Getting started with the MacBook Air Retina 2019

The new MacBook Air Retina announced this July 9, there have been very little change in the face of the models released in October, which had benefited from a redesign. So much the better for those who were equipped with the first generation. This new model has been delivered today to the Apple Store, this is the opportunity of a taken in hand.



This is the second basic model, without options, with a Core i5 1.6 GHz, 8 Gb RAM, 256 Gb SSD and a graphics chip Intel UHD 617. For these characteristics, it is indicated in the model tested at the end of 2018.


The developments 2019 are of three orders :



  • the option True Tone in the settings of the screen

  • the latest iteration of the keyboard butterfly

  • a price drop of € 100 (1249 € for the 128 Gb and 1499 € for 256 Gb)


We can add a fourth element to be anecdotal : the battery is smaller, namely of 49.9 Wh instead of 50.3 Wh, but the values of the autonomies provided by Apple remain unchanged (12h on the web, 13h of iTunes movies and 30 days of standby time).


Keyboard


Apple didn’t talk about in its press release but it was confirmed at Axios : the 2019 model uses the same keyboard as the MacBook Pro of the month of may. Some parts under the keys are made of different materials. Impossible to say if the blockages of the affects or effects of repetitions will be more rare, it needs more recoil.


Touch ID in the right-hand corner, for the identification with his fingerprint on finger

One can simply note that on a sound level, the hit is less acute, that the noise is more muffled compared to my MacBook Pro 2018. The pressure on the keys seems to be more damped. Apart from the distraction of the sound down, this keyboard does not seems to me neither better nor worse than the one that I use in everyday life, it is just slightly different.


Since this keyboard is based on the design of previous portables, the MacBook Air is immediately registered in the repair program from Apple that covers three cases :



  • Letters or characters are repeated unexpectedly.

  • Letters or characters do not appear.

  • One or more keys seem “stuck” or do not respond in a consistent way.


True Tone


After the MacBook Pro 2018, it is the turn of the MacBook Air to access the option “True Tone” in the “settings” Monitor ” in System Preferences. It is an adaptation of which appeared originally on the iPad Pro and the iPhone 8, X, XR and XS. The temperature of the screen adapts to that of the place where you use it (read also MacBook Pro 2018 : overview of the nuances of True Tone).


Playing on the white point, the system will give the image a tone more warm, that pulls towards the yellow (to describe the effect roughly). This is in addition to automatic brightness adjustment, already present on every Mac.


Without True Tone to the left, with True Tone right

Without True Tone to the left, with True Tone right in a dark room, the difference is less marked

If you have an iPad or iPhone previously mentioned, you know the story : uncheck ” True Tone “, the image will become more vivid and the white is going to immediately shoot the blue (depending on the lighting the result will be more or less marked). First of all the blue hue is more flattering, the image is more vivid, one has the impression that the white is really white. This is what we know since always, with most of the screens that surround us.


Without True Tone to the left, with True Tone right

True Tone is one of those technologies that belong to the category of ” Aaah yes “. When you don’t have it, it you do not lack, but when you see it at work, the first reaction is “Aaah yes… ” interested or even convinced. We need to get back on its habits, digest this tint vanilla a priori abnormal. Then we perceive the comfort to eyes with an image become less aggressive. The ability to disable the option that it may happen during the processing of the photos, or if it does not hang with this rendering.


SSD


On the datasheet it has a SSD 256gb as that of the model tested in the fall of last year (Apple is not communicating on the specific references). Out of curiosity we launched the utility of Black Magic and the results differ.



In reading gains, with an average of a little over 1000 Mb/s 930 Mb/s over its predecessor. Write by hand, it is much less good : 1 500 Mb/s instead of 1 950 Mb/s on the 2018 model. In absolute terms these values are good for this class of portable Mac, this SSD doesn’t drag. However, this gap is interesting. Is it that Apple has taken an SSD a little slower at writing, is that this contributes to the overall reduction of 100 € ?


Conclusion


As indicated in the introduction, the owner of the first generation of MacBook Air does not have to regret having invested prior to this renewal in the summer, even if the True Tone is a definite bonus. For who is considering a purchase, this MacBook Air improves, despite this question on the SSD, and it becomes a bit more affordable. In a next article we will come back more in details on the new MacBook Pro 13″ entry updated at the same time, which has received more improvements, and which is found at the same price as this MacBook Air 256 Gb.

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