MacBook Air

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MacBook Air
MacBook Air.png
SteveJobsMacbookAir.JPG
Steve Jobs showing the first MacBook Air at Apple’s 2008 keynote address
DeveloperApple Inc.
Product family
TypeSubnotebook
Release date
  • Intel-based
  • January 29, 2008; 13 years ago (2008-01-29) (original)[1]
  • October 20, 2010; 11 years ago (2010-10-20) (tapered unibody)
  • October 30, 2018; 2 years ago (2018-10-30) (Retina)
  • Apple silicon
  • November 17, 2020; 11 months ago (2020-11-17) (M1)
DiscontinuedNovember 10, 2020; 11 months ago (2020-11-10) (Intel-based)
Operating systemmacOS
System on a chipApple M1 (current)
Related articlesMacBook, MacBook Pro
Websiteapple.com/macbook-air

The MacBook Air is a line of notebook computers developed and manufactured by Apple Inc. It consists of a full-size keyboard, a machined aluminum case, and, in the more modern versions, a thin light structure. The Air was originally positioned above the previous MacBook line as a premium ultraportable.[2] Since then, the original MacBook's discontinuation in 2011, and lowered prices on subsequent iterations, have made the Air Apple's entry-level notebook.[3] In the current product line, the MacBook Air is situated below the performance range MacBook Pro.

The Intel-based MacBook Air was introduced in January 2008 with a 13.3-inch screen, and was promoted as the world's thinnest notebook, opening a laptop category known as the ultrabook family. Apple released a second-generation MacBook Air in October 2010, with a redesigned tapered chassis, standard solid-state storage, and added a smaller 11.6-inch version. Later revisions added Intel Core i5 or i7 processors and Thunderbolt.[4] The third generation was released in October 2018, with reduced dimensions, a Retina display, and combination USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports for data and power. An updated model was released in February 2020 with the Magic Keyboard and an option for an Intel Core i7 processor.

In November 2020, Apple released the first MacBook Air with Apple silicon based on the Apple M1 processor.

Intel-based[edit]

First generation (unibody)[edit]

The original 2008 MacBook Air

Steve Jobs introduced the MacBook Air during Apple’s keynote address at the 2008 Macworld conference on January 15, 2008.[5] The first generation MacBook Air was a 13.3" model, initially promoted as the world's thinnest notebook at 1.9 cm (a previous record holder, 2005's Toshiba Portege R200, was 1.98 cm high).[6][7] It featured a custom[8] Intel Merom CPU and Intel GMA GPU which were 40% as big as the standard chip package.[9] It also featured an anti-glare LED backlit display, a full-size keyboard, and a large trackpad that responded to multi-touch gestures such as pinching, swiping, and rotating.[10]

The MacBook Air was the first subcompact notebook offered by Apple after the 12" PowerBook G4 discontinued in 2006. It was also Apple's first computer with an optional solid-state drive.[11] It was Apple's first notebook since the PowerBook 2400c without a built-in removable media drive.[12] To read optical disks, users could either purchase an external USB drive such as Apple's SuperDrive or use the bundled Remote Disc software to access the drive of another computer wirelessly[13] that has the program installed.[14][15] The MacBook Air also did without a FireWire port, Ethernet port, line-in, and a Kensington Security Slot.[16]

On October 14, 2008, a new model was announced with a low-voltage Penryn processor and Nvidia GeForce graphics.[17] Storage capacity was increased to a 128 GB SSD or a 120 GB HDD,[18] and the micro-DVI video port was replaced by the Mini DisplayPort.[19] A mid-2009 version featured slightly higher battery capacity and a faster Penryn CPU.[20]

Second generation (tapered unibody)[edit]

Left side of Second generation MacBook Air. From left to right, MagSafe 2 power connector, USB port, headphone jack and built-in microphone.

On October 20, 2010, Apple released a redesigned 13.3-inch model with a tapered enclosure, higher screen resolution, improved battery, a second USB port, stereo speakers, and standard solid state storage. An 11.6-inch model was introduced, offering reduced cost, weight, battery life, and performance relative to the 13.3-inch model, but better performance than typical netbooks of the time. Both 11-inch and 13-inch models had an analog audio output/headphone minijack supporting Apple earbuds with a microphone. The 13-inch model received a SDXC-capable SD Card slot.[21][22][23][24][10]

On July 20, 2011, Apple released updated models, which also became Apple's entry-level notebooks due to lowered prices and the discontinuation of the white MacBook around the same time.[3] The mid-2011 models were upgraded with Sandy Bridge dual-core Intel Core i5 and i7 processors, Intel HD Graphics 3000, backlit keyboards, Thunderbolt, and Bluetooth was upgraded to v4.0.[25][26] Maximum storage options were increased up to 256 GB. This revision also replaced the Expose (F3) key with a Mission Control key, and the Dashboard (F4) key with a Launchpad key.

