Apple launches a new MacBook Air with Retina Display and a new stackable Mac Mini

By Vignesh Giridharan | Published on 30 Oct 2018
HIGHLIGHTS
  • The new MacBook Air is smaller and lighter but employs latest-gen CPUs from Intel. The more powerful Mac Mini, on the other hand, can now be stacked together to be more powerful for demanding applications.

Apple launches a new MacBook Air with Retina Display and a new stackable Mac Mini

Apple has finally launched an all new MacBook Air and Mac Mini at its live event in New York City. The new MacBook Air replaces the first model that was originally launched in 2008 (by the company’s late CEO, Steve Jobs) and was updated regularly until 2017. The new Mac Mini succeeds the current Mac Mini that was launched way back in 2014. The two new Apple devices can be ordered online starting today and will be available from November 7.

The new MacBook Air retains the same display size of 13.3 inches but cuts down on bezel size by 50 percent and increases pixel count drastically—it sports a new Retina Display that offers over 4 million pixels of resolution. In terms of security, the new MacBook Air incorporates a new T2 chip that features Touch ID and Secure Boot. The keyboard has been updated with more a more stable butterfly mechanism for keypress.

Only USB-Cs on the new MacBook Air

The trackpad, now twenty percent larger in size, supports Force Touch. The speakers have been updated to sound 25 percent louder and produce twice the bass. Sounds are now picked up by a new three-microphone array. The number of IO ports on the MacBook Air has reduced dramatically—we see two Thunderbolt 3 ports on the left side and a 3.5mm audio jack on the right side. In terms of footprint, the new MacBook Air is 17 percent lesser in volume and 10 percent thinner than the outgoing model, bringing the thickness down to 15.6mm. Weight has been reduced to 1.24 kilogrammes.

Under the hood, the new MacBook Air runs an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, holds up to 16GB of faster memory, and sports a faster solid-state drive of up to 1.5TB. Apple now uses fully recycled aluminium to create the chassis for the new MacBook Air. According to Laura Lagrove, Vice President of Hardware Engineering at Apple, the new MacBook Air is “the greenest Mac ever”. The base variant of the new MacBook Air features an 8th-gen Intel Core i5 CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive. It’s priced at $119 (Rs 88,210).

Presented for the first time in a new Space Grey colour, the new Mac Mini features updated processors: 8th-gen Intel Core series quad-core and six-core processors with a claimed five-fold increase in performance. Maximum RAM has now been upped to 64GB on SO-DIMM slots. Storage has been upgraded to an all-flash setup with solid-state drives going up to 2TB. The Apple T2 Security chip has been updated too to perform faster HEVC video encoding. The Mac Mini also employs a revamped cooling system.

The Mac Mini hasn't seen an update since 2014

On the back, the Mac Mini has a power port, an ethernet port, four Thunderbolt 3 ports, a full-size HDMI port, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack. What’s special about the new display-less mini-desktop is that it can be stacked along with more Mac Minis to be more powerful and run more demanding software. The base variant of the Mac Mini features an 8th-gen Intel Core i3 quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM, and a 128GB solid-state drive. It’s priced at $799 (Rs 58,747 approx). As mentioned before, the new MacBook Air and the new Mac Mini can be ordered online from today and will be available from November 7.

Mac Minis can now be stacked together to be more powerful

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Vignesh Giridharan

Progressively identifies more with the term ‘legacy device’ as time marches on.

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