Apple MacBook Air (2020)

Apple MacBook Air

Apple MacBook Air (2020)

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BEST RATING
Build Quality:
5.0
GENERAL USE: Good7.8/10
GAMING/AI: Fair6.4/10
ENG/DESIGN: Good7.4/10
SOFTWARE DEV: Good7.8/10
CONTENT CREATION: Good7.8/10
PORTABILITY: Very Good8.9/10
BATTERY: Excellent9.3/10
OVERALL SCREEN QUALITY: Good7.6/10
OVERALL PERFORMANCE: Good7.4/10
SIZE: 13.3"

The Apple MacBook Air (2020) is considered to be at a midrange price level and offers 256GB of storage and 16GB of RAM. It's powered by the Apple M1 chip, which includes a 7-core GPU. The battery capacity is strong, supporting up to 15 hours of typical usage, which, alongside its weight of 2.8 pounds, makes it very portable. The 13.3-inch screen is an IPS panel with a resolution of 2560 x 1600, not a touchscreen, and has good color accuracy with full coverage of the sRGB space and almost full coverage of the DCI-P3 space, enhancing the display quality. It doesn't have a number pad but features a high-quality backlit keyboard and fingerprint reader for security. Connectivity includes two USB-C ports that support Thunderbolt and charging. The MacBook Air is fanless, thus operates silently, and is well-regarded for its build quality and heat management. Its performance is good for general use scenarios and fair for 3D/machine learning and engineering tasks, so while it's not tailored for intensive gaming, it's a reliable choice for everyday productivity and entertainment. Give Feedback

this description is based on the product variant with some specs. At the time of writing, the variant with some specs cost some dollars.








Evaluation

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Pros
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Excellent build quality
  • Best keyboard quality
  • Silent, fanless operation
  • Good battery life
Cons
  • Only two USB-C ports
  • No touchscreen available
  • Limited upgradeability
  • Moderate performance for 3D tasks

Ratings by Category

Build Quality:
5.0
PerfectRec’s Build Quality Score incorporates case materials, display and keyboard flex, hinge quality, chassis rigidity, and overall reliability. Our assessment of build quality includes many details that are difficult to quantify. Our laptop experts use their best judgment to produce the final score.
Operating Noise:
5.0
PerfectRec’s Operating Noise Score is based on fan noise measurements. Laptops with a fanless design, such as Macbooks, receive the maximum score.
Keyboard Quality:
4.9
The Keyboard Quality score is based on the PerfectRec experts’ assessment of tactile feedback, typing comfort, keyboard reliability and typing noise.
Battery Life:
4.8
PerfectRec’s Battery Life rating is based on hours of battery life in typical usage scenarios.
Portability:
4.7
PerfectRec’s portability rating takes into account the volume and thickness of the laptop as well as its weight.
General Use:
4.4
The Apple MacBook Air (2020) is well-suited for general use because it has a powerful CPU, ample RAM, and an excellent screen quality that ensures smooth performance and good viewing experience. Its light weight, compact size, and long battery life make it highly portable and suitable for use on the go.
Content Creation:
4.4
PerfectRec’s Content Creation Score takes into account the many different features of the laptop that make it more or less suitable for photo editing, and video editing work. In addition to a strong emphasis on overall performance, this score also places very high importance on screen quality. Heat management, storage, keyboard and speaker quality are also incorporated, with fan noise rounding out this score.
Software Development:
4.3
PerfectRec’s Software Development Score takes into account the many different features of the laptop that make it more or less suitable for software development. In addition to a strong emphasis on overall performance, this score also places very high importance on screen quality. Heat management, storage, keyboard and speaker quality are also incorporated, with fan noise rounding out this score.
General Use Screen Quality:
4.3
The general use screen score is based on the screen technology, contrast ratio, resolution, brightness, color gamut and color accuracy. This score does not take into account specialized display features for specific use cases, such as high refresh rate for gaming.
Engineering & Design:
4.2
The Apple MacBook Air (2020) is equipped with the Apple M1 chip which includes a powerful CPU and GPU designed for complex tasks, along with a high-resolution IPS screen that provides clear visuals, essential for engineering and design work.
Gaming & AI:
3.5
The Apple MacBook Air (2020) may not excel in 3D tasks because its Apple M1 chip with a 7-core GPU provides limited graphics performance compared to specialized gaming or graphics workstations. Additionally, the screen's refresh rate is standard at 60Hz, which is adequate for everyday tasks but not ideal for high-end gaming or professional 3D applications where smoother visuals are necessary.

Full Specs

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GENERAL

Price
$1,129
Release Date
November 1, 2020
Overall Dimensions
12'' x 8.4'' x 0.63''
Weight
2.8 lbs

INTERNAL

Processor
Apple M1
Graphics
M1 (7C)
Mux Switch / Advanced Optimus
No
RAM
16 GB
DDR Memory Version
4

BATTERY

Battery Life
15 Hours
Battery Capacity
49.9 Wh

SCREEN

Diagonal Size
13.3"
Display Technology
IPS
Resolution
2560 x 1600
Refresh Rate
60Hz
Display Brightness
395 nits

RELIABILITY, APPEARANCE & ACOUSTICS

Build Quality Score
PerfectRec logo
10/10
Portability Score
PerfectRec logo
9/10
Gaming Laptop Appearance
No
Fan Noise Score
PerfectRec logo
10/10
Keyboard Lighting Color
White
Warranty Period
1 year

HARDWARE FEATURES

Keyboard Quality Score
PerfectRec logo
9.5/10
Speaker Quality Score
PerfectRec logo
9.5/10
Webcam
720p
Fingerprint Reader
Yes
Backlit Keyboard
Yes
Number Pad
No

CONNECTIVITY

USB Type-A
0
USB-C ports
2
USB-C Charging
Yes
Display Outputs
1
Thunderbolt Version
3

Shopping

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Apple MacBook Air (2020)

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Dig into reviews and images

NotebookCheck

Andreas Osthoff | July 2022
"The Apple MacBook Air M2 Entry is a very good, but too expensive daily MacBook. The new MacBook Air M2 is undoubtedly once again a very good mobile companion, but we are still a little bit disappointed on a very high level, which is definitely connected with the increased price point. The new chassis is extremely slim and the front edge is no problem during typing, but the bezels are pretty wide for a modern device and in addition with the vertical space required for the notch, the new Air has larger footprint than some Windows rivals."

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Why trust us

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This information was produced and vetted by the PerfectRec laptops team. We are a product research and recommendation organization that meticulously reviews and evaluates the latest laptop information and makes it digestible for you.

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About the laptop team

Joe Golden, Ph.D

CEO and Laptops Editor
Joe is an entrepreneur and lifelong electronics enthusiast with a Ph.D in Economics from the University of Michigan.

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Staff Expert & Software Engineer
Jason is a staff expert and software engineer that has been making laptop recommendations for 7 years and moderates one of the largest laptop subreddits.

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Staff Expert & Software Engineer
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