On June 11, 2012, Apple updated the line with Intel Ivy Bridge dual-core Core i5 and i7 processors, HD Graphics 4000, faster memory and flash storage speeds, USB 3.0, an upgraded 720p FaceTime camera, and a thinner MagSafe 2 charging port.[27]

On June 10, 2013, Apple updated the line with Haswell processors, Intel HD Graphics 5000, and 802.11ac Wi-Fi. The standard memory was upgraded to 4 GB, with a maximum configuration of 8 GB. Storage started at 128 GB SSD, with options for 256 GB and 512 GB. The Haswell considerably improved battery life from the previous generation, and the models are capable of 9 hours on the 11-inch model and 12 hours on the 13-inch model; a team of reviewers exceeded expected battery life ratings during their test.[28]

In March 2015, the models were refreshed with Broadwell processors, Intel HD Graphics 6000, Thunderbolt 2, and faster storage and memory.[29] In 2017 the 13-inch model received a processor speed increase from 1.6 GHz to 1.8 GHz and the 11-inch model was discontinued. The 2017 model remained available for sale after Apple launched the next generation in 2018. It was discontinued in July 2019. Before its discontinuation it was Apple's last notebook with USB Type-A ports, a non-Retina display, and a backlit rear Apple logo.[30]

Third generation (Retina)[edit]

MacBook Air (Third generation)

On October 30, 2018, Apple released the third generation MacBook Air, with Amber Lake processors, a 13.3-inch Retina display with a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels, Touch ID, and two combination USB-C 3.1 gen 2/Thunderbolt 3 ports plus one audio jack. The screen displays 48% more color and the bezels are 50% narrower than the previous generation, and occupies 17% less volume. Thickness was reduced to 15.6mm and weight to 1.25 kg (2.75 pounds). It was available in three finishes, silver, space gray, and gold. Unlike the previous generation, this model could be configured with an Intel Core i7 processor, possibly because Intel never released the i7-8510Y CPU that would have been used In the previous generation.

The base 2018 model came with 8 GB of 2133 MHz LPDDR3 RAM, 128 GB SSD, Intel Core i5 processor (1.6 GHz base clock, with Turbo up to 3.6 GHz) with Intel UHD Graphics 617.[31]

Apple released updated models in July 2019 with True Tone display technology and an updated butterfly keyboard using the same components as the mid-2019 MacBook Pro.[32][33] A test found that the 256 GB SSD in the 2019 model has a 35% lower read speed than the 256 GB SSD in the 2018 model, though the write speed is slightly faster.[34]

Updated models were released in March 2020 with Ice Lake processors, updated graphics, support for 6K output to run the Pro Display XDR and other 6k monitors, and replaced the butterfly keyboard with a Magic Keyboard design similar to that found in the 2019 16-inch MacBook Pro.[35][36]

Apple silicon[edit]

On November 10, 2020, Apple announced an updated MacBook Air with an Apple-designed M1 processor, launched alongside an updated Mac Mini and 13-inch MacBook Pro as the first Macs with Apple's new line of custom ARM-based Apple silicon processors.[37] The device uses a fanless design.[38] It also adds support for Wi-Fi 6, USB4 / Thunderbolt 3 and Wide color (P3).[39] The M1 MacBook Air can only run one external display; the previous Intel-based model was capable of running two 4K displays.[40] The FaceTime camera remains 720p but Apple advertises an improved image signal processor for higher quality video.[41]

Supported operating systems[edit]

Supported macOS releases[edit]

macOS Big Sur, the current release of macOS, will work with Wi-Fi and graphics acceleration on unsupported MacBook Air computers with a compatible patch utility.[42]

Supported macOS releases
OS release Intel-based Apple silicon
1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation
Early 2008 Late 2008 Mid-2009 Late 2010 Mid-2011 Mid-2012 Mid-2013 Early 2014 Early 2015 Mid-2017 Late 2018 Mid-2019 Early 2020 Late 2020
10.4 Tiger Yes Partial Partial No No No No No No No No No No No
10.5 Leopard Yes Partial Partial No No No No No No No No No No No
10.6 Snow Leopard Yes Yes Yes Partial No No No No No No No No No No
10.7 Lion Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial No No No No No No No No
10.8 Mountain Lion Partial Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial No No No No No No No
10.9 Mavericks Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial No No No No No No
10.10 Yosemite Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial No No No No No
10.11 El Capitan Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
10.12 Sierra No Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No No
10.13 High Sierra No Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
10.14 Mojave No Patch Patch Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial No No
10.15 Catalina No Patch Patch Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Partial No
11 Big Sur No Patch Patch Patch Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
12 Monterey No Patch, no graphics acceleration Patch Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes


