New MacBook Air vs Windows laptops – Don’t waste your money

Apple recently launched its new MacBook Air laptop, which is thinner and more powerful than its previous version.

Improvements over the previous-generation MacBook Air include an 8th-generation Intel Core i5 processor, TouchID, and a Force Touch trackpad with increased surface area.

Like most new hardware, the MacBook Air now has much smaller bezels around its 13.3-inch Retina display.

Additionally, the device also includes a dedicated T2 security chip and a pair of Thunderbolt 3-enabled USB-C ports for versatile connectivity.

South African pricing has also been revealed for two MacBook Pro models, which are currently available for pre-order at the iStore.

The full specifications of Apple’s new MacBook Air are detailed below.

New MacBook Air
OS MacOS Mojave
Display 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600
Processor Intel Core i5 dual-core 1.6GHz
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 617
RAM 8GB DDR4 2,133MHz
Storage 128GB/256GB SSD
Connectivity 2x Thunderbolt 3 USB-C, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm jack
Dimensions 304.1 x 212.4 x 15.6 mm (1.25kg)
Price R21,499 / R24,999

This device is certainly an improvement over the last generation of MacBook Air products, but its price remains relatively high compared to competing notebooks.

Windows 10 laptops with equal or greater specifications can be purchased for less than the price of a MacBook Air, and without any unique hardware packed into the MacBook Air, Apple customers are essentially paying for the software and design of the device.

To demonstrate the clear advantages of buying a Windows 10 laptop over the new MacBook Air, we have listed the specifications and key features of several 13-inch and 15-inch notebooks you can purchase for a similar price.


Dell XPS 13 9370

Boasting an almost bezel-less display, the Dell XPS 13 is both lighter and smaller than the MacBook Air.

The Dell XPS 13 is a Windows 10 competitor to the MacBook Air in terms of both performance and design, too, and the 256GB model is cheaper than the competing Apple device.

Dell XPS 13

Dell XPS 13
OS Windows 10
Display 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080
Processor Intel Core i5-8550U
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB SSD
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, 2x Thunderbolt 3, 1x USB 3.1, 1x microSD card reader, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
Dimensions 302 x 199 x 11.6 mm (1.21kg)
Price R22,999

ASUS Zenbook UX430UN

The ASUS Zenbook UX430UN delivers great ultrabook performance in a sleek and thin chassis at a lower price than the cheapest MacBook Air.

The device sports a similar form factor and size to the MacBook Air, but manages to pack an Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics chip into its system, giving it a great advantage over the Apple device.

ASUS Zenbook UX430UN

ASUS Zenbook UX430UN
OS Windows 10
Display 14-inch 1,920 x 1,080
Processor Intel Core i7-8550U
Graphics Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB SSD
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, 1 USB 2.0, 1x USB 3.0, 1x USB-C, 1x micro HDMI, 1x SD card reader, 1x 3.5mm audio jack
Dimensions 324 x 225 x 15.9 mm (1.3kg)
Price R20,379

Lenovo Ideapad Legion Y530

The Lenovo Ideapad Legion Y530 is a slim, powerful gaming notebook with discrete graphics you can buy for the price of Apple’s new MacBook Air.

It is only slightly more bulky than the Apple device, but it boasts powerful specifications and an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics cards.

Lenovo Ideapad Legion Y530

Lenovo Ideapad Legion Y530
OS Windows 10
Display 15.6-inch 1,920 x 1,080
Processor Intel Core i5-8300H
Graphics Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti 4GB
RAM 24GB
Storage 512GB SSD, 2TB HDD
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, 2x USB 3.1, 1x HDMI, 1x USB Type-C, 1x DisplayPort, Ethernet
Dimensions 365 x 260 x 24.2 mm (2.3kg)
Price R21,999

HP Envy x360 Convertible 13

For a lower price than the 256GB MacBook Air, you could purchase an HP Envy x360 with a touch-screen display and a 512GB SSD.

This impressive premium laptop is powered by an AMD Ryzen 7 processor with Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics.

HP Envy x360 Convertible 13

HP Envy x360 Convertible 13
OS Windows 10
Display 13.3-inch 1,920 x 1,080
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 2700U
Graphics Radeon RX Vega 10 Graphics
RAM 8GB
Storage 512GB SSD
Connectivity 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, Ethernet,
Dimensions 306.7 x 214.6 x 14.9mm (2.1kg)
Price R23,999

Now read: New iPad Pro boasts similar performance to 2018 MacBook Pro

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New MacBook Air vs Windows laptops – Don’t waste your money