards can be cheap if you're using a simple Bluetooth solution, or expensive if you choose the $179 Smart Keyboard Folio. If you're holding out for the Magic Keyboard with trackpad that'll bring an even more MacBook-like experience to the ‌iPad Pro‌, expect to spend an additional $350 for the 12.9-inch version ($300 for the 11-inch model).


The base 13-inch ‌MacBook Air‌ features a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3 processor and Intel Iris Plus Graphics, 256GB of storage, and 8GB RAM. It too is priced starting at $999, and doesn't require any additional purchases, though it's often worth paying extra to upgrade the processor and the RAM if you can afford it.


When it comes to raw performance, if you compare Geekbench scores, the ‌iPad Pro‌ comes out on top, and by a wide margin. Single-core scores for the i3 chip in the ‌MacBook Air‌ are typically right around 1070, while multi-core scores are around 2100.

iPad Pro scores, though, are right around 1,100 when it comes to single-core performance, and much more impressive in multi-core performance with scores closer to 4670. In raw performance, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is going to give you more bang for your buck, but operating system limitations are worth taking into account.


macOS and iPadOS are incredibly different, with ‌iPadOS‌ being quite a bit more limited when it comes to multitasking and attaching peripherals. The ‌MacBook Air‌ has two USB-C ports, while the ‌iPad Pro‌ has just the one. The ‌iPad Pro‌ can support 4K and 5K displays, while the new ‌MacBook Air‌ works with 4K, 5K, and 6K displays, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ also works with Apple Pencil, while the ‌MacBook Air‌ does not.


Both of these devices are designed for content consumption and creation, but are not ideal for some of the most system intensive tasks like 3D rendering or video editing. In general, though, they're both capable of the same kinds of basic tasks - browsing the web, coding, sending emails, writing documents, playing games, etc., but the ‌iPad Pro‌ is going to be better for gaming and it has features the ‌MacBook Air‌ is just lacking, such as the dual camera setup and LiDAR Scanner.


Given the faster processor, the ‌iPad Pro‌ is better if you do want to do things like edit videos, record music, edit photos, and more. It's quiet, it's fast, and it definitely has an edge over the ‌MacBook Air‌ for system intensive tasks. It's a wash when it comes to battery life as both offer 10 to 11 hours, but in terms of connectivity, the ‌iPad Pro‌ offers both WiFi 6 and a cellular option, useful for working anywhere.

As for design, both devices are portable and easy to take anywhere, but there are also a lot of differences to be aware of. You have a traditional notebook form factor with built-in trackpad and keyboard with the ‌MacBook Air‌, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ offers a touch-first experience. You can add a keyboard, of course, but it's still a much different usage experience.


Someone who has a long history working with a notebook form factor may have a harder time adjusting to the touch experience of the ‌iPad Pro‌, while someone who primarily works off of an iPhone or other touch device will be able to adjust to non-notebook life more quickly.

With trackpad and mouse support added in ‌iPadOS‌ 13.4, using an iPad is more like using a Mac notebook than ever, but so far, the trackpad experience just isn't as good as the built-in trackpad on the Mac. It's just not as simple to use, at least not yet. That could change when Apple releases its Magic Keyboard.


Both the ‌iPad Pro‌ and the ‌MacBook Air‌ are capable machines able to easily complete everyday tasks, but the ‌iPad Pro‌ wins out in terms of feature set and power while the ‌MacBook Air‌ wins for ease of use in multitasking situations. It's easy to say the ‌iPad Pro‌ is better because it's more capable, but it's still just not able to replace the functionality that you can get with a ‌MacBook Air‌.

Choosing between the ‌iPad Pro‌ and the ‌MacBook Air‌ as a main machine for work and home use will come down to each individual's work habits, preferences, software requirements, and workflow. A multitasking heavy workload that requires multiple apps to be used at once won't translate well to an ‌iPad‌, but a job that requires more focus on a single app like writing or coding could work well on an ‌iPad‌.

