Apple M2 MacBook Air first impressions

At WWDC 2022, Tim Cook and company announced an all-new MacBook Air. The form factor is the first noticeable hardware refresh since the tapered device was first announced by Steve in 2010. Now, some 12 years later, the MacBook Air is touting a brand new chassis, new Midnight blue colorway, and Apple’s fastest baseline silicon chipset, M2. YouTubers were out in force for Apple Park’s first in-person event in recent history.

M2 MacBook Air

The new MacBook Air comes with a larger 13.6″ Liquid Retina display while also reducing the overall volume by 20% at only .44″ thin. Despite the air-thin design, the device boasts an 18-hour battery life and powers a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, making sure you’re the crispest person on your conference call. MagSafe charging is back and, for those of you who don’t even remember what that is, enables a magnetic charging cable instead of reliance on USB-C. If you trip over the wire, it simply pops off the device.

Additional I/O includes two Thunderbolt ports (also USB-C) and a 3.5mm headphone jack for when AirPods just won’t cut it. The Magic Keyboard includes a function row keyset, instead of TouchBar, and a Touch ID button for biometric logins, including for Apple Pay payments and password locker authentication.

Above, MKBHD notes there is a new quad speaker setup and a triple mic array. The latter of which will help to reduce background noise on calls. The biggest change for him is the new screen. Thanks to thinner bezels, the almost 14″ display is also brighter, with a notch for the webcam. Midnight, the new color, isn’t one of his favorites, coming in at ‘not quite black’ but blue. The fingerprints were pretty aggressive, as shown in the video above. Thanks to the M2, 20% CPU and 30% GPU increases in performance are expected with the new chipset while holding full-day battery life.

iJustine, is “so excited” to take a look at the all-new MacBook Air. The Air is smaller but matches the recent 14″ and 16″ MacBook Air design language. While the Air only has the two Thunderbolts (USB-C), she notes the advantage of using MagSafe charging to keep ports free for accessories. Don’t overlook the matching MagSafe braided charging cables, which she notes first came to light on the 2021 iMac redesign.

Jason Stalman, as a photographer and videographer, focused on the M2 MacBook Air’s ability to edit 8K video. The Media engine in the M2, he notes, has a video encode and video decode engine, capable of 8K H.264, HEVC. That is the part of the chip for him that gave him the power to actually edit directly on the laptop. He notes the editing he saw at the hands-on area with DaVinci Resolve with loads of grades, was flawless playback.

$1,199 is $200 more than the M1 MacBook Air (2021), giving Apple a higher price point for the newest tech. Typically Apple would replace the previous year’s laptops with the new hardware, but with forecasted chipset supply issues, being able to purchase either keeps logistics operating efficiently, but allows for the higher price.