Boot Camp–supported Windows versions (Intel models only)[edit]

Supported Windows versions
OS release 1st generation 2nd generation 3rd generation
2008–2009 Late 2010 Mid-2011 Mid-2012 2013–2014 Early 2015 and newer
Windows XP[Note 1][43][44] Yes No No No No No No
Windows Vista
32-bit
[Note 2][43][44]
Yes No No No No No No
Windows Vista
64-bit
[Note 2][43]
No No No No No No No
Windows 7
32-bit
[Note 3][43][45]
Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No
Windows 7
64-bit
[Note 4][43][46]
No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No
Windows 8
[Note 5][Note 6][43]
No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Windows 8.1
[Note 7][47][46]
No No Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Windows 10
[Note 8][48][46]
No No Patch Yes Yes Yes Yes

Note: There is no Boot Camp support for Apple silicon models.[49]

Timeline of the MacBook family

Mac transition to Apple siliconiMac ProiPad ProApple WatchiPadiPhoneMac ProMacBook Pro#4th generation (Touch Bar)MacBook Pro#4th generation (Touch Bar)MacBook Pro#4th generation (Touch Bar)MacBook Pro#4th generation (Touch Bar)MacBook Pro#3rd generation (Retina)MacBook Pro#3rd generation (Retina)MacBook Pro#2nd generation (Unibody)MacBook Pro#2nd generation (Unibody)MacBook Pro#2nd generation (Unibody)MacBook Pro#1st generation (Aluminum)MacBook Pro#1st generation (Aluminum)MacBook AirMacBook AirMacBook AirMacBook AirMacBook (2015–2019)MacBook (2006-2012)#3rd generation: Polycarbonate UnibodyMacBook (2006-2012)#2nd generation: Aluminum UnibodyMacBook (2006-2012)#1st generation: Polycarbonate


