February 28, 2024
Apple M2 MacBook Air Review Roundup [Video]

Apple M2 MacBook Air Review Roundup [Video]

Posted July 14, 2022 at 2:00pm by iClarified
The embargo on early reviews of the new 13.6-inch M2 MacBook Air has been lifted. Check out our roundup of reviews below...

The new M2 MacBook Air will officially be released tomorrow, July 15. You can pre-order one here starting at $1199.

The Verge
The new MacBook Air is a success on virtually every level. It’s got a better screen, thinner and lighter design, better speakers, a much-improved webcam, an excellent keyboard and trackpad, more convenient charging, and excellent build quality. But that success comes at a cost, literally, and the performance advancements over the M1 model aren’t as stark as the design and feature improvements are. The M2 Air is a better choice for the vast majority of people over the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro model, even though the Pro has slightly better performance and longer battery life.

The one downside to the MacBook Air's revamp is that it now starts at $1,199, $200 more than the M1 model. That older machine is still a decent option if you find it on sale or refurbished, but otherwise I'd say the M2 model is absolutely worth the extra cost. Just be prepared for the price to rise quickly as you start adding extra hardware. If you wanted to bump up to our review unit's specs, you'd have to pay $1,899. Personally, I'd say prioritize throwing in as much RAM and SSD storage as you can. The M2 chip will still be very capable without the $100 upgrade for the more powerful GPU.

The M2 Air, meanwhile, strikes a harmonious balance. It’s thin and light, has some of the line’s best new features and boasts enough power for most needs, without going overboard for daily use. It’s the right MacBook for most consumers and a warm reminder of why the Air struck a chord with so many users so many years ago.

I bought the more expensive 14-inch MacBook Pro when it launched last year because it has more ports, better speakers and an even nicer display, but it has way more processing muscle than I’ll ever need. The new MacBook Air with M2 is about half the price, it’s lighter, has a great screen and speakers and a processor that will last you for years. I’d have purchased this instead if it had launched at the same time.

It’s certainly a smarter approach than the 13-inch MacBook Pro’s, which kept an old-fashioned chassis and simply slotted an M2 chip in it. The power here might be overkill for many users, but if your MacBook Air is starting to look a little long in the tooth, this is a strong replacement that will remain relevant for years to come— assuming you’re ok with a notch. If you’re one of the few for whom the power isn’t overkill, however, then you might want to wait for a new 14 or 16-inch MacBook Pro to take on the M2. The 13-incher’s lack of a redesign is disappointing, but the lack of fans on the Air means it can’t take the M2 to its fullest potential. Still, if you simply moonlight in more intensive tasks, this is the laptop for you.

It's a change too long in coming, but a welcome one, and that leaves the M2 13-inch MacBook Pro and the M1 MacBook Air as the sole MacBooks left with the older, inferior camera. In this simple side-by-side comparison you can see the difference. In our Zoom-addicted future-of-work world, it's a must-have. Of all the upgrades, changes and improvements in the new MacBook Air, that's probably the one I'd be most unwilling to give up.

2022 MacBook Air Review with the M2 Chip with benchmark for Xcode, video production and gaming. My unit has an 8 core CPU, 10 core GPU 16 gigs of ram and 1TB of storage.

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