Apple Macbook Air 2020 3-Month Long Term Review

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13-INCH LAPTOP REVIEWS
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Apple Macbook Air 2020 3-Month Long Term Review

Rakesh Narang

Rakesh Narang

We have had in our studio for a little while now, just over 3 months to be exact, and in this review, we will talk about how it has performed so far, how its thermals have been, and how well does it feel while doing day to day activities.

Design Review

It is a litle thick towards the hinges, and extremely thin going down. As compared to the previous generation of Macbook Air, it is a little bit thicker, and that is because of a new keyboard that takes a little more space than the previous generation keyboard.

The wedge shape of looks good and that is sort of a standard in ultrabooks these days. The right side of the laptop has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which is good news, because sooner or later, Apple will replace this jack with a lightning headphone jack.

On the left side of the laptop, you get 2 full Thunderbolt 3 ports. These Thunderbolt 3 ports can be used for charging, connecting an external display, and also, if you are into high-performance video editing, you can connect external GPUs to this laptop and gain some extra video processing power.

Apple Macbook Air 2020 is a little bit heavier than the previous generation. It weighs in at 1.29 kg, which is only a tad bit less than Apple Macbook Pro. If you think that buying an Apple Macbook Air 2020, you will get an extremely light device, you’ll be surprised to know that the weight of Apple Macbook Air 2020 is almost the same as .

The build quality of this laptop is extremely solid, just like all other Apple products and there’s one thing that we would like to clarify, the Apple logo at the back of the device, doesn’t light up! Apple removed this feature a little while ago, I believe after 2016, they have not released a laptop that comes with lighting Apple logo.

Keyboard Review

The keyboard is where you will find the biggest difference in this new generation Macbook Air. If you are used to using the butterfly keyboard on the Macbook Air, the keyboard on will come across as a change, because the new Macbook Air has a scissor-switch style keyboard.

You will most certainly like the new keyboard. The key travel is really good. All the keys are backlit, and people who know to touch-type will surely enjoy typing on this keyboard. The sound of typing keys on the Apple Macbook Air 2020 feels like magic. The sound is really good. It is also lower than the sound of typing on the previous generation butterfly keyboard.

Unlike the Macbook Pro, Apple Macbook Air 2020 has physical buttons in the top row. Some people like the touch bar, but in our opinion, physical buttons work better. Touchbar is one of the rarest used features of the Macbook Pro, it’s almost like most of the people prefer physical keys over touchscreen-based function keys.

The top row of the keyboard has all the function keys and from brightness to volume, to backlighting, to mission control and to mute/unmute, everything can be controller by the function keys. The last key in the top row is the Touch ID, which makes logging into the laptop a hassle-free experience.

The trackpad on the Apple Macbook Air 2020 is just like the trackpad on any other Apple laptop. It is large, it supports all the multi-touch gestures and it basically is the most user-friendly touchpad in the market.

Display Review

The display of Apple Macbook Air 2020 is bright, but it is not quite as bright as the . Its brightness sits at 400 nits, which is a little bit less than Macbook Pro 2020, whose brightness is 500 nits.

The brightness is good enough when used outside, but there are better quality display screen equipped laptops available in the market. The screen comes with a retina display, which makes looking at the screen for long as beautiful as any other Macbook. The color gamut however is less as compared to Macbook Pro. Apple MBP has a P3 color gamut, whereas Apple Macbook Air 2020 has an sRGB color gamut.

As compared to the previous generation MBA, the display of the Apple Macbook Air 2020 is miles ahead. Somebody who will use this laptop coming from the previous generation MBA, the display will be a dazzler. But if you were using MBP 2016 or later previously, the display will look just about the same. The display, however, is not as good as the latest generation MBP. The difference is very slight, but it is noticeable.

Speakers Review

If you use your laptop for watching movies, YouTube videos, or listening to music, you will have no complaints regarding the audio quality of Apple Macbook Air 2020, because they are pretty loud and clear. has stereo speakers, with one on each side of the laptop.

The sound pitch of Apple Macbook Air 2020 goes up to as high as 85 decibels, which is pretty high for a 13-inch laptop. You will not find a laptop in the market with this high-quality speaker setup.

Again, they are not as good as those on MBP, but they are pretty good for most people.

Thermals Review

One of the most asked questions on our Instagram page related to Apple Macbook Air 2020 is how well does it perform under load. How hot does it get? And whether the heating of components decreases the performance of the laptop somehow.

