New cheaper MacBook Air found to have cheaper gimped SSD
Apple giveth with one hand and taketh away with the other when it comes to the new MacBook Air. The freshly minted MacBook Air with a fourth-time revised butterfly keyboard mechanism arrived with the good news that US$100 had been lopped off its starting price. However, now that it is in customer hands, it has become clear that Apple gimped the SSD in the new model to help bring its price down. It appears that Apple wasn't prepared to absorb the full cost of the price cut, but rather make the device cheaper by using an inferior component to its predecessor.
French Mac website Consomac has compared the MacBook Air (2019) SSD with the MacBook Air (2018) SSD and discovered an unpleasant surprise. Where last year's model had 920 MB/s write and 2 GB/s read speeds, this year's model has 1 GB/s read speeds and just 1.3 GB/s read speeds. While there is a minor gain in write speeds, there is a substantial drop off in read speeds. In most tasks, this probably won't be a major issue, but it introduces a new architectural bottleneck that didn't exist previously. Given the MacBook Air is fitted with a pokey 1.6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 chip, you'd be hoping it could what it could to increase system bandwidth, not reduce it.
It is just the latest in multiple penny pinching exercises from Apple under CEO Tim Cook. Think of headphone jack adapter dongles no longer shipping with iPhones in the box, the general fewer ports and more expensive dongles strategy, and things like the mindboggling ongoing mark ups on soldered RAM and SSDs where the user has no option but to go with Apple if that is the device and spec you need. Sure, the US$100 price cut on the MacBook Air is nice, as is the addition of Apple's True Tone display tech, but wouldn't it be great if it didn't come with any strings attached?