The new MacBook Air with the M2 chip will be launched on Friday. Before the time came, the first reviews of the new MacBook Air were shared by some media outlets and YouTube channels, providing a closer look at the redesigned notebook and its capabilities.
Key features of the new MacBook Air include Apple’s latest M2 chip, new flat-edged design, slightly larger 13.6-inch display with notch, MagSafe charging, upgraded 1080p camera, new Starlight and Midnight color options along with Silver and Space Gray . The notebook is also equipped with two Thunderbolt 3 ports and a 3.5mm headphone jack with support for high-impedance headphones.
Pricing for the new MacBook Air starts at $1,199. The notebook is available with up to 24GB of consolidated memory and up to 2TB SSD.
EngadgetDevindra Hardawar said the new MacBook Air is Apple’s “near-perfect Mac”:
The Air is impressively thin and light, but it also has a bigger and better screen, a great set of speakers and a neat MagSafe power adapter. And thanks to Apple’s M2 chip, it’s also significantly faster than the previous model, a computer that was called “amazingly fast” just a year and a half ago. Once again, Apple has set a new standard for ultra-high-definition mobile devices.
the edgeThe new MacBook Air’s Dan Seifert said the new MacBook Air “has been a hit on almost every level,” but said customers looking to upgrade from an older laptop should consider the previous MacBook Air with the M1 chip, which starts at $999:
The new MacBook Air has been a hit on almost every level. It has a better screen, thinner and lighter design, better speakers, a much improved webcam, excellent keyboard and trackpad, more convenient charging, and excellent build quality.
But that success comes at a cost, literally, and the performance progress on the M1 isn’t as stark as the design and feature improvements. The M2 Air is a better choice for the vast majority of people over the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, although the Pro has slightly better performance and longer battery life.
Faster performance with the M2 chip
Jason Snell shared a variety of benchmarks for the new MacBook Air in his review at Six colors. In line with Apple’s announcements, Geekbench 5 results show that the M2 chip delivers approximately 18% faster multi-core performance than the M1 model, while single-core performance is up to 11% faster.
Thinner and lighter design
The new MacBook Air eliminates the notebook’s signature wedge design in favor of a more streamlined design. the edgeDan Seifert said he was “impressed with this new design,” which he described as “remarkably slim” and “very portable”:
However, it’s noticeably thin – just a smidge over 11mm – and that thinness is immediately noticeable when you open the lid and start writing on it. It is also noticed when you put it in a bag or carry it. The shape of the older MacBook Air had less visual weight and might look thinner, but the new model is actually slimmer than its predecessor.
It’s also a bit lighter, at 2.7 pounds per pound. Older version 2.8. That’s not much of a difference, and the Air is far from the lightest computer you can buy, but it makes it extremely portable and easy to carry wherever you need it.
The slowest SSD in the base model
In a statement issued to the edgeHowever, an Apple spokesperson confirmed that the new 256GB base model of the MacBook Air has a single NAND chip, which will result in slower SSD speeds in our benchmark test. Apple said the new MacBook Air’s real-world performance is “faster,” but the statement doesn’t explicitly mention SSD speeds:
Thanks to the increased performance of the M2, the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro are incredibly fast, even compared to Mac laptops equipped with the powerful M1 chip. These new systems use a new high-density NAND that provides 256GB of storage using a single chip. While the 256GB SSD standards may show a difference compared to the previous generation, these M2-based systems perform faster for real-world activities.
Last month, it was discovered that the 256GB model of the 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip has up to 50% slower read speeds and up to 30% slower SSD write speeds than the equivalent previous generation model in benchmarks.
The dilemma arises from the fact that Apple has switched to using a single 256GB flash storage stick instead of two 128GB chips in the base models of the new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. Configurations equipped with 512GB or more of storage are equipped with multiple NAND chips, allowing for higher speeds in parallel.
If faster SSD speeds are important to your workflow, we recommend configuring the new MacBook Air with at least 512GB of storage.