Apple - Apple MacBook Air 2018


MacBook Air 2018: Apple finally renews its ultraportable

Aprox. 1282€

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Apple renews its MacBook in 2018 with a model that finally brings its share of new features. As usual, the Cupertino company delivers a product refined until the end of the keys. Some faults, however, prevent it from rising to the level of the best ultraportables.

Our review


It has been a few years since the MacBook Air had had the right to a facelift - the last dating from 2010. It is done with this 2018 edition. Thinner (15 mm), lighter (1.2 kg), this new chassis has the distinction of being made of 100% recycled aluminum, a first.

In the menu of new features, there is also a new butterfly keyboard that Apple promises more reliable than the previous ones, the presence of a Retina screen, but also a Touch ID button, to easily unlock the computer or pay online via Apple Pay. Let's see if the passage of new MacBook Air in our labs will confirm these beautiful arrangements ...


Goodbye the chassis of the old MacBook Air. This 2018 edition adopts a new design inspired by that of the recent MacBook Pro. All roundness and no frills, this chassis is a visual success; failing to really innovate. Goodbye the large gray bands around the screen replaced by thin black bevels. Note in passing that the Apple MacBook Air is available in three colors (gray, silver and pink).

The MacBook Air also keeps the same hinge as the Pro, hinge in which the fans hide - which is not necessarily ideal, as we will see below.

Regarding the keyboard and trackpad, Apple has done a very good job. The new butterfly keyboard allows you to gain finesse. The previous keyboard had been subject to reliability issues and Apple promises a stronger third generation here. The strike remains the same, with an extremely short stroke which requires a certain time of adaptation. The trackpad is gaining in size (+ 25%) and is still just as responsive under macOS.

On the connection side, the MacBook Air offers two USB Type-C ports compatible with ThunderBolt 3 as well as a mini-jack port. Limited, but usual connectivity on MacBook.

The MacBook Air handles heat extremely well. During our usual test protocol (one hour on the Unigine Heaven benchmark), the computer did not exceed 38 ° C. However, there is some noise from the hinge, where the vents are located. If the noise emitted is measured at 41 dB - which remains acceptable - it is reflected on the screen to come directly to the user. A strange choice from Apple, especially since the integrated processor (a Core i5 8210Y) is supposed to be passively cooled. The computer does not make noise most of the time, but the ventilation can be activated somewhat randomly, especially during video playback. An astonishing weakness on a product signed Apple.


For the first time, the MacBook Air abandons TN technology for an IPS screen. A change of slab which is accompanied by a new design of the frame. The MacBook Air 2018 has a 13.3-inch screen with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 px. The screen / front ratio is 79%, which is relatively pleasant.

contrast 1060: 1 Delta E 2.2 temperature 6610 K

Once passed under the lens of our probe, the slab of the MacBook Air reveals very satisfactory results. If the contrast of 1060: 1 proves a little disappointing, the rest is very good. The color temperature measured at 6,610 K is very close to the video standard (6,500 K). The gray gradient therefore does not draw towards red or blue. Respect for colors is also part of the game (average Delta E measured at 2.2).

The brightness rises to 315 cd / m² and allows you to work serenely outdoors. Finally, the IPS panel of the MacBook Air offers a remanence of 20 ms, which is a little high, but does not affect a computer not dedicated to gaming.


The MacBook Air has an Intel Core i5-8210Y processor (2 cores, 4 threads) supported by 8 GB of RAM and a 256 GB SSD. A correct configuration for an ultraportable, but far from being the best on the market.

During our usual test protocol (file compression, audio and video conversion, 3D calculation, photo editing), the MacBook Air obtains the index of 61 on our scale of values - protocol performed under Windows 10 for the sake of equality. This places it among the least powerful ultraportables on the market, and even behind the 2016 MacBook Air with an Intel Core i5-5350U processor. Nevertheless, this new model has a less energy-consuming processor and does not really penalize the user, the MacBook Air doing perfectly in office automation. It should be noted that we also carried out our tests on macOS and that the results obtained were almost similar. The MacBook Air 2018 is therefore above all a laptop dedicated to office automation.

Mobility / Autonomy

Light (1.2 kg) and thin (15 mm thick), the 2018 MacBook Air is extremely easy to transport in a bag. Another weighty advantage: a small charger that just as easily finds a place in the bag.

On the autonomy side, the MacBook Air leaves the competition behind. During our usual test protocol on macOS (Netflix in Safari, backlight off, headphones plugged in and brightness set to 200 cd / m²), it went out after 13 hours and 10 minutes. This is the absolute record among our test panel. It should all the same be noted that we carried out the same test under Chrome (protocol applied to PCs) and that the computer lost a little more than two hours of autonomy.


Apple offers high-flying sound for such a thin ultraportable. Once is not custom, the speakers are located on the front, on either side of the keyboard, which allows them, among other things, to deliver an extremely convincing, wide and precise stereophony. What's more, these speakers deliver frankly impressive power; and if a dynamic compression peak is heard at very high volume, the latter is controlled and does not degrade the naturalness of the sound too much. We can certainly note a point of distortion which gives a slightly hissing side to the treble extremes, but that does not prevent the 2018 MacBook Air from taking the title of best ultraportable with regard to the quality of the speakers.

As for the headphone jack, Apple is also attractive here thanks to its once again very high power, which only dries up if you try to connect an extremely energy-consuming hi-fi headset to it. Stereophonic separation is ideal, as is the cleanliness of the signal supplied.


The new MacBook Air is a very good ultraportable, but has small flaws, like noise management or a certain lack of power, which do not make it the best on the market. If the refresh of the range had become compulsory, this new model is a necessary and controlled evolution more than a real revolution.