See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Windows XP can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3 or earlier. This includes Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier and copies of Mac OS X 10.7 that have not been updated to Boot Camp 4.
  2. ^ a b Windows Vista can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3 or earlier. This includes Mac OS X 10.6 or earlier and copies of Mac OS X 10.7 that have not been updated to Boot Camp 4.
  3. ^ The 32-bit version of Windows 7 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3.1 to 6.0. This includes OS X 10.11 and earlier.
  4. ^ The 64-bit version of Windows 7 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 3.1 or later, running macOS High Sierra or earlier. Later versions of macOS no longer support Windows 7.
  5. ^ Windows 8 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 5.0 to 6.0. This includes OS X 10.11 and earlier.
  6. ^ Only 64-bit versions of Windows are supported for Windows 8 and later.
  7. ^ Windows 8.1 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 5.1 or later, running macOS High Sierra or earlier. Later versions of macOS no longer support Windows 8.1.
  8. ^ Windows 10 can only be installed on Macs with Boot Camp 6.0 or later. It is the only supported version of Windows on macOS Mojave and later.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Press Info - MacBook Air Now Shipping". Apple. January 30, 2008. Retrieved April 29, 2014.
  2. ^ "13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display review (2013)". The Verge. Vox Media. October 30, 2013.
  3. ^ a b Dan Ackerman (January 25, 2008). "Apple MacBook Air review - CNET". CNET. CBS Interactive.
  4. ^ "MacBook Air". Retrieved March 16, 2013.
  5. ^ "Macworld 2008 Steve Jobs Apple Keynote Highlights". Inside MacTV. January 15, 2008. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
  6. ^ "Apple Introduces MacBook Air—The World's Thinnest Notebook" (Press release). Apple Inc. January 15, 2008. Retrieved January 16, 2008.
  7. ^ "Toshiba discontinued products - Portege R200". Toshiba official specifications.
  8. ^ "The MacBook Air CPU Mystery: More Details Revealed". AnandTech.
  9. ^ Cohen, Peter (January 15, 2008). "Apple introduces MacBook Air". Macworld. Retrieved January 21, 2008.
  10. ^ a b "MacBook Air features". Apple Inc. Retrieved November 26, 2010.
  11. ^ Choney, Suzanne (January 24, 2008). "Lighter laptops move to flash-based drives". NBCNews.com. NBCUniversal. Retrieved January 24, 2008.
  12. ^ "Apple Macintosh 2400c/180 specs". EveryMac. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  13. ^ Mossberg, Walter S (January 24, 2008). "Apple's MacBook Air Is Beautiful and Thin, But Omits Features". The Wall Street Journal. Dow Jones & Company. Retrieved January 24, 2008.
  14. ^ Yager, Tom. "MacBook Air, a detailed preview". InfoWorld. Archived from the original on June 17, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2010.
  15. ^ "MacBook Air". Apple. Archived from the original on July 25, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008.
  16. ^ "MacBook Air's tradeoffs". Macworld. Retrieved June 10, 2010.
  17. ^ "Intel comments on chips in new MacBook". CNET. Retrieved April 5, 2019.
  18. ^ 1 GB = one billion bytes
  19. ^ Technical specifications of MB543LL/A from Apple's knowledge base and from EveryMac.com. Retrieved June 8, 2010.
  20. ^ "Apple Updates MacBook Pro Family with New Models & Innovative Built-in Battery for Up to 40% Longer Battery Life" (Press release). Apple. June 8, 2009. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  21. ^ "Apple's new 11.6-in. MacBook Air: Don't call it a netbook". Computer World. October 28, 2010.
  22. ^ "Special Event October 2010". Apple Inc. October 2010. Archived from the original on May 5, 2012.
  23. ^ "Apple Reinvents Notebooks With New MacBook Air" (Press release). Apple Inc. October 20, 2010. Retrieved August 6, 2012.
  24. ^ "Apple Unveils New MacBook Air, Lion Operating System". Bloomberg. October 20, 2010.
  25. ^ "Apple Updates MacBook Air With Next Generation Processors, Thunderbolt I/O & Backlit Keyboard" (Press release). Apple Inc. July 20, 2011.
  26. ^ Dana Wollman (July 20, 2011). "Apple refreshes MacBook Air with Sandy Bridge, Thunderbolt, and backlit keyboards". Engadget.
  27. ^ "MacBook Air - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved June 10, 2013.
  28. ^ Tim Stevens (June 2013). "MacBook Air review (13-inch, mid-2013)". Engadget. AOL Inc. Retrieved December 27, 2013.
  29. ^ "MacBook Air (13-inch, Early 2015) - Technical Specifications". support.apple.com. Retrieved March 26, 2021.
  30. ^ Apple stops selling 12-inch MacBook and previous generation MacBook Air. Apple Inside. 9 July 2019.
  31. ^ Wiliam, Martin. "Apple MacBook Air 2018 Review: Everything You Need To Know". Best Buy Ninja. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  32. ^ Apple adds True Tone display to the MacBook Air and Touch Bar to the entry-level MacBook Pro. The Verge. 9 July 2019.
  33. ^ New MacBook Air and Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro Have Same Keyboard as Higher-End 2019 MacBook Pros. Mac Rumors. 9 July 2019.
  34. ^ The new 2019 MacBook Air features a slower SSD than 2018 model. iMore. 15 July 2019.
  35. ^ Welch, Chris (March 18, 2020). "Apple announces new MacBook Air with improved keyboard, faster performance, and more storage". The Verge. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  36. ^ "Pro Display XDR - Technical Specifications". Apple. Retrieved March 18, 2020.
  37. ^ "Apple Announces New 13-inch MacBook Pro With M1 Apple Silicon". MacRumors. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  38. ^ Hollister, Sean (November 10, 2020). "The biggest difference between the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro is a fan". The Verge. Retrieved November 11, 2020.
  39. ^ "Buy MacBook Air site". Apple. Retrieved November 10, 2020.
  40. ^ "How Apple Silicon on a M1 Mac changes monitor support and what you can connect". AppleInsider. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  41. ^ Potuck, Michael (November 10, 2020). "Apple Silicon M1 MacBook Air and Pro get improved cameras but still stuck at 720p". 9to5Mac. Retrieved November 20, 2020.
  42. ^ "Supported Models | OpenCore Legacy Patcher". dortania.github.io. Retrieved June 14, 2021.
  43. ^ a b c d e f "System requirements to install Windows on your Mac via Boot Camp". March 10, 2015. Archived from the original on March 12, 2015. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  44. ^ a b Keizer, Gregg (August 2, 2011). "OS X Lion requires Windows 7 for Boot Camp". Computerworld. Retrieved August 2, 2011.
  45. ^ Hu, Jonathan (August 12, 2015). "Apple Released Boot Camp 6.1 with Windows 10 Support". nextofwindows. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  46. ^ a b c "System requirements to install Windows using Boot Camp for macOS". Apple Support. December 6, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  47. ^ "Use Windows 8.1 on your Mac with Boot Camp". Apple Support. September 24, 2018. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  48. ^ "Install Windows 10 on your Mac with Boot Camp Assistant". Apple Support. June 16, 2020. Retrieved August 21, 2020.
  49. ^ "Apple's new ARM-based Macs won't support Windows through Boot Camp". The Verge. June 24, 2020. Retrieved November 11, 2020.

External links[edit]