Apple MacBook Air 2020 announced with twice the power and a new lower price

Apple has just announced the MacBook Air 2020, it's latest thin and light laptop that offers the power, design and build quality we've come to expect from Apple's devices, but in a much more affordable package, compared to the MacBook Pro.

While the launch of the MacBook Air 2020 has come out of the blue, many of us were hoping for an updated version of the laptop this year, especially considering how much we liked the MacBook Air (2019) model.

The new MacBook Air 2020 comes with twice the performance, twice the storage and a new magic keyboard – addressing many of the issues we had with the previous model.

Best of all, it comes with a new lower price of $999 (£999, AU$1,599), making it the cheapest MacBook Air released.

Cut to the chase

  • What is it? The next MacBook Air
  • When is it out? Available to order right now, in stores March 23 2020
  • What will it cost? $999 (£999, around AU$1,599)

MacBook Air 2020 release date

During the announcement, Apple revealed that the MacBook Air 2020 is available to order right now from the Apple Store.

It will also be available in stores from March 23. However, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Apple Stores around the world are currently closed. We also don't know if the pandemic will lead to shipping delays, so while the MacBook Air 2020 is currently available to buy, we're not sure when it will arrive in your hands. We've asked Apple for clarification on this issue and will update when we hear back.

MacBook Air 2020

MacBook Air 2020 price

Perhaps the biggest surprise with the MacBook Air 2020 announcement is its new lower price of $999 (£999, AU$1,599) to start.

This continues Apple's recent commendable habit of launching more powerful MacBooks that start at a lower price than their predecessors. 

The MacBook Air 2019, for example, launched with an entry-level price of $1,099 (£1,099, AU$1,699).

This entry level MacBook Air comes with a dual-core 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, 256GB storage (up from 128GB in the previous year's model) and 8GB of RAM.

There's also a higher-end MacBook Air for $1,299 (£1,299, AU$1,999), and that comes with a 10th generation quad-core Intel Core i5 processor – the first time a quad-core CPU has been included in a MacBook Air, 512GB SSD storage and 8GB of RAM.

Apple has also announced that students will be able to get the new MacBook Air with a further discount.

MacBook Air 2020 specs

Display: 13-inch Retina display with True Tone
CPU: 10th Generation Intel Core i3/i5/i7
GPU: Intel Iris Plus integrated graphics
RAM: 8GB LPDDR4X (3,733MHz)
Storage: 256GB – 2TB SSD storage
Ports: 2 x Thunderbolt 3 ports

According to Apple, the MacBook Air 2020 will be up to twice as fast as last year's model thanks to the new 10th generation processors included.

While Apple isn't divulging the exact types of processors used, our guess is that the i3 is the Intel Core i3-1000G4, and the i5 model has the Intel Core i5-1030G7. MacBook Airs usually have fanless designs, which leads us to believe these are Intel Ice Lake chips.

Interestingly, this could mean that the MacBook Air 2020 has off-the-shelf processors from Intel, rather than specially-made CPUs with higher clocks, which older MacBook Airs had.

Graphics are provided by the integrated GPUs – Intel Iris Plus – which Apple claims will deliver 80% faster graphics performance. While this won't compete with MacBook Pros rocking discrete graphics cards, it should mean the new MacBook Air can better handle tasks such as video editing. 

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