Color me the proud owner of a new Mac notebook of the MacBook Air class. Yes, I bit the bullet, stopped waiting for Apple Card to show up, and settled down with a new Mac. After a week I’m ready to declare the new MacBook line the best Mac value you can buy.
Wait. That can’t be right, can it? After all, the headlines say the 2019 MacBook Air is oh so much slower than the 2018 MacBook Air. What’s the deal?
Think of it in terms of lies, damned lies, and statistics. Here’s what I mean.
First, this MacBook Air, although larger than the little MacBook it replaced, isn’t that much larger and the display is much better; better even than last year’s model. I was one of the lucky Mac notebook users who owned a Mac with a butterfly keyboard design that worked just fine for me.
Second, Apple’s MacBook Air has what Apple does best. Feel. This notebook has a typical Apple feel and after a couple of days you begin to understand why the Mac maker sticks with a good design. It feels great; not as light as the MacBook but close, not as small as the MacBook, but close, and with more features you want.
Third, amid all the noise about how this model is slower than last year’s model, you have to dig into the fine print beyond the headlines. MacBook Air 2019 is nearly twice as fast as last year’s model, but a shade slower in some SSD read and write tests; such differences are not notable to users.
Finally, all the pieces fit in a package that starts at $1,099. 8GB RAM, newest generation Intel Inside, 128GB SSD, new Retina display, Touch ID, enough graphics horsepower for most of us, and a decent FaceTime HD camera (HD is defined as 720p and greater; so, not that much HD). Not bad for barely 2.75-lbs.
This is what I like about Apple. Something better is down the road at about $200 more. That’s the MacBook Pro. The entry-level model features similar RAM, similar display, similar SSD storage, Touch ID, Touch Bar, but a quad-core Intel Inside. $200. Need a bigger 15-inch display? $100 more.
See how that works?
So, what makes the new MacBook Air the best Mac value you can buy? All the pieces. Display, speed, SSD storage, portability, and price– the same as a 21.5-inch iMac with an older CPU and more storage (slower Fusion drive) and no portability; exactly the same problem with the less expensive Mac mini.
Until the next model rolls around, the new MacBook Air is the best Mac value you can buy, something Ben Gilbert said about last year’s model– less everything but more money.
Oh, did I mention resale value?
This is where I worry somewhat about this last butterfly design keyboard in a MacBook Air as next generation models are likely to revert to a more standard– and probably more durable– design. It doesn’t matter much because after four years– my average for keeping a Mac notebook– it will still be worth more than a comparable Dell or HP, and that resale value differential further differentiates the Mac from less expensive PC models.