Apple MacBook Air M2 in for Review! Our First Impressions of this entry-level Apple laptop
The new MacBook Air with M2 chip is now arriving on the shelves and Mac fans couldn't be more excited. The 2022 MacBook Air is a big step up from the previous generation model, which while having the first-generation Apple Silicon chip, the M1, was largely the same as the 2018 Intel model. We all assumed that the 2022 generation might carry on with the same design and just a new chip, as has been the case with entry-level Apple chips. However, the 2022 MacBook Air is all new. All new.
Before we dive deep, know that the MacBook Air M2 comes in two variants in India. The base variant with 8GB RAM, 256GB storage and an 8-core GPU will set you back by Rs. 1,19,900. The top-end variant has a 512GB storage, 10-core GPU, and a 35W Dual port power brick, costing Rs. 1,49,900. You can get both the models in four new colours – Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Space Grey. We have the base 256GB variant with us in the Space Gray configuration.
Apple MacBook Air M2 Design and Build
The new MacBook Air M2 is new when it comes to the design. Gone is the wedge-shaped angular profile and in its place sits a stubby and thick profile that is reminiscent of 2021 14-inch MacBook Pro. As someone who uses the 2020 MacBook Air, this new rounded off profile is easier to hold and is a breath of fresh air. The overall layout remains largely similar on the outside, except for the MagSafe charging port that sits along the two USB-C Thunderbolt 4 ports. The 3.5mm audio jack stays as well. Sadly, no USB-A or HDMI ports on the Air. Oh, and that Apple logo is bigger on the M2 model.
Open the lid and that new laptop feeling continues. The MacBook Air gains the new notch0-style display from the Pro variants, holding a new 1080p webcam. The notch looks unusual at first but if you are used to an iPhone 12 or iPhone 13, it soon goes out of your peripheral vision. The rest of the bezels are thinner but the “chin” is still as thick as the previous model. With all the fat reduction on the bezels, the display now measures 13.6-inches – notably bigger than the 2020 model.
The keyboard and trackpad layout is largely similar too, except for the full sized Fn keys on the top, and overall larger key caps everywhere. Even the fingerprint sensor has grown. The speakers have gone from the sides and now reside inside the hinge mechanism.
To sum it up, the new MacBook Air M2 looks neat and modern compared to the M1 model.
Apple MacBook Air M2 Features at a glance
While the design is fresh, there are lots of other new bits that have caught our attention in the initial few hours. First is the display, which not feels bigger but is also brighter. This is still an LCD display and I wish Apple had figured out a way to use an OLED panel – most laptops at this price come with OLED displays as standard. The viewing angles seem restricted as well.
Then there's the new M2 chip, which promises humble gains over the M1 chip. This is a 5nm chip and we are yet to see its potential over a regular usage pattern. The M1 MacBook Air is still no slouch by any means and we are only expecting to be surprised with the M2 chip.
The new quad-speakers also seem promising and at initial glance, they sound nice. But are they any better than the dual speaker setup on the M1 model, and in comparison to the competition from Windows laptops?
Apple claims the same kind of battery life figures as the M1 model and you still get a 30W charging brick in the box with the base 256GB model. However, the MacBook Air M2 supports Apple's 67W fast charging that promises a 0-50 percent charge in 30 minutes. Sounds tempting and we have to find out whether it delivers.
Apple MacBook Air M2 First Impressions
It has only been a few hours with the new MacBook Air M2 and it already seems like a substantial step-up from the previous generation model. The all-new design makes it refreshing to see, and we assume it will prove to be more practical than the older model's design. What we are excited to see more is how the M2 chip fares in the real-world performance situations and whether it is possible to see gains in battery life.
The MacBook Air M2 is already on sale right now but if you want to see whether M1 users should upgrade, or is it great for those switching from a Windows laptop, stay tuned for our full review.