Apple MacBook Air 2018 review (MREF2D / A): handsome in the middle

Apple MacBook Air 2018 review (MREF2D / A): handsome in the middle

Despite the fact that innovations in the MacBook Air 2018 compared to the previous model are very modest, during the test, this premium laptop proved to be good.

The fact that the MacBook is on the very last place in the CHIP rankings is not a mistake and not a prejudice against Apple. The reason for the low position of Apple MacBook Air 2018 (MREF2D / A) lies in the strong competition inherent in our rating of premium laptops. But the latest version of the bad MacBook Air is by no means the case.


  • good performance

  • very mobile

  • high quality performance


  • USB-Type-C interfaces only

  • the display is relatively dark

This is especially true of design and ergonomics. Like the previous model, the MacBook Air 2018 has a chic design with impeccable quality of performance. The touchpad and keyboard are also at the top level. However, if this is your first time picking up a MacBook, then you should be prepared for the addiction process to take time. You will not find such an insignificant height of the free motion of the keys and the clutch of fingers with them in any other laptop. Despite this, you can work with the Butterfly-keyboard perfectly and quietly, as soon as the user gets used to handling it.

The first surprise is shown during the test of the display. Here, despite the 13.3-inch Retina-display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, the MacBook Air shows a final rating of “only” 2.2 (good). For comparison: the related top model currently holds the record in this discipline. The reason for such a polar position of devices relative to each other lies in the results of measurements of the maximum brightness of the panel. While the MacBook Pro shines with more than 520 cd / m2, we measured exactly 305 cd / m2 with the MacBook Air 2018. Thus, the display turned out to be relatively dark, which becomes especially noticeable when working outdoors. On a sunny day to get rid of the highlights will not work. Chess contrast at 185: 1 also falls short of the level of other premium laptops, although it is still noticeably higher than the average. The same goes for color space coverage. Here we measured a good 98% in the sRGB-area and more than average 75% with Adobe-RGB. For everyday use this will be more than enough. However, for those who have special requirements for color rendition, it will be better to take a model with an even more natural display of colors, for example,

Power and enough and not enough

While the MacBook Pro 2018 and most other premium laptops of our rating get Intel’s high-performance CPUs of the current generation of Coffee Lake, Apple’s MacBook Air only embeds a Y-series processor that does not reach the Core-i-CPU performance level. Despite this, the Intel Core i5-8210Y, supported by 8 GB of RAM, is not at all bad. Two processor cores can operate at a clock frequency of 1.6 to 3.6 GHz and offer enough power to perform everyday office, multimedia and Internet tasks. Also, the more demanding photo-and video-processing systems (even if they do not concern quite 4K-areas), although it works without problems. For adequate disk space in the standard version meets the 256-gigabyte SSD. Flash-drive works efficiently and provides quick system startup. But with a little more expensive competitors installed in Dell, Lenovo and HP, it still can not be compared. If you need something more from a computer, then for an extra charge you can upgrade both operational and permanent memory.

In terms of equipment, everything remains as before. As in the previous versions of the MacBook, Apple goes its own way. Instead of standard interfaces such as USB 3.0, HDMI and LAN, the MacBook Air 2018 has only two Type-C USB ports with Thunderbolt support. And although with the help of appropriate adapters you can get all the missing interfaces, for a premium laptop this is still not enough. If you simultaneously want to connect an external monitor and a media carrier (for example, a camera), you will immediately occupy all the ports. Fortunately, most of Apple’s peripherals, in particular, mice and keyboards, can be connected without wires. By the way, MacBook Air wirelessly transfers data using Bluetooth 4.2 and WLAN-ac.
Small, light, mobile

We have to admit that the position of the MacBook Air 2018 in our rankings was made difficult by more expensive competitors. But despite this, in terms of mobility, the Apple laptop still has something to show and achieves a very good estimate of 1.2. The main reason for this is a good length of battery life of 44 Wh. In particular, with pure video playback, the laptop can last 10 hours and 29 minutes. With more demanding system resources with a large number of open programs, you can count on 6 hours 11 minutes. At the same time, the 1.2-pound MacBook Air 2018 is second only to the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon in the weight measurement.
Apple Alternative: Apple MacBook Pro 13.3 ″ Retina (2018) (MR9R2D / A)

Apple MacBook Air 2018 review (MREF2D / A): handsome in the middleIf you don’t pay attention to the minimum lag in battery life, the Apple MacBook Pro 2018 is superior to the MacBook Air in any discipline. The 13.3-inch sister model during the test shone with remarkable performance thanks to the Core i7-8259U. In addition, the display is bright and high-contrast, and equipment with four USB-C-ports more generous. A distinctive feature is the OLED touch bar above the keyboard, which serves as a dock for icons. However, this allows Apple to value its device expensively. The cost of the MacBook Pro is about 140 thousand rubles.