Do you use an ‌iPad‌ as a main work machine in lieu of a Mac or PC? Do you prefer the ‌iPad Pro‌ over the ‌MacBook Air‌, or vice versa? Let us know in the comments.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air

This article, "Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air

Alongside new iPad Pros last week, Apple also refreshed the MacBook Air, adding more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and an updated keyboard. We picked up one of the new machines to take a look at some of the upgrades added in the 2020 update.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Design wise, there are no real external changes to the ‌MacBook Air‌’s body, though to accommodate the new keyboard, it’s just a bit thicker. It’s 0.63 inches thick at its thickest point, up from 0.61 inches.

It still comes in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, and it uses the same Retina display that was first introduced in the 2018 ‌MacBook Air‌ redesign. Most of what’s new is internal, but there is an all-new Magic Keyboard with scissor switches, which is the same keyboard added to the 16-inch MacBook Pro released last October.


Scissor switches are more reliable than butterfly switches and aren’t prone to the same failure due to dust and other small particulates. In fact, scissor switch keyboards were used in MacBooks prior to the 2015 and 2016 MacBook and ‌MacBook Pro‌ refreshes that brought us the butterfly keyboard, so Apple is returning to an old favorite.

The new keyboard feels nice with its 1mm travel, but the keys are a bit softer, quieter, and mushier, so for some, it’s not going to be as satisfying of a typing experience as the butterfly keyboard, but most people will appreciate the change and the reliability improvements.


There are inverted T arrow keys to make it easier to find them by feel, plus the keys have the same backlighting as the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ model. Next to the function keys, there’s a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for unlocking the Mac with a finger.

The ‌MacBook Air‌ still features just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but 6K displays are now supported, so it works with Apple’s Pro Display XDR if you feel like getting a $5,000 display to go with your $999 machine.

The rest of the changes to the ‌MacBook Air‌ are internal. It uses Intel’s 10th-generation chips, maxing out at a quad-core Core i7 option that Apple says doubles CPU performance compared to the previous-generation ‌MacBook Air‌ models.

That Core i7 chip is a high-end upgrade, though, and the base model that we have on hand features a 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Core i3 processor, and performance gains are a lot more modest.


GPU performance with the Intel Iris Plus Graphics is up to 80 percent faster than GPU performance with the previous Intel UHD Graphics 617, which is a bigger jump for the base model.

Apple also boosted the storage, so the ‌MacBook Air‌ now supports up to 2TB storage space and the base model comes with 256GB of storage instead of 128GB of storage, which is a great deal given the new lower $999 starting price. Entry-level machines still come with 8GB RAM, though, and the 16GB upgrade is $200.

With the price drop, storage upgrade, GPU refresh, and new chips, the 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ is a great entry-level machine ideal for people who need something for office work, web browsing, content consumption, light photo editing, and similar tasks that don’t require the power of the ‌MacBook Pro‌.

For most consumers, the entry-level 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ is more than adequate, and for a few hundred dollars, it can be futureproofed with some boosted CPU speed and additional RAM.

What do you think of the 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ refresh? Let us know in the comments.

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

This article, “Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Alongside new iPad Pros last week, Apple also refreshed the MacBook Air, adding more storage, faster 10th-generation processors, and an updated keyboard. We picked up one of the new machines to take a look at some of the upgrades added in the 2020 update.

Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos.

Design wise, there are no real external changes to the ‌MacBook Air‌'s body, though to accommodate the new keyboard, it's just a bit thicker. It's 0.63 inches thick at its thickest point, up from 0.61 inches.

It still comes in Silver, Space Gray, and Gold, and it uses the same Retina display that was first introduced in the 2018 ‌MacBook Air‌ redesign. Most of what's new is internal, but there is an all-new Magic Keyboard with scissor switches, which is the same keyboard added to the 16-inch MacBook Pro released last October.


Scissor switches are more reliable than butterfly switches and aren't prone to the same failure due to dust and other small particulates. In fact, scissor switch keyboards were used in MacBooks prior to the 2015 and 2016 MacBook and ‌MacBook Pro‌ refreshes that brought us the butterfly keyboard, so Apple is returning to an old favorite.

