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New MacBook Air, Mac mini hands-on
By Thom Holwerda on 2018-10-30 22:25:02

Apple led today's event by talking about two of its most-loved devices: the MacBook Air and the Mac mini. While Apple customers may have loved these devices since their debuts, Apple hasn't shown them much love over the past couple of years.

That changed today with the introduction of the new MacBook Air (which includes updates like a Retina display, Touch ID, and Apple's butterfly keyboard) and a new Mac mini (which got a big spec bump with quad- and hexa-core processors). Today's event brought the biggest hardware changes that both devices have seen in a long time, and yet they still have a lot in common with their predecessors - and that's a good thing.

The new MacBook Air and Mac Mini are very welcome and much-needed spec bumps - they hadn't been updated in years - but especially the MacBook Air almost feels like a practical joke. It uses low-power don't-call-them-Atom processors that run at 5W and are only dual-core, with base 8GB of RAM - and Apple charges €1350 for said base model, which needs to push a lot of pixels for that new Retina display. Back when the previous generation MacBook Air was new, it was a good deal at its around €1000 price point, but this new one is impossible to justify. The new Mini has the same pricing problem, but at least offers full power processors and a bit more configurability.

These are incredibly expensive computers for the paltry performance they offer - especially since they're tasked with running macOS - but I'm sure they'll still sell well, since performance hasn't really been the Mac's strong point these last few years anyway. These expensive, underpowered Macs are the new normal.

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