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We compare Apple MacBook Air and MacBook to find out what suits you

A few weeks ago we compared the new Apple MacBook Air 2018 with the powerful MacBook Pro. And if we had to make the comparison between MacBook Air and MacBook? As you know, Apple's most beloved Mac, the MacBook Air, has just been renewed. With improvements under the cap, the Air 2018 received a performance bath that was already missing, in addition to a renewed design. But this is not all that Apple updated: the MacBook Air also has a more expensive starting price.

Starting at $ 1,199 dollars, this year's Air not only costs $ 200 more than the outgoing model, but its new price places Apple's "cheapest" notebook at only $ 100 dollars from the $ 1,299 MacBook. Both laptops have slim and slender profiles and are designed for digital standards. But what should you choose? The MacBook Air, slightly larger and more powerful, or the MacBook, ultra thin and more elegant? We will weigh some of the most important characteristics of each to help you in your decision.


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Despite its name and recent makeover, the MacBook Air now occupies a confusing place on Apple's Mac line, since the standard MacBook is now smaller and lighter than the Air. If you are looking for maximum portability, you cannot deny that the MacBook in the form of what is the option to choose, with its 2.03-pound body and 12-inch screen. In comparison, the MacBook Air 2018 weighs almost three quarts more to accommodate a larger 13.3-inch frame. Both laptops are lighter than last year's Air models, which recorded three pounds on the scale.

The biggest visible change in the design of the MacBook Air is its Retina display. Apple traded the aluminum around the screen for an edge-to-edge glass. Although the Air has more pixels than the normal MacBook (2,560 x 1,600 versus 2,304 x 1,440, respectively), both laptops share a similar amount of pixels per inch (approximately 227), since the increase in the number of pixels of the Air should be distributed over a slightly larger screen, as well as similar aspect ratios 16:10 In practice, they will look very similar, although we discover that the Air screen is not as bright and that the colors are more muted. Fortunately, color accuracy is still good.

Although the Air has more pixels, the overall footprint of the notebook has been reduced. The 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inch MacBook Air is only slightly larger than the MacBook, which measures 11.04 x 7.74 x 0.52 inches. With this larger size, Apple made good use of the space with stereo speakers on each side of the keyboard, similar to what happens in the new MacBook Pro, which according to the company offers up to 25 percent more volume and twice as serious than the previous Air generation.

Apple is also promoting an ecological design, since the new Air is made with more recycled parts. Although not noticeable to the user, the new MacBook Air 2018 is now made of an alloy composed of 100 percent recycled aluminum.


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There is no doubt that the most powerful components of the MacBook Air 2018 give this a clear advantage over the standard MacBook. Both laptops have dual-core CPU designs, but the Air comes with Intel's newest eighth generation processors, while the MacBook is limited to the older seventh-generation Core m3 silicon generation. The new Y-series processor in this year's model gives the MacBook Air a slightly better performance than the standard MacBook. In single-core tasks, both laptops do a good job to keep up, but in our multi-core benchmarks, the MacBook Air is a bit ahead of the MacBook, although none of them can keep up with the most powerful processors of the MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 13 or MateBook X Pro from Huawei.

Both come with 8 GB of memory, although users can configure them with up to 16 GB of RAM. The Air provides users with more storage options, ranging from a solid state drive of 128GB to a maximum of 1.5TB. In comparison, MacBook users can only choose between 256 GB and 512 GB SSD options. Regardless of the notebook you choose, you should consider the memory and storage options at the time of purchase, since neither can be expanded later.

To keep the notebook slim, the MacBook Air adopts Apple's new keyboard layout with butterfly key switches. This means that the pressure on the keys is shallow, although the Air uses the third-generation keyboard layout, which should help alleviate some of the problems reported on MacBook and MacBook Pro models last year. The trackpad is also larger on the MacBook Air this year, and is now compatible with Force Touch, similar to the MacBook.

Apple replaced all Air ports of the past year with two Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports in this year's model, making it more verstile than the MacBook equipped with a single USB-C port. The added support of Thunderbolt 3 on the Air means that you can add an eGPU for better graphics performance. The Air comes with Intel UHD Graphics 617, compared to the integrated Intel HD Graphics 615 of the MacBook, although it is not clear what part of the update it represents. Both laptops come with a 3.5 headphone jack.


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Although some will say that Apple may have sacrificed the standard keyboard to make the Air thinner and lighter, the company said that this has not compromised the battery life. Apple says its new Air is capable of 12 hours of wireless web browsing and 13 hours of iTunes video playback, although we found that the Air only achieved eight hours of light browsing in our tests. The MacBook offers 10 hours of wireless network use and up to 12 hours of iTunes movie playback. Both computers, in any case, hold up to 30 days in standby mode.

For professional users, both laptops can be used as a mobile office. With MacOS Mojave, users can add up to 30 participants to their video conferences with the pre-installed FaceTime application. The MacBook Air handles video calls better, with three microphones and an HD camera, while the MacBook only has two microphones and an 480p SD camera. Both cameras are located on the screen for a natural viewing angle.

Mobile users will also benefit from the greater security of the MacBook Air of this 2018, as it comes with a touch identification sensor that will help them to quickly log into the computer without a password, while the internal T2 chipset help with Data encryption to keep files safe.

The MacBook Air is a better bet

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With better performance, greater versatility given by the added Thunderbolt 3 port and a price of $ 100 less, the MacBook Air is still a better option than the MacBook for most users. Unless you specifically look for the slightly thinner and lighter frame of the MacBook, the MacBook Air will give you more power for less price in a package of only 2.75 pounds and just a little (little bit) bigger.

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