The new keyboard feels nice with its 1mm travel, but the keys are a bit softer, quieter, and mushier, so for some, it's not going to be as satisfying of a typing experience as the butterfly keyboard, but most people will appreciate the change and the reliability improvements.


There are inverted T arrow keys to make it easier to find them by feel, plus the keys have the same backlighting as the 16-inch ‌MacBook Pro‌ model. Next to the function keys, there's a Touch ID fingerprint sensor for unlocking the Mac with a finger.

The ‌MacBook Air‌ still features just two Thunderbolt 3 ports, but 6K displays are now supported, so it works with Apple's Pro Display XDR if you feel like getting a $5,000 display to go with your $999 machine.

The rest of the changes to the ‌MacBook Air‌ are internal. It uses Intel's 10th-generation chips, maxing out at a quad-core Core i7 option that Apple says doubles CPU performance compared to the previous-generation ‌MacBook Air‌ models.

That Core i7 chip is a high-end upgrade, though, and the base model that we have on hand features a 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Core i3 processor, and performance gains are a lot more modest.


GPU performance with the Intel Iris Plus Graphics is up to 80 percent faster than GPU performance with the previous Intel UHD Graphics 617, which is a bigger jump for the base model.

Apple also boosted the storage, so the ‌MacBook Air‌ now supports up to 2TB storage space and the base model comes with 256GB of storage instead of 128GB of storage, which is a great deal given the new lower $999 starting price. Entry-level machines still come with 8GB RAM, though, and the 16GB upgrade is $200.

With the price drop, storage upgrade, GPU refresh, and new chips, the 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ is a great entry-level machine ideal for people who need something for office work, web browsing, content consumption, light photo editing, and similar tasks that don't require the power of the ‌MacBook Pro‌.

For most consumers, the entry-level 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ is more than adequate, and for a few hundred dollars, it can be futureproofed with some boosted CPU speed and additional RAM.

What do you think of the 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ refresh? Let us know in the comments.
Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

This article, "Hands-On With the New $999 MacBook Air" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs

Apple this week acknowledged that MacBook Air models with Retina displays can exhibit anti-reflective coating issues, as indicated in a memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors.

“Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues,” the memo states.

Apple’s internal service documentation for this issue previously only mentioned MacBook Pro and discontinued 12-inch MacBook models with Retina displays, but the MacBook Air is now mentioned in at least two places. Apple added a Retina display to the MacBook Air in October 2018 and all models of the notebook have featured once since.


Apple has a free repair program for the anti-reflective coating issue in place internally, but it has yet to add any MacBook Air models to its list of eligible models, despite mentioning it elsewhere in the documentation. However, with Apple at least acknowledging that the MacBook Air can exhibit the issue, customers may have a valid argument for at least a free in-warranty repair.

The eligibility list remains the same as in December 2019 for now:

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2015)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)
  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2015)
  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016)
  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2017)

Apple began the repair program in October 2015 after some MacBook and MacBook Pro users experienced an issue with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating on Retina displays. Apple has never posted the repair program to its website, opting instead to handle the matter more quietly. For that reason, your mileage may vary.

Over the years, the issue led to an online petition with nearly 5,000 signatures, a Facebook group with over 17,000 members, and complaints across the Apple Support Communities, Reddit, and our own MacRumors forums. A so-called “Staingate” website was set up to share photos of affected Mac notebooks.

Apple Stores outside of China and many Apple Authorized Service Providers are closed right now, but customers can visit support.apple.com for service and support.

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

This article, “Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple this week acknowledged that MacBook Air models with Retina displays can exhibit anti-reflective coating issues, as indicated in a memo shared with Apple Authorized Service Providers and obtained by MacRumors.

"Retina displays on some MacBook, MacBook Air, and MacBook Pro computers can exhibit anti-reflective (AR) coating issues," the memo states.

Apple's internal service documentation for this issue previously only mentioned MacBook Pro and discontinued 12-inch MacBook models with Retina displays, but the MacBook Air is now mentioned in at least two places. Apple added a Retina display to the MacBook Air in October 2018 and all models of the notebook have featured once since.


