The important new addition is the Magic Keyboard, which is the name Apple gave to the scissor switch mechanism used in its external keyboard.
It replaces the ill-fated butterfly keyboard and should render troubles with stuck keys a thing of the past. It also has double the key travel at 1mm of depth and a far more satisfying typing experience.
The keys feel solid, depress far enough and are fairly quiet as laptop keyboards go. It is very close to being best-in-class, just behind the keyboard .
Apple’s Force Touch trackpad continues to be the very best you can buy on a laptop. It is large, precise and smooth: all-round excellent.
A Touch ID fingerprint scanner is built into the power button in the top right corner of the keyboard. It works well as an alternative to passwords, but can only recognise three fingerprints. One day I hope Apple puts its excellent Face ID system in its laptops to match Microsoft’s excellent Windows Hello system in its computers.
Power and battery life
MacOS 10.15 Catalina
The MacBook Air ships with Apple’s latest macOS 10.15 Catalina, which continues to be a mature and well-thought-out operating system that makes the most of Apple’s laptops.
The most useful addition this time round is Sidecar, which turns an iPad into a second screen for your Mac – particularly useful if you’re stuck working from home and happen to have both a Mac and an iPad. As long as you’re on the same wifi network it works wirelessly and effortlessly, or you can use a cable.