Skip to main content

New MacBook Air 2020: Release date, specs, price and more

the new macbook air
(Image credit: Apple)

Meet the 2020 MacBook Air, a faster and more reliable successor. Starting at $999 (or $899 for schools), the updated Air packs the features we want, and finally gives apple a sub-$1,000 laptop.

2020 MacBook Air Specs

Starting Price: $999
Storage: 256GB and up
Screen: 13-inch Retina display
Processors: 10th Gen Intel CPUs, up to Core i7
Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Memory: 8GB and up
Colors: Gold, Silver and Space Gray

The news comes via a press release, where Apple announced that the 2020 MacBook Air is available for online orders starting today (March 18), and will be in stores next week (though most Apple Stores are closed indefinitely). 

MacBook Air 2020 keyboard

2020 macbook air keyboard

(Image credit: Apple)

While we're happy to hear about performance boosts, the most important MacBook Air upgrade for many folks is the Magic Keyboard. Replacing the butterfly-switch keyboard that was controversial due to reliability concerns and shallow key depth, this new keyboard is similar to Apple's external Magic Keyboard. The keyboard uses  traditional scissor switches, and offers a feel that we called "a revelation compared to Apple’s highly criticized Butterfly keyboards," in our 16-inch MacBook Pro review.

MacBook Air 2020 specs and performance

The 2020 MacBook Air's been upgraded to a 1.1GHz dual-core 10th-generation Intel Core i3 processor — a leap of 2 generations from the 8th Gen Core i5-8210Y CPU in the entry-level 2019 MacBook Air. It starts with a Core i3 chip, and you'll spend $100 more for the Core i5 processor or $250 extra to upgrade to the Core i7 CPU. Apple says it "delivers up to two times faster performance when compared to the previous generation."

We hope it's not a Y-series processor, as the 2019 MacBook Air was a bit underpowered compared to laptops with U-series Intel processors.

In terms of memory, the 2020 MacBook Air defaults to 8GB of RAM, and can be upgraded to 16GB for $200. 

The aforementioned 256GB of default SSD storage is great to see, but upgrades still cost a pretty penny. The 512GB SSD upgrade is $200 and the 1TB SSD is $400. If you've got deep pockets, consider the $800 2TB SSD for your 2020 MacBook Pro.

Just like last year's Air, the 2020 MacBook Air has 2 ThunderBolt 3 ports. This year's edition supports "up to a 6K external display," which Apple says is a first for MacBook Air.

Also, expect the same security as last year's MacBook Air, as this model has Apple's own T2 Chip, which enables "on-the-fly data encryption" and protects the information stored and used by the Touch ID security sensor used for unlocking the Air and paying via Apple Pay. 

MacBook Air 2020 display

You're still getting a great screen, as the 2020 MacBook Air's 13.3-inch LED-backlit Retina display measures 2560 x 1600 pixels. It's got True Tone technology for ambient light recognition as well.

I was hoping that Apple could possibly shed the bezels a bit, to give us 14 inches of screen in a 13-inch chassis, like it turned the 15-inch MacBook Pro into a 16-inch model. 

MacBook Air 2020 battery life

Apple is promising strong battery life with claims of as much as "11 hours wireless web" browsing and up to "12 hours Apple TV app movie playback." 

We look forward to putting these claims to the test when we get the 2020 MacBook Air in our testing labs.