Apple has a free repair program for the anti-reflective coating issue in place internally, but it has yet to add any MacBook Air models to its list of eligible models, despite mentioning it elsewhere in the documentation. However, with Apple at least acknowledging that the MacBook Air can exhibit the issue, customers may have a valid argument for at least a free in-warranty repair.

The eligibility list remains the same as in December 2019 for now:
  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, Early 2015)

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid 2015)

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2016)

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2016)

  • MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017)

  • MacBook Pro (15-inch, 2017)

  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2015)

  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2016)

  • MacBook (12-inch, Early 2017)


Apple began the repair program in October 2015 after some MacBook and MacBook Pro users experienced an issue with the anti-reflective coating wearing off or delaminating on Retina displays. Apple has never posted the repair program to its website, opting instead to handle the matter more quietly. For that reason, your mileage may vary.

Over the years, the issue led to an online petition with nearly 5,000 signatures, a Facebook group with over 17,000 members, and complaints across the Apple Support Communities, Reddit, and our own MacRumors forums. A so-called "Staingate" website was set up to share photos of affected Mac notebooks.

Apple Stores outside of China and many Apple Authorized Service Providers are closed right now, but customers can visit support.apple.com for service and support.
Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

This article, "Apple Says MacBook Air With Retina Display Can Exhibit Anti-Reflective Coating Issues, Unclear if Eligible for Free Repairs" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

iFixit Teardown Takes a Look at New Scissor Keys and Finds Easier to Access Trackpad and Battery

iFixit today shared the results of one of its traditional teardowns of the new MacBook Air, which Apple unveiled last week.


The major notable new feature in the MacBook Air is the scissor switch keyboard, an upgrade over the much-maligned butterfly keyboard that was prone to failure and spurred Apple to implement a wide-ranging repair program.

The scissor switch keyboard was first introduced in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Apple is planning to expand it across the MacBook lineup, starting with the MacBook Air. The updated keyboard adds a mere half a millimeter of additional thickness to the body of the machine, with the MacBook Air now measuring in at 0.63 inches at its thickest point, up from 0.61 inches in the prior version.

The new Magic Keyboard is about 0.5mm thicker than the Butterfly keyboard of the prior-generation model, which accounts for the minor increase in thickness. The new MacBook Air is also just a bit heavier at 2.80 pounds instead of 2.75 pounds.


Along with the new keyboard, iFixit found a larger heatsink over the processor, and a new cable configuration between the logic board and the trackpad that makes it easier to do trackpad and battery repairs.

That new trackpad cable configuration pays dividends! Where last year the trackpad cables were trapped under the logic board, they are now free to be disconnected anytime–meaning trackpad removal can happen as soon as the back cover comes off. And since the battery rests under these same cables, this new configuration also greatly speeds up battery removal by leaving the logic board in place. That’s two very tasty birds, one stone, for those of you counting. This is one of those happy (but all too rare) occasions where we can identify a hardware change from Apple that’s squarely aimed at improving serviceability in the existing design. Sometimes they do listen!

The battery model number and specs are unchanged compared to last year, and Apple uses both pull-tab adhesive and screws to hold the speakers in place in the new model. The SSD and the RAM continue to be soldered in place and cannot be upgraded.

All in all, the MacBook Air earned a repairability score of four out of 10 for the quicker access to trackpad and battery replacements, and the modular and easy to access fans, speakers, and ports. Though the keyboard is now more reliable, it’s still integrated into the top case, requiring a complete teardown for service purposes.

Apple’s new MacBook Air can be purchased from the online Apple Store and it is priced starting at $999.

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

This article, “iFixit Teardown Takes a Look at New Scissor Keys and Finds Easier to Access Trackpad and Battery” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

iFixit today shared the results of one of its traditional teardowns of the new MacBook Air, which Apple unveiled last week.


The major notable new feature in the MacBook Air is the scissor switch keyboard, an upgrade over the much-maligned butterfly keyboard that was prone to failure and spurred Apple to implement a wide-ranging repair program.

The scissor switch keyboard was first introduced in the 16-inch MacBook Pro, but Apple is planning to expand it across the MacBook lineup, starting with the MacBook Air. The updated keyboard adds a mere half a millimeter of additional thickness to the body of the machine, with the MacBook Air now measuring in at 0.63 inches at its thickest point, up from 0.61 inches in the prior version.

