Apple Unveils the All-New MacBook Air, Featuring a More Powerful M2 Chip and MagSafe Technology.
It’s been speculated for well over a year that Apple will release an all-new next-generation MacBook Air featuring fresh Apple silicon. Apple officially announced the new MacBook Air today, which sports a fully revamped chassis. Apple decided with a more typical, consistent thickness from front to back instead of the wedge design that has been used on the MacBook Air since its introduction.
While the former MacBook Air’s “fat section” of its wedge was 16mm thick, the new model is a constant 11mm thick. As a result, Apple claims that the MacBook Air has a 20 percent total volume decrease. Overall, I’ve lost a pound, dropping from 2.8 to 2.7 pounds. The MacBook Air is also available in four new colors: Silver, Space Gray, Starlight (light gold), and Midnight (blue).
The new MacBook Air, like the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros, has smaller display bezels all around. This allowed Apple to increase the size of the Liquid Retina display from 13.3 inches to 13.6 inches diagonally (10-bit panel with maximum 500 nits brightness). However, in order to fit the camera, a notc now sits at the top-center of the display. At the very least, Apple improved the webcam from 720p to 1080p, claiming a 2x improvement in low-light performance.
The incorporation of Apple’s new M2 SoC is perhaps the most important update to the MacBook Air, aside from its all-new appearance. The Apple Silicon era for the Mac began with the M1, and the M2 continues to push the limit with a second-generation 5nm manufacturing node. The new M2 has 20 billion transistors, which represents a 25% increase over the M1. M2 also supports up to 24GB of unified memory and provides 100 Gbps bandwidth.
The M2 has an 8-core design, much like its predecessor (4 performance cores, 4 efficiency cores). The efficiency cores now share a 4MB cache pool, whereas the performance cores now share 16MB of cache. Apple was able to boost core clocks across the board while lowering power consumption. As a consequence, Apple claims an 18% improvement in CPU performance and a 35% increase in 10-core GPU performance while keeping a fanless design.
So, how does this translate to performance in the real world? According to Apple, the new M2-equipped MacBook Air is 20 percent quicker than its M1 counterpart when it comes to applying picture filters and effects, and up to 38 percent faster when it comes to video editing. Despite the overall improvement in CPU and GPU speed, Apple claims the same 18-hour “all-day” battery life.
When it comes to the battery, you may get a 67-watt fast charger for the MacBook Air that can charge it from 0% to 50% in 30 minutes. Apple also has a new small power converter that can simultaneously charge two USB-C devices. In case you were wondering, the new MacBook Air, like the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, accepts MagSafe power adapters.
Apple said the new M2 MacBook Airs will be available in July for $1,199. This is a $200 price increase over the M1 MacBook Air, which is still available for $999. If you’re a student or teacher, you’ll get a $100 discount.
Not to be left out, Apple also announced that the new M2 CPUs will be available for the 13-inch MacBook Pro with its heritage design. Customers will be able to choose between an 8-core M2 with up to a 2TB SSD and 24GB of unified memory and an 8-core M2 with up to a 2TB SSD and 24GB of unified memory. The 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 CPU lasts 2 hours longer per charge than the new MacBook Air (up to 20 hours).
In July, the new M2-equipped 13-inch MacBook Pro will be available for $1,299 ($1,199 for educational users).