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Apple launches new MacBook Air with $100 price cut and a new keyboard that might not break

Updated Mar 18th, 2020 8:42AM EDT
MacBook Air 2020
Image: Apple Inc.

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  • Apple has quietly updated the MacBook Air, announcing a few important upgrades for one of the most popular laptop lines in the world.
  • The 2020 MacBook Air is $100 cheaper than before, starting at $999 for the 256GB version.
  • Other welcome upgrades include the new Magic Keyboard (that might not break like the old one), 10th-gen Intel Core processors, and Intel Iris Plus graphics that support external displays with resolution up to 6K.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

Apple may have canceled its March media event because of the coronavirus pandemic, but the company this week launched several new products. We’re looking at the new Powerbeats4 earphones, the brand new 2020 iPad Pro series, plus the MacBook Air refresh we expected to see from the company. And the new Air checks off a few important boxes by addressing keyboard issues, increasing base storage, and even lowering the price.

That’s right, the early-2020 MacBook Air is $100 cheaper than its predecessor, starting at $999 for the 256GB version (make that $899 for education). Not only that, but as you may have noticed, the base storage has doubled to 256GB, a welcome upgrade for Apple fans.

The $999 option features a 10th-gen 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.2GHz, Intel Iris Plus graphics, 8GB of LPDDR4X RAM, Touch ID, and two Thunderbolts 3 ports. The $1,299 configuration packs a 1.1GHz Core i5 chip with Turbo Boost of up to 3.5GHz and 512GB of RAM. You can customize the Air with processors up to a 1.2GHz quad-core Core i7 with Turbo Boost of up to 3.8GHz and storage up to 2TB, which is double the previous maximum.

Image source: Apple Inc.

The keyboard has received the upgrade we all expected to see on Apple’s new MacBooks this year. It’s the same scissor-switch Magic Keyboard that Apple launched on the 16-inch MacBook Pro last year, which is replacing the problematic Butterfly keyboard Apple used on the previous generation. The new keyboard delivers 1mm of key travel, and an inverted “T” arrangement for the arrow keys.

Apple says the new MacBook Air delivers twice the performance of its predecessor, and it’s able to support 6K displays, a first for the Air series. The new Intel Iris Plus graphics should support “up to 80 percent faster graphics performance, so graphics-intensive activities like playing games and editing video are faster than ever.”

Other highlights for the new MacBook Air include a three-mic array for clearer voice capture during video calls, and “advanced stereo speakers.”

The MacBook Air is still available in three color options, including gold, silver and space gray, and each purchase comes with a one-year free trial of Apple TV+. The new Air is available to order at this link and will be delivered within two to four business days. Apple Store pickup isn’t an option since all Apple Stores will be closed until further notice because of coronavirus pandemic.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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