MacBook Air M2: We tried Apple’s new laptop

this story is part of World Developers Conference 2022CNET’s full coverage of Apple’s annual developer conference.

apple New M2-powered MacBook Air Lots of new features have been added, but it also brings back my least favorite: laptops that start at over $1,000.For most of its life, the MacBook Air has been priced at a comfortable $999, but in The 2018 redesign raised the price by $200. In 2020, the starting price is back at $999, and I think that’s how things should be. guess what? It’s 2022, and the redesigned MacBook Air starts at $1,199…again. (UK £1,249, Australia AU$1,899.)

I emphasize this only because for a very mainstream laptop, this major leap would be prohibitive for many students and artists who could make the most of it. Other than that, I do like everything else about the new version. It’s also worth noting that the late 2020 M1 MacBook Air is still available for $999.

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Hands-on with Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air


after monday WWDC 2022 Keynote, I had the opportunity to get some limited hands-on time on the new MacBook Air. I don’t have much time, so I’m mostly focusing on the new physical design and the look and feel of the system.

M1 MacBook Air, one of The first Macs to move from Intel to Apple Silicon, not an ugly machine, but it’s based on a design introduced in 2018, which is about forever in computer terms.The new version shifts from the traditional soft tapered design to a more square, blocky look 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops From late 2021. It’s a more modern, constructivist design, as it largely rejects the decorative style.

M2 MacBook Air

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But the new MacBook Air surpasses the Pro models it copies in one important way: It adds a new color to the usual gray and silver (and gold for the M1 Air)—a new midnight color that looks Like matte black. This is the most striking new MacBook look in a long time, and it reminds me of old matte black polycarbonate MacBook mid-2000s.

It has a smaller footprint than before, and it weighs the same at 2.7 pounds, compared to 2.8 pounds for the M1 MacBook Air. But the new model feels smaller and more portable than when I picked it up—mainly because it’s thinner at 11.3mm. The M1 version tapers off, but measures 16mm at the rear hinge.

The new M2 MacBook Air doesn’t go on sale until July, so it may be a while before I get to test it more deeply. I’d especially like to see how its 1080p resolution webcam works, for many tired of the 720p webcam never found in previous MacBook Air laptops (including the M1 version.

M2 MacBook Air Trackpad

Dan Ackerman/CNET

I’d also love to spend more time on the new, slightly larger 13.6-inch screen (versus 13.3-inch), which Apple says is 25 percent brighter at 500 nits. It also adds MagSafe, which returned in last year’s new MacBook Pro system, which, according to Apple, has a slightly larger touchpad, but it doesn’t put numbers or percentages on it.

Interestingly, there are few of these improvements in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, also announced at WWDC 2022. It lacks a bigger screen, better camera, MagSafe connection and new colors.On paper at least, it’s exactly the same as the late 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, just New M2 chip Replace M1.However, it really is still getting your hands (or fingers) close Extinct Touch Bar.