The new Magic Keyboard is about 0.5mm thicker than the Butterfly keyboard of the prior-generation model, which accounts for the minor increase in thickness. The new MacBook Air is also just a bit heavier at 2.80 pounds instead of 2.75 pounds.


Along with the new keyboard, iFixit found a larger heatsink over the processor, and a new cable configuration between the logic board and the trackpad that makes it easier to do trackpad and battery repairs.
That new trackpad cable configuration pays dividends! Where last year the trackpad cables were trapped under the logic board, they are now free to be disconnected anytime--meaning trackpad removal can happen as soon as the back cover comes off. And since the battery rests under these same cables, this new configuration also greatly speeds up battery removal by leaving the logic board in place. That's two very tasty birds, one stone, for those of you counting. This is one of those happy (but all too rare) occasions where we can identify a hardware change from Apple that's squarely aimed at improving serviceability in the existing design. Sometimes they do listen!
The battery model number and specs are unchanged compared to last year, and Apple uses both pull-tab adhesive and screws to hold the speakers in place in the new model. The SSD and the RAM continue to be soldered in place and cannot be upgraded.

All in all, the MacBook Air earned a repairability score of four out of 10 for the quicker access to trackpad and battery replacements, and the modular and easy to access fans, speakers, and ports. Though the keyboard is now more reliable, it's still integrated into the top case, requiring a complete teardown for service purposes.

Apple's new MacBook Air can be purchased from the online Apple Store and it is priced starting at $999.
Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

This article, "iFixit Teardown Takes a Look at New Scissor Keys and Finds Easier to Access Trackpad and Battery" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Lifts Purchase Limits on iPhones, New iPad Pro, and New MacBook Air Outside of China

Apple has lifted purchase limits previously imposed on iPhone, new iPad Pro, and new MacBook Air purchases made outside of China.


Apple this past week had set purchase limits across several of its products. For example, the new ‌MacBook Air‌ and Mac mini were limited to five orders per customer, the new ‌iPad Pro‌ was limited to two 11-inch models per customer and two 12.9-inch models per customer, and iPhones were limited to two of each model per customer.

Some purchase limits have yet to be lifted in China. Although China does not have any purchase limits on iPhones and the ‌Mac mini‌, there does still exist a limit of five ‌MacBook Air‌ orders per customer. Additionally, there exists a limit on the new ‌iPad Pro‌, however, it is unable to be ordered at this time as approval for the device in the country is still pending.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air

This article, “Apple Lifts Purchase Limits on iPhones, New iPad Pro, and New MacBook Air Outside of China” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple has lifted purchase limits previously imposed on iPhone, new iPad Pro, and new MacBook Air purchases made outside of China.


Apple this past week had set purchase limits across several of its products. For example, the new ‌MacBook Air‌ and Mac mini were limited to five orders per customer, the new ‌iPad Pro‌ was limited to two 11-inch models per customer and two 12.9-inch models per customer, and iPhones were limited to two of each model per customer.

Some purchase limits have yet to be lifted in China. Although China does not have any purchase limits on iPhones and the ‌Mac mini‌, there does still exist a limit of five ‌MacBook Air‌ orders per customer. Additionally, there exists a limit on the new ‌iPad Pro‌, however, it is unable to be ordered at this time as approval for the device in the country is still pending.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air

This article, "Apple Lifts Purchase Limits on iPhones, New iPad Pro, and New MacBook Air Outside of China" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

2020 MacBook Air With Quad-Core i5 is Up to 76% Faster Than 2018-2019 Model Based on Benchmarks

Apple this week refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with a scissor switch Magic Keyboard and faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, including a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3, 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5, and 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7.


Jason Snell of Six Colors was provided with the mid-range MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 processor for testing purposes. In his first impressions article this morning, he shared Geekbench 5 benchmark results for this configuration, including a single-core score of 1,047 and a multi-core score of 2,658.


