Review: Apple’s MacBook Air M2

I’ve spent some time using one of the new M2-based MacBook Air laptops introduced at WWDC 2022. It delivers everything Apple promises – and if you’re looking for a notebook, but don’t need the horsepower of a MacBook Pro, you’ll still find plenty of power and performance in this Mac.

Ending an era in stark silence

The MacBook Air (Apple’s revised model) ditches the classic (and popular) wedge shape that helped define the range. Apple’s newest machine is slim (0.4 inches tall), 20% less bulky than before, and sports a design that brings it very much in line with the aesthetics across the Apple range – rounded, thin, rectangular corners. I see it as similar to (but thinner than) a MacBook Pro. These design decisions are important because the MacBook Air is Apple’s most popular notebook, which de facto means it’s also the company’s most popular Mac. (The assumption is that Apple’s notebooks do more than at least two on its desktop.) The MacBook Air is also fanless, meaning that whatever you ask it to do, it will be quieter. do not whisper in the silence of the night.

The Mac weighs only 2.7 pounds. Dimensions are 0.4-in. by 12 in. by 8.4-in. The last-generation model with an M1 chip weighs 2.8-pounds and is about the same size, albeit 0.6 inches at the thickest point. (The last Intel model weighed 2.75 pounds and was about as thick. You’d like to see some consistency here.)

Open it and you’ll find a beautiful self-explanatory Magic Keyboard with a full set of function keys and Touch ID. As a Butterfly Keyboard veteran, I enjoy using a decent keyboard with comfortable action. The screen is great, too — a 13.6-in. Liquid retina display with P3 support for one billion colors at 500 nits of brightness. You also get a much larger display, as the Mac has thinner bezels. The only compromise is the appearance of a notch to hold the webcam and 1080-pixel mic.

For the record, I have no problem with that notch; I like it – and it adds a few pixels to the 16:10 display.

While the display isn’t as bright as the XDR ProMotion displays in the high-end MacBook Pros, it’s a big improvement over the M1’s screen and a leap forward in contrast to the last-generation Intel MacBook Air.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

Review: Apple’s MacBook Air M2

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