The new M2 MacBook Air is now available and comes with an updated design, a M2 chip, MagSafe, and more. The MacBook Air has been Apple’s most popular laptop for many years and many reviewers praised the M1 MacBook Air that came out in 2020 as the perfect notebook.
Apple silicon unlocked the MacBook’s potential, and we now see that taken to a new level with the M2 MacBook Air. So here are all the reasons we think the M2 MacBook Air is worth buying.
7. The Modern Design
Apple has been updating many of its products with a squared edge design. It started with the iPad Pro, the iPhone 12, the iMac, and then the MacBook Pro. Now the M2 MacBook Air resembles the current MacBook Pro’s design. The design is refreshing, since the last time we got a design change for the MacBook Air was in 2018 at Apple’s October event.
The M2 version takes the Air’s design in a new direction, since it is the first MacBook Air without a wedge-shaped design. The new squared look fits the MacBook Air and allows it to still be thin and light. The new Air also gets slimmer bezels, along with a notch for more screen real estate.
6. The Price
Even though the new MacBook Air lost its legendary $999 price tag, the laptop is still competitively priced for a high-end laptop at $1,199. It is positioned in the middle of Apple’s MacBook lineup, with the M1 MacBook Air still at $999, the M2 MacBook Pro at $1,299, and the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros at $2,000 or more. There is also a $1,499 MacBook Air model that offers a better processor and more SSD storage.
That model still fits in the MacBook lineup at a good value. Just beware you don’t get manipulated into buying a more expensive laptop than you need by Apple’s strategic pricing ladder.
5. The Performance for the Price
It’s no secret that Apple’s M-series chips deliver stellar performance. A base M2 chip can handle the average notebook user’s tasks—web browsing, Microsoft Office, and email—and much more. You can also use creative applications such as Final Cut Pro for basic workflows and get impressive performance.
If you are not familiar with Apple’s chips, have a look at our primer that provides an overview of Apple silicon. They have even outperformed older Macs with high-end Intel processors.
While the M2 is not a giant leap over the M1, it does provide an 18% faster CPU, a 35% faster GPU, and other improvements. The M2 MacBook Air’s performance is particularly impressive for a fan-less laptop.
4. The Longevity
One tradeoff you make when you purchase an older device at a reduced cost is that it won’t receive updates for as long as a new device. Apple has said it will support Intel Macs for years, but they have a more limited lifespan for software updates compared to Apple silicon Macs. Apple has already cut off support for multiple Intel Macs with macOS Ventura.
Apple silicon Macs not only provide incredible performance, but they will receive software updates for many years to come.
3. The Ports
While the M2 MacBook Air didn’t receive an HDMI port or an SD card slot like the MacBook Pro, it did get MagSafe. The addition of MagSafe provides an arguably better charging solution and now frees up another USB-C port on the laptop. Having MagSafe allows you to connect more peripherals to the computer, since you don’t have to use a USB-C port to charge. In addition to MagSafe, the new MacBook Air also gains a headphone jack that supports high impedance headphones.
Previous generation MacBooks only had USB-C ports and a regular headphone jack, which could be limiting, especially if you needed to charge your MacBook and use the ports for other functions.
2. The Battery Life
Apple laptops had solid battery life when using Intel processors, but Apple silicon has changed the game. The M2 MacBook Air gets an estimated 15 hours of web browsing and 18 hours of movie playback, according to Apple. The laptop can last well on a single charge throughout the day while doing regular tasks such as web browsing, emailing, or word processing.
Furthermore, the M2 MacBook Air also offers a 67-watt fast charger that can charge the MacBook to 50% in about 30 minutes, if you select it during checkout for an additional $20. Apple silicon enables impressive battery life for the MacBook Air while still being thin and light.
1. The FaceTime Camera
A high-quality video camera and microphones are nice to have in these times of remote working or remote learning. The new MacBook Air features a much-improved 1080p FaceTime Camera, while the M1 MacBook Air and M2 MacBook Pro still have a 720p camera.
The difference is very noticeable, especially in low-light conditions. MacBooks in the past have had poor webcam quality, but the M2 MacBook Air offers an exceptional camera.
How Does It Compare to the Mac Lineup?
Apple’s MacBook lineup has become crowded since the introduction of the M2 MacBooks. Apple didn’t discontinue the M1 MacBook Air, so it remains at $999, right underneath the M2 Air. The M2 Air is the laptop for most people, offering the best combination of the new features the MacBook Pro received last year while also keeping the price relatively low.
While there are multiple reasons not to get the base model MacBook Air, the $1,499 model is the sweet spot for the Air since it comes with an M2 chip with more GPU cores and a 512GB SSD.
The argument for the MacBook Air becomes more complex when you upgrade the hardware. Suppose you select the $1,499 model and add 16GB of ram; the computer prices out at $1,699. That is $300 less than the 14-inch MacBook Pro. While the M2 chip is more powerful than the base M1 chip, it doesn’t compare to the other chips in the M1 family, like what’s in the MacBook Pro. The MacBook Pro also features an excellent ProMotion display and a fan for demanding tasks.
The MacBook Air’s best value is the stock configurations that Apple has. If you are concerned about the fan-less design or are looking for more power, the MacBook Pros are the laptops you should consider.
The MacBook Air line has been, and still is, the perfect laptop for regular users since it’s relatively affordable, thin, and light. The Air also offers excellent performance that can handle everyday usage and great battery life that can last a full day.
A Well-Rounded Notebook
The M2 MacBook Air is a well-rounded computer. It features a great design, impressive performance for the price, great battery life, and more. This laptop is an excellent entry-level Mac and the perfect choice for most Mac users.