We averaged Snell’s results with ten other Geekbench 5 results to end up with a single-core score of 1,072 and multi-core score of 2,714, suggesting that the 2020 MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 is up to 76 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air, which was only available with an 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 chip.

While the new MacBook Air has a lower starting price of $999, many early reviews of the notebook suggest spending an extra $100 on the Core i5 processor, as the base model is limited to a dual-core Core i3 chip. Geekbench 5 results for that configuration are not very consistent yet, so it is hard to paint an accurate picture of performance, but average single-core and multi-core scores are currently 849 and 1,685 respectively, suggesting that the new $999 model could be up to 10 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air.

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

This article, “2020 MacBook Air With Quad-Core i5 is Up to 76% Faster Than 2018-2019 Model Based on Benchmarks” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple this week refreshed its MacBook Air lineup with a scissor switch Magic Keyboard and faster 10th-generation Intel Core processor options, including a 1.1GHz dual-core Core i3, 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5, and 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7.


Jason Snell of Six Colors was provided with the mid-range MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 processor for testing purposes. In his first impressions article this morning, he shared Geekbench 5 benchmark results for this configuration, including a single-core score of 1,047 and a multi-core score of 2,658.


We averaged Snell's results with ten other Geekbench 5 results to end up with a single-core score of 1,072 and multi-core score of 2,714, suggesting that the 2020 MacBook Air with a 1.1GHz quad-core Core i5 is up to 76 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air, which was only available with an 8th-generation 1.6GHz dual-core Core i5 chip.

While the new MacBook Air has a lower starting price of $999, many early reviews of the notebook suggest spending an extra $100 on the Core i5 processor, as the base model is limited to a dual-core Core i3 chip. Geekbench 5 results for that configuration are not very consistent yet, so it is hard to paint an accurate picture of performance, but average single-core and multi-core scores are currently 849 and 1,685 respectively, suggesting that the new $999 model could be up to 10 percent faster than the 2018-2019 MacBook Air.
Related Roundup: MacBook Air
Buyer's Guide: MacBook Air (Buy Now)

This article, "2020 MacBook Air With Quad-Core i5 is Up to 76% Faster Than 2018-2019 Model Based on Benchmarks" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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.


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 (Buy Now)

This article, “2020 MacBook Air Reviews Praise Magic Keyboard and Faster Performance at Lower $999 Starting Price” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

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.


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 (Buy Now)

This article, "2020 MacBook Air Reviews Praise Magic Keyboard and Faster Performance at Lower $999 Starting Price" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple Sets Purchase Limits on New iPad Pro, New MacBook Air, and iPhones

Apple this week set purchase limits on its newly updated iPad Pro and MacBook Air models, its entire range of iPhone models, and the Mac mini on its online store in the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia, and several other regions.


The new MacBook Air and the Mac mini are limited to five orders per customer, for example, while the new iPad Pro is limited to two 11-inch models and two 12.9-inch models per customer. There is also a limit of two iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus models per customer.

Apple commonly places purchase limits on products in some Asian countries to combat the gray market, such as the AirPods Pro, but these expanded restrictions could be an effort to balance supply and demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect that the purchase limits appear to be in place on select products worldwide, not just in Asian countries. While there is no fine print reflecting these limits on Apple’s website outside of Asia, the quantity limits are in place during the checkout process.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air

This article, “Apple Sets Purchase Limits on New iPad Pro, New MacBook Air, and iPhones” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple this week set purchase limits on its newly updated iPad Pro and MacBook Air models, its entire range of iPhone models, and the Mac mini on its online store in the United States and Canada, Europe, Asia, and several other regions.


The new MacBook Air and the Mac mini are limited to five orders per customer, for example, while the new iPad Pro is limited to two 11-inch models and two 12.9-inch models per customer. There is also a limit of two iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone 11, iPhone XR, iPhone 8, and iPhone 8 Plus models per customer.

