KEY POINTS

  • Apple said the new MacBook Air offers better performance compared to older models
  • Benchmark test scores reveal this to be true
  • Benchmark test scores, however, reveal that it's still slower compared to the 2018 iPad Pro

The new MacBook Air is a welcome refresh to the one that was released almost two years ago. The new model looks almost the same as its predecessor, but Apple claims that its specs and features allow it to perform better than the older model.

Apple claimed that the new MacBook Air offers faster CPU performance thanks to newer processors. Reports also emphasized that because the new MacBook Air can be specced up to a Core i7, it can be expected to perform significantly better than the older model which can only be maxed up to a Core i5.

The tech giant also claimed that the new MacBook Air is capable of delivering up to 80% better graphics performance compared to its predecessor. This is because of a new Intel Iris Plus graphics inside the unit, which also allows it to connect to a 6K external display such as the Pro Display XDR.

A review comparing Benchmark test scores reveals this to be true, 9To5Mac reported. According to a detailed review from Six Colors' Jason Snell, the midrange MacBook Air (one that has a Core i5 processor) has significantly higher single-core and multi-core scores compared to the 2018 MacBook Air, and even higher scores compared to the 2013 MacBook Air.

The new laptop also has significantly higher single-core and multi-core scores compared to the 2017 MacBook which is powered by a Core m3 processor.

Snell, however, found that even with a 10th-generation Core i5 processor, the 2020 MacBook Air is still not as fast as the 2018 iPad Pro, which is powered by Apple's state-of-the-art A12X processor.

According to the Geekbench test, the 2020 MacBook Air powered by a Core i5 only received a 1,047 single-core score. This is lower than the 1,108 single-core score that the 2018 iPad Pro received.

The new MacBook Air is even slower when multi-core scores are considered. The iPad Pro garnered a 4,595 multi-core score whereas the MacBook Air only received 2,658 – indicating a 70% difference in performance.

Does this mean the MacBook Air is not worth buying? Not at all. The MacBook Air and iPad Pro are designed to do different things. Those looking for an improved MacBook Air should get the new one, while those who want a new iPad Pro should get the new model.