September 24, 2022

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M2 MacBook Air: We got our hands on Apple’s latest laptop

This story is part of WWDC 2022CNET’s full coverage of and about the annual Apple Developer Conference.

An apple The new MacBook Air powered by M2 It adds a lot of new features, but it also brings back my least favorite: the laptop’s starting price is over $999.

For most of its life, the MacBook Air has been sitting comfortably at $999, but at 2018, redesign increased the price by $200. By 2020, the starting price was back at $999, and things felt like they should.

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

I only play this because such a huge leap for a very popular laptop will put it out of reach of the many students and artists who can get the most out of it. Other than that, I love just about everything in the new version. It’s also worth noting that the 2020 M1 MacBook Air is still available right now for $999.


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Hands-on with Apple’s new M2 MacBook Air


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after Monday Keynote at WWDC 2022I had the chance to get some limited hands-on time with the new MacBook Air. It didn’t take long, so I mostly focused on the new material design and how the system looked and felt.

The M1 MacBook Air, one of The first batch of Macs to move from Intel to Apple Silicon, isn’t a bad looking machine, but it’s based on a design launched in 2018, which is nearly an eternity in PC terms. The new version transitions from the traditional smooth tapered design to the boxy, more massive shape of MacBook Pro 14-inch and 16-inch computers From late 2021. It is a more modern and more constructive design (in that it largely rejects the decorative style).

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MacBook Air M2

Dan Ackerman/CNET

But the new MacBook Air surpasses the Pro models it copies in one important aspect: It adds a new color to the usual gray and silver (and the M1 Air’s gold)—the new midnight color, which appears in matte black. It’s the coolest new MacBook look in a long time, and reminds me of Old MacBooks made of matte black polycarbonate In the middle of the first decade of the twenty-first century.

Its footprint is a hair smaller than before, as is the weight, at 2.7 pounds versus the 2.8 pounds in the M1 MacBook Air. But the new model looked smaller and more portable than that when I picked it up—largely because it’s thinner, at 11.3mm. The M1 version tapers off, but measures 16mm at the rear hinge.

The new M2 MacBook Air won’t go on sale until July, so it may be a while before I can do a more in-depth hands-on test. I’m particularly excited to see how the 1080p webcam works, which is probably the most important upgrade for many people who are tired of the awesome 720p webcam in previous MacBook Air laptops, including the M1 version.

Touchpad M2 MacBook Air

Dan Ackerman/CNET

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

Interestingly, almost none of these improvements are available on the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, which was also announced at WWDC 2022. It lacks the bigger screen, better camera, MagSafe connectivity, and new colors. It’s, on paper at least, exactly the same as the late 2020’s 13-inch MacBook Pro, only with New M2 chip M1 replacement. However, the only way is to put your hands (or fingers) in close proximity Extinct Touch Bar.