Apple commonly places purchase limits on products in some Asian countries to combat the gray market, such as the AirPods Pro, but these expanded restrictions could be an effort to balance supply and demand amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Update: This post has been updated to reflect that the purchase limits appear to be in place on select products worldwide, not just in Asian countries. While there is no fine print reflecting these limits on Apple's website outside of Asia, the quantity limits are in place during the checkout process.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, Mac mini, MacBook Air

This article, "Apple Sets Purchase Limits on New iPad Pro, New MacBook Air, and iPhones" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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New iPad Pro Supports Wi-Fi 6, New MacBook Air Still Has 720p Webcam, and Other Tidbits

Apple announced new iPad Pro and MacBook Air models today. We’ve compiled some smaller tidbits about each device below.

As with iPhone 11 models, the new iPad Pro supports Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax. The newer standard delivers faster speeds, greater network capacity, improved power efficiency, lower latency, and connectivity improvements in areas with several Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi 6 devices must support WPA3, a Wi-Fi security protocol with improved cryptographic strength.


By comparison, the new MacBook Air still supports Wi-Fi 5, aka 802.11ac, and it also continues to have a lackluster 720p front-facing camera.

While the new MacBook Air has a lower $999 starting price, the notebook is even cheaper for those who qualify for an educational discount, with the base model starting at $899 for students and their parents, faculty, and even homeschool teachers of all grade levels, which is particularly interesting with many schools closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered glyphs in iPadOS 13.4 GM code that suggest users will be able to view the battery life of their Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and other Bluetooth mice in the batteries widget of the Today view on the iPad, accessible by swiping right on the first page of the home screen. Apple announced that iPadOS 13.4 will gain trackpad support, with the software update to be released March 24.

As noted by Parker Ortolani on Twitter, one small change is that the Apple logo on the upcoming Magic Keyboard case for the iPad Pro is now horizontally positioned so that the logo appears upright when the iPad is used in landscape orientation.

Anyone else notice that the Apple logo on the back of the Magic Keyboard cover is horizontal? Been wanting them to add that for years. pic.twitter.com/227WvC1Icz

— Parker Ortolani (@ParkerOrtolani) March 18, 2020

Apple’s new iPad Pro models now start with 128GB of storage, up from 64GB, and all higher storage tiers are now $50 cheaper. For example, an 11-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage and Wi-Fi only is now $899, whereas the equivalent 2018 model was $949. This price cut applies to all 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage tiers for the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Apple says the new LiDAR Scanner on the latest iPad Pro models improves the Measure app, making it faster and easier to automatically calculate someone’s height, while helpful vertical and edge guides automatically appear to let users more quickly and accurately measure objects. The app is also gaining a Ruler View for more granular measurements.

A few tidbits we noted earlier include the upcoming Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro offering pass-through USB-C charging for accessories, and the new MacBook Air supporting up to a 6K external display, including Apple’s Pro Display XDR.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air

This article, “New iPad Pro Supports Wi-Fi 6, New MacBook Air Still Has 720p Webcam, and Other Tidbits” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple announced new iPad Pro and MacBook Air models today. We've compiled some smaller tidbits about each device below.

As with iPhone 11 models, the new iPad Pro supports Wi-Fi 6, aka 802.11ax. The newer standard delivers faster speeds, greater network capacity, improved power efficiency, lower latency, and connectivity improvements in areas with several Wi-Fi devices. Wi-Fi 6 devices must support WPA3, a Wi-Fi security protocol with improved cryptographic strength.


By comparison, the new MacBook Air still supports Wi-Fi 5, aka 802.11ac, and it also continues to have a lackluster 720p front-facing camera.

While the new MacBook Air has a lower $999 starting price, the notebook is even cheaper for those who qualify for an educational discount, with the base model starting at $899 for students and their parents, faculty, and even homeschool teachers of all grade levels, which is particularly interesting with many schools closed amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered glyphs in iPadOS 13.4 GM code that suggest users will be able to view the battery life of their Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and other Bluetooth mice in the batteries widget of the Today view on the iPad, accessible by swiping right on the first page of the home screen. Apple announced that iPadOS 13.4 will gain trackpad support, with the software update to be released March 24.

As noted by Parker Ortolani on Twitter, one small change is that the Apple logo on the upcoming Magic Keyboard case for the iPad Pro is now horizontally positioned so that the logo appears upright when the iPad is used in landscape orientation.


