Apple recently launched the MacBook Air with the M1 processor by its own development. With this “homegrown” chip, the new MacBook Air offers significantly better performance than the old generation MacBook Air with Intel chips.
Unfortunately, in terms of design, the new MacBook Air is identical to the old generation. The machine is still made of monolithic aluminum with a characteristic beveled design, some details such as 13.3 inch screen, Magic Keyboard, USB-C port … are also preserved.
So, how do you differentiate a new MacBook Air from an Apple M1 chip, and an old MacBook Air from an Intel chip? In fact, Apple has brought the new MacBook Air a small change in the keyboard.
Unlike the MacBook Pro, MacBook Air is not equipped with Touch Bar but still uses the traditional function keys (Fn keys). However, on the new generation, Apple has removed the key to increase / decrease the keyboard backlight and replace it with the Dictation button (input voice characters) and enable the Do Not Disturb feature (no bother). In addition, the Launchpad button (app listing panel) has also been replaced by the Spotlight (search) button.
New MacBook Air keyboard with Apple M1 chip
The keyboard of the old MacBook Air with the keyboard backlight increase / decrease key (F5 / F6)
Instead of using buttons, to change the keyboard backlight brightness, users will need to make adjustments on the Control Center. This is a new feature on macOS Big Sur, which is also the version of software that comes pre-installed on the new MacBook Air.
Control Center on macOS Big Sur
The removal of the button to increase / decrease the keyboard backlight brightness is receiving mixed reviews from users. While some people use this feature sparingly and often leave it to the system to self-regulate, most users see it as a very necessary feature and Apple should not remove it.
Naturally, this change will only affect MacBook Air users. For MacBook Pro users, they can customize the Touch Bar to display anything they want, so they won’t be bound by Apple’s built-in options.