M2 MacBook Air: We've got hold of Apple's newest laptop

M2 MacBook Air: We’ve got hold of Apple’s newest laptop

This story is part of WWDC 2022CNET’s full coverage from and around Apple’s annual developer conference.

Apples new M2-powered MacBook Air adds many new features, but it also brings back my least favorite: The starting price of the laptop is over $ 999.

For much of its life, the MacBook Air was priced at a comfortable $ 999, but in In 2018, a redesign raised the price by $ 200. In 2020, the starting price was back to $ 999, and I felt that things were as they should be.

Guess what? It’s now 2022, and with another new design, the MacBook Air starts at $ 1,199 … again.

I’m talking about this just because the significant step of a very ordinary laptop will make it out of reach of many of the students and artists who could make the most of it. Besides that, I like almost everything else with the new version. It is also worth noting that the M1 MacBook Air from the end of 2020 is still available at the moment for $ 999.


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After Monday WWDC 2022 keynote, I had a chance to get some limited hands-on time with the new MacBook Air. It was not much time, so I focused mostly on the new physical design and how the system looked and felt.

M1 MacBook Air, one of the first sets of Macs to move from Intel to Apple Silicon, is not a bad machine, but it is based on a design launched in 2018, which is almost forever ago in computer terms. The new version goes from the traditional soft, tapered design to the boxer, blockier look 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops from the end of 2021. It is a more modern, more constructivist design (in that it largely rejects decorative stylization).

M2 MacBook Air

Dan Ackerman / CNET

But the new MacBook Air goes beyond the Pro models it copies in one important respect: It adds a new color to the usual gray and silver (and M1 Air’s gold) – a new Midnight color, which looks like a matte black finish. It’s clearly the most striking new MacBook look in a long time, and reminds me old matte black MacBooks in polycarbonate from the mid-2000s.

Its footprint is a hair less than before, as is its weight, at 2.7 pounds versus 2.8 pounds for the M1 MacBook Air. But the new model felt even smaller and more portable than that when I picked it up – largely because it is thinner, 11.3 mm. The M1 version tapers, but it measures 16 mm at the rear hinge.

The new M2 MacBook Air will not go on sale until July, so it may be some time before I can give it a more in-depth, practical test. I’m particularly keen to see how its 1080p resolution webcam works, which is probably the single most important upgrade for many people who are tired of the never-amazing 720p webcam in previous MacBook Air laptops, even the M1 version.

M2 MacBook Air touchpad

Dan Ackerman / CNET

I’m also very interested in spending more time with the new, slightly larger 13.6-inch screen (versus the 13.3-inch), which Apple says is 25% brighter, at 500 nits. It also adds MagSafe, which came back in last year’s new MacBook Pro system, and its touchpad is, according to Apple, slightly larger, but that would not put a figure or percentage on it.

Interestingly, almost none of these enhancements are available in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was also announced at WWDC 2022. It lacks the larger screen, better camera, MagSafe connectivity and new colors. It’s at least on paper exactly the same as the 13-inch MacBook Pro from the end of 2020, only with new M2 chip replaces M1. However, it is still the only way to get your hands (or fingers) on almost extinct Touch Bar.

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