Apple's new iPad Pro models now start with 128GB of storage, up from 64GB, and all higher storage tiers are now $50 cheaper. For example, an 11-inch iPad Pro with 256GB of storage and Wi-Fi only is now $899, whereas the equivalent 2018 model was $949. This price cut applies to all 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB storage tiers for the new 11-inch and 12.9-inch iPad Pro.

Apple says the new LiDAR Scanner on the latest iPad Pro models improves the Measure app, making it faster and easier to automatically calculate someone's height, while helpful vertical and edge guides automatically appear to let users more quickly and accurately measure objects. The app is also gaining a Ruler View for more granular measurements.

A few tidbits we noted earlier include the upcoming Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro offering pass-through USB-C charging for accessories, and the new MacBook Air supporting up to a 6K external display, including Apple's Pro Display XDR.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air

This article, "New iPad Pro Supports Wi-Fi 6, New MacBook Air Still Has 720p Webcam, and Other Tidbits" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Expercom Provides First Discounts for New MacBook Air and iPad Pro

Apple reseller Expercom has launched pre-orders for the just-announced MacBook Air and iPad Pro updates, offering up to $104 off these devices, and an average of around $50 off in most cases. Because these models launched this morning, Expercom’s prices are the first deals we’ve seen on the 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Expercom. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Expercom’s shipping is around $10, depending on the item being shipped. The new MacBook Pros will be shipped within one to two weeks, while the new ‌iPad Pro‌ will be shipped in two to three weeks. If you haven’t ordered from Expercom before, the retailer is a trusted Apple Premium Reseller that also sells AppleCare+ with its products, which we’ve included in the lists below.

‌MacBook Air‌

‌iPad Pro‌

Apple’s 2020 MacBook Air includes faster processors, a new scissor switch keyboard, and overall 80 percent faster graphics performance than the previous generation. The new ‌MacBook Air‌ features a Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel, plus a new inverted-“T” arrangement for the arrow keys, similar to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

On the tablet side, the new iPad Pro has a faster A12Z Bionic chip, a new Magic Keyboard accessory with a built-in trackpad, an Ultra Wide camera, a LiDAR Scanner, and more. It also features a square camera bump with a 12MP Wide camera and a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, which can zoom out two times to capture a wider field of view.

Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air

This article, “Expercom Provides First Discounts for New MacBook Air and iPad Pro” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple reseller Expercom has launched pre-orders for the just-announced MacBook Air and iPad Pro updates, offering up to $104 off these devices, and an average of around $50 off in most cases. Because these models launched this morning, Expercom's prices are the first deals we've seen on the 2020 ‌MacBook Air‌ and ‌iPad Pro‌.

Note: MacRumors is an affiliate partner with Expercom. When you click a link and make a purchase, we may receive a small payment, which helps us keep the site running.

Expercom's shipping is around $10, depending on the item being shipped. The new MacBook Pros will be shipped within one to two weeks, while the new ‌iPad Pro‌ will be shipped in two to three weeks. If you haven't ordered from Expercom before, the retailer is a trusted Apple Premium Reseller that also sells AppleCare+ with its products, which we've included in the lists below.

‌MacBook Air‌


‌iPad Pro‌


Apple's 2020 MacBook Air includes faster processors, a new scissor switch keyboard, and overall 80 percent faster graphics performance than the previous generation. The new ‌MacBook Air‌ features a Magic Keyboard with a redesigned scissor mechanism that delivers 1mm of key travel, plus a new inverted-"T" arrangement for the arrow keys, similar to the 16-inch MacBook Pro.

On the tablet side, the new iPad Pro has a faster A12Z Bionic chip, a new Magic Keyboard accessory with a built-in trackpad, an Ultra Wide camera, a LiDAR Scanner, and more. It also features a square camera bump with a 12MP Wide camera and a 10MP Ultra Wide camera, which can zoom out two times to capture a wider field of view.
Related Roundups: iPad Pro, MacBook Air

This article, "Expercom Provides First Discounts for New MacBook Air and iPad Pro" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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