The version of that we received for testing had 1.1 GHz , paired with 8GB RAM. While obviously, these specifications are not top of the line but paired with Apple’s stunning macOS optimizations, these specifications are good enough to just do about anything you could expect out of a regular personal computer, even video-editing.

Performance Review

For regular day to day computing needs, flies.

Opening Safari and browsing websites of any sort of work like magic. They look super-stunning and rendering of web pages is extremely fast.

If you wish to use your laptop for editing 4K videos in Final Cut Pro software, you will face no problems whatsoever. Obviously, the experience won’t be as good as the Macbook Pro, but it is manageable.

It can handle most of the tasks like a pro, but in doing so, it does get a little hot once in a while.

The base frequency of the Intel Core i5 processor is 1.1 GHz, so under normal use, it operates on this frequency. The reason why base frequency is kept low is to improve battery performance. The processor can overclock to higher frequency whenever any heavy software, like the Final Cut Pro, is run on the laptop, and that is the reason why the laptop will make a little more noise and become warm.

The macOS handles the overclocking of the CPU so well, that you will never see a lag. When required, CPU will boost up, do its work, and go back to the base frequency, and the entire credit for such smoothness goes to Apple’s macOS operating system.

When we ran a performance benchmarking tool on this laptop, we were able to hit more than the advertised CPU frequency on this laptop, which makes that the CPU can overclock to a good degree to provide extra computing power. When overclocked to the maximum limit, the temperature of the Apple Macbook Air 2020 rises to just under 100 degrees celsius and fan noise rises up to 65–70 decibels, which is completely normal for any Macbook Air.

As and when the processing requirement is over, the fan noise will go back to 10–20 decibels and temperature too will slowly taper off back to normal.

Battery Life Review

Apple advertises that you can get 11 hours of battery life from , but that is not possible under general use.

Let’s say, you are connected to Wi-Fi, you have the brightness of the screen set to 70%, and you are browsing one web page in Safari continuously, in that scenario, you might be able to get 10–11 hours of battery life.

But most of use do not use our computers like that. We do multitasking. We run multiple Softwares and programs on your computers at once and to a more reliable battery test, we charged our Apple Macbook Air 2020 to full and then worked on it just like we work regularly. We were able to get about 8–9 hours of battery life, which is still very attractive.

If you put a lot of stress on it like you are watching a movie, editing a video, and running some downloads in the background, or some rendering or stuff in the background, then you can get about 6–7 hours of battery life, which is again, not bad for a 13-inch laptop.

But battery life is not a problem whatsoever, because as soon as your battery drops, you can connect it to the power supply with the help of a Thunderbolt charger, and you are good to go. The fast charging capabilities of the Thunderbolt charger ensures that you go from 0 to 100 in less than 2 hours. Even an takes more than 2 hours to get completely charged. Isn’t that something worth shelling out those rupees for?

Is it suitable for students?

Students have to work on a lot of assignments and worksheets, so the keyboard does come in the picture a lot.

For school students, the new scissor-switch style keyboard is a relief. It makes typing activities very comfortable.

Even for programming, a good typing experience is really important. Apple Macbook Air 2020’s new keyboard is a blessing for writers, coders and college students.

The physical buttons at the top of feel better for students as compared to the touch bar.

Students learning programming may feel that they need more computing power, but they would be surprised to know that overclocked Core i5 and 8GB of RAM, can handle most of the development tasks, including XCode with ease.

If you are a professional, however, and you will be doing a lot of heavy-duty coding and processing and video-editing on your laptop, then you can either option in Apple Macbook Air 2020 or go with the Apple Macbook Pro 2020 16GB RAM and Core i7 processor option.

The Final Verdict: Should you buy Apple Macbook Air 2020?

Rakesh Narang

Rakesh Narang

If you are considering to choose between 8th generation Macbook Pro and 10th generation Macbook Air, which is this model, then definitely you should pick over the MBP, because the processor is newer and the integrated graphics are also better.

So, overall, you are getting an excellent bang for your money when you buy the latest Apple Macbook Air 2020.

If you can only afford the 8GB Apple Macbook Air 2020, then it is fine, but if you want a future proof laptop, then you can spend some more money and add 8GB RAM more to your laptop. It is definitely going to improve the performance and longevity of your laptop.

If you only use your laptop for basic tasks like writing papers, web development, or writing assignments, then you can go for the 8GB version Apple Macbook Air 2020, but, if you are into video-editing, or you do application development on your laptop, then having 16GB version of Apple Macbook Air 2020 will be much better.

So, that is our final verdict guys. Apple Macbook Air 2020 is a definite buy!

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