Apple MacBook Air 2020 in the test: more speed, more memory, better keyboard

Apple MacBook Air 2020 in the test: more speed, more memory, better keyboard.

Apple MacBook Air 2020 in the test: more speed, more memory, better keyboard.
Apple MacBook Air 2020

    Apple is renovating the MacBook Air with more memory and more speed. And an annoying problem is finally solved. The test says what the notebook can do.

    Skinny design, low weight, exquisite packaging: With this mix, Apple’s MacBook Air has a lot of fans found – despite Heavy prices.

    Nice if there is a decent performance boost without extra costs like the MacBook Air 2020. The test clarifies where the 2020 model has improved and where not.

    MacBook Air 2020: No design changes

    Apple has made no changes to the packaging. The MacBook Air in the 2020 version is also 1.7 centimetres thin and very light with a weight of around 1.3 kilograms for daily transport from A to B.

    Nothing changes in a variety of colours either. Apple offers the MacBook Air 2020 in space grey, silver and gold.

    The number of connections (2xUSB-C with Thunderbolt and Displayport) also remains the same compared to the predecessors MacBook Air 2019 and MacBook Air 2018.

    MacBook Air 2020: scissors instead of butterfly

    An innovation long-awaited by many MacBook users: Apple says goodbye to the fragile butterfly keyboard, which drove many customers to the heat.

    The MacBook Air 2020 gets a keyboard with scissors mechanism – like the larger professional model MacBook Pro 16 inch.

    The new keyboard convinced in the test: It offers more key travel than the butterfly keyboards, plus a clear pressure point.

    However, it is also somewhat louder when typing, when the user really hits the keys.

    In contrast to the more expensive Pro models, the MacBook Air has a conventional bar with function keys instead of the display bar with touch controls, which adapts to the program used (touch bar).

    New keyboard Apple MacBook Air 2020

    An important innovation is a completely new keyboard with a scissor mechanism and a little more stroke. In the test, it scored with a clear pressure point and good writing feel.

    MacBook Air 2020: Significantly faster

    The key changes are under the hood: Apple has now given the MacBook Air 2020 brand new 10th generation Intel Core I processors.

    In the entry-level version, a Core i3 processor works with two cores that run at a clock rate of 1.1 gigahertz. The second, larger model has a Core i5 (i5-1030NG7) with a clock frequency of 1.1 gigahertz, but four computing cores.

    With the Core i5, the 2020 MacBook Air hangs the 2018 and 2019Models with a dual-core processor (Core i5-8210Y) clearly differ.

    With programs that only use one processor core, the 2020 MacBook Air is just under half the speed. With programs that utilize several cores, even up to twice as fast.

    In the test, the MacBook Air 2020 easily got a good grade when working under the more stringent test conditions.

    Even performance-hungry software for video editing runs smoothly.

    For an extra charge, there is an even stronger Core i7 processor with four cores and a clock speed of 1.2 GHz. Always there: a new graphics unit ( Iris Plus ) in the processor with more speed.

    Although it has more power than the previously used graphics unit (UHD Graphics 617), it is still too weak for games.

    In full HD, it calculated an average of 16 frames per second in the test, with a further reduced resolution (1366×768 pixels) 18 frames per second – this is not enough for a smooth display.

    If you want to play smoothly with a MacBook, you have to go with the MacBook Pro 16 inch with six or eight-core processor and extra graphics chip.

    MacBook Air 2020: doubled storage

    Also new: The basic version of the MacBook Air 2020 now no longer only has 128 gigabytes of memory, but an SSD with 256 gigabytes of memory.

    Thanks to PCI Express 3.0 technology, this is really fast.

    The tested larger model comes with 512 gigabytes. If this is too scarce, you can also add an SSD with a maximum of 2 terabytes of memory to the shopping cart for an additional charge.

    As before, the SSD storage is firmly on the mainboard – unfortunately, upgrading is not possible.

    MacBook Air 2020: Safe and Enduring

    As before (2018 and 2019 model), the MacBook Air 2020 comes with a Touch ID sensor (in the power button) and T2 chip: Touch ID for convenient login, but also for unlocking password-protected documents.

    Touch ID should also be used for Apple Pay payments.

    The Apple chip T2 manages fingerprints, passwords and credit card data in protected memory. So data thieves should not have a chance to tap the data.

    Like the predecessor, the battery has a capacity of 49.9 watt-hours and lasted almost six hours in the video test with full-screen brightness as in the predecessors.

    If you turn down the screen brightness a bit and make fewer demands on the processor with surfing the web or writing text, you can easily do an hour or two more.

    An improvement for the Thunderbolt 3 connections: If you want and have the necessary change, you can connect Apple’s top monitor, the Pro Display XDR with 6K resolution (6016×3384 pixels).

    If you are satisfied with 4K, you can even connect two external monitors.

    Apple MacBook Air 2020 in the test: more speed, more memory, better keyboard.
    Apple MacBook Air 2020

    Apple MacBook Air 2020 display

    Even Unchanged, but still top: The Retina display of the Apple MacBook Air 2020 also shows content with 2560×1600 pixels on its 13.3-inch diagonal.

    MacBook Air 2020: test results

  • Pace (office / video editing / memory access):
  • fast (79.9% / 74.2% / 81.9%)
  • Game speed (1366 x 768 pixels / Full HD):
  • very jerky (18/16 frames / sec.)
  • Color fidelity / contrast / image change (response time):
  • high (97.2%) / 1222: 1 / 16.1 ms
  • Sound quality (frequency response / noise / distortion):
  • high (deviation 0.66% / 91.4 dB / 0.004%)
  • Battery life (video / charging time):
  • still long (5:56 / 2:38 hours)
  • Operating noise (video / full load during games):
  • quiet (0.1 / 4.3 sone)
  • Operation of the keyboard/touchpad:
  • good pressure point / very precise
  • Operation of the touchscreen:
  • not available

    Apple MacBook Air 2020 in the test: more speed, more memory, better keyboard.
    Apple MacBook Air 2020

    MacBook Air 2020: top display 

    Not much has happened with the display: on the 13.3-inch screen, the MacBook Air 2020 still shows photos, videos and websites with 2560×1600 pixels.

    But don’t worry, it’s been great for a long time. The display scores with high colour fidelity, crisp contrast and even illumination.

    Also on board again: True-Tone technology, which automatically regulates the amount of white and adapts to the ambient light.

    This should be easy on the eyes, especially in dark workrooms, and ensure a particularly even colour display.

    MacBook Air 2020: test conclusion 

    More speed thanks to the new four-core processor (tested model MVH22D / A), twice as much memory as before and a better keyboard – the new MacBook Air 2020 (test grade 2.3) is significantly better than the previous model.

    It only weakens in games. The built-in graphics unit in the processor is simply not fast enough. Nevertheless, the MacBook Air makes life really difficult for the MacBook Pro 13 inch, because, with the same memory configuration, the Air is 500 euros cheaper.

    If you want a much faster and better Apple device, you need the very expensive MacBook Pro 16 inch.


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