What just happened? Trimming $100 off the cost of the MacBook Air was no easy feat and clearly, compromises had to be made somewhere. Rather than ditching a feature like Touch ID, Apple went with a more affordable solid state drive that isn’t quite as fast as its predecessor in terms of read speeds.
Apple last week refreshed its base model MacBook Air and MacBook Pro laptops, adding faster CPUs and better displays while lowering the cost of entry.
The new MacBook Air now starts at $1,099 – a full $100 less than before, but on Monday, we learned the source of the price cut – slower hardware.
French tech site Consomac recently tested the 2019 MacBook Air with 256GB of storage. Using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test, the team recorded write speeds of 1 GB/s and read speeds of 1.3 GB/s. In comparison, last year’s equivalent model managed 920 MB/s on the write side but a much faster 2 GB/s when reading.
For those keeping count, that’s a significant 35 percent drop in read speed.
Unless you work with large files on a regular basis, odds are, most people probably won’t notice the difference in day-to-day activity but they will notice paying $100 less at check-out (and with a student discount, the MacBook Air can be yours for only $999).