When its predecessor, the Apple MacBook Air M1 2020 launched, it was rightly met with incredible critical acclaim. However, the Apple MacBook Air M2 2022 has been received with mixed reviews from users, many of whom, rather unreasonably, expected a laptop just as game-changing as the 2020 model.
While the Apple MacBook Air M2 2022 might not boast anything as outright innovative as the M1, it’s still an amazing laptop that offers some truly fantastic features and is still the best MacBook you can buy for many reasons.
Dubbed the ultra fast, ultra-capable, and ultra portable laptop by Apple, it’s easy to see why this versatile design has become popular with MacBook users.
Here are the Apple MacBook Air M2 2022 specifications:
|Apple MacBook Air M2 specs|
|CPU||8-Core M2 Chip|
|RAM||8GB (Up to 24GB)|
|Screen||13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, 2560 x 1664|
|Battery||Up to 18 hours|
|Storage||256GB (Up to 2TB)|
The Apple MacBook Air M1 might have been a revelation, but its cousin, the Apple MacBook Air M2, that features the improved and enhanced M2 chip (think of it as the next generation of the game-changing M1 chip), is just as revolutionary in its own way. The design is strikingly thin (and made from recycled aluminum) and boasts unprecedented speed and power within its CPU.
Admittedly, the design is a little pricier to purchase than its predecessor and starts at $1,199 (£1,249), which is $200 more than the M1 was originally offered at. While, for a model with additional SSD storage, the price tag starts at $1,499(£1,549). This higher price tag has left some MacBook users riled, with many expecting a similar price point to the flagship M1 2020 model.
Interestingly, it seems that Apple knew there would be price point disappointment linked to this launch, because they have – in a rather unprecedented step – decided to continue to produce the Apple MacBook Air M1 at a lower rate, alongside the newer model. So, if you consider the M2 is unaffordable, the M1 is still available and is one of the best laptops under $1,000 you will find and can buy today.
- Thin, lightweight design
- Improved screen
- Improved webcam
- All-day battery life
- Great performance capabilities
- MagSafe charging
- More expensive than the M1
- Gets hot and struggles under more intense workloads
- Limited ports
Key changes compared to the Apple MacBook Air M1
One of the issues with the Apple MacBook Air M2 for many users, is how similar it is considered to its predecessor, the Apple MacBook Air M1. However, while there are certain similar features, if you dig a little deeper, you will see that the M2 has many features setting it aside – and above – the previous model.
One obvious change that the M2 boasts is a new sleeker design. The famed wedge-shaped profile that MacBooks had always been known for has disappeared (as have 50 grams of weight), and in its place is flat design that’s the same thickness across the entirety of the design. The new look model also features corners that are slightly more rounded, compared to previous designs.
This new design is, for want of a better word, gorgeous. The design change has refreshed the look of the iconic Apple laptop, while also retaining the build quality and integrity that MacBooks are famous for. On a personal note, I’ve used MacBooks for years and have always loved the famed wedge-shaped design that they were famous for but – in an unexpected turn of events – I think I actually prefer this newer, sleeker shape. This new design also carried over to the newest MacBook Pro laptops
Despite the change of design, it’s still just as aesthetically pleasing, with four rather dreamy colorways available to choose from. And, of the four colors that the device is available in, two are brand new – Midnight and Starlight – to pair alongside classics – Space Grey and Silver. Unfortunately, the popular Rose Gold hue that was previously available is no longer an option for the M2 model.
Unrivaled battery power and larger screen
Boasting up to 18 hours of battery life, there’s no arguing with the fact that the Apple MacBook Air M2 2022 has superior battery life to any other Apple laptop. It might be the norm for Chromebooks to have that kind of battery power, but for MacBooks it’s unheard of. So, for anyone looking for a laptop that has the ability to hold its power, this MacBook model is, undoubtedly, a safe bet.
The screen size of the Apple MacBook Air M2 is 13.6 inches, whereas its predecessor’s screen is 13.3 inches, with the newer model always having a taller 16:10 aspect ratio. The screen might only be slightly larger but, as a MacBook user, I can confirm it really does make a big difference, offering a significant visual enhancement and improved usability.
Improved visual and audio capabilities
Talking of visual enhancements, there’s also the improved visual and audio capabilities that this newer model comes with.
Starting with the new webcam notch in the center of the top of the screen, that houses a seriously impressive camera that boasts a resolution boost of 1080p, and offers enhanced video-calling capabilities. For anyone who’s in and out of virtual meetings, this is a fantastic feature to have – it really improves and enhances video calling quality.
In addition, the M2 model also houses an improved quad-speaker audio system which, again, comes in handy for video calls, in addition to playing sounds through the built-in speakers. Audio appears exceedingly clear, crisp and clean.
The updated three-microphone design is great, however a note for future models would be that it would be even better if it was set up to capture less background noise.
What are some other key features?
One, seriously sought-after feature that the Apple MacBook Air M2 features is the, much-anticipated, return of MagSafe charging. It’s a feature that has finally returned after a rather lengthy three-year absence, delighting many MacBook users.
The lid of this newer Apple MacBook Air model has been designed to be perfectly weighted so that it can be easily flicked open with just one finger without the laptop overbalancing and tipping over.
Then, there’s the “magic” keyboard that offers the perfect amount of travel and feedback and is a true joy to type on, with the Force Touch trackpad working just as effortlessly as it always has. The touchpad is also just as impressive as on previous models and works like a total dream.
What criticisms are there?
There’s no doubt that this is a great laptop with a lot to offer, but there are a few features that could – perhaps – be further improved and enhanced to improve user experience.
The fanless design does mean that the laptop gets rather hot. This is somewhat of a concern when using the MacBook Air M2 for extended periods of time or for labor-intensive tasks.
Then, there’s the fact that the two Thunderbolt 3 ports aren’t exactly well spaced out. I’d personally prefer a more spacious setup for ease of use. Although most cables should be able to fit in together, the ports may be too close for chunkier accessories to squeeze in together.
Apple MacBook Air M2 2022 summary
I must admit that on first use, I was impressed with this new iteration of the Apple MacBook Air. When putting the newer model to the test during a busy day at work, I continued to be impressed. Yes, there are some features that, perhaps, could be further enhanced and honed, but in general this is a really great laptop.
For me, the higher price point is disappointing when compared to the more budget-friendly Apple MacBook Air M1, as is the fact that this fanless design gets hot rather quickly. But, it’s still another stunning Apple laptop that has fantastic battery life, runs quickly and is impressively easy to use.
A solid upgrade from an innovate predecessor. It may not be the breakthrough we’re used to from Apple, but it’s still undoubtedly one of the best laptops on the market in 2023.