About the M2-powered 2022 MacBook Air

(Photos: Apple)
For over a decade, the MacBook Air has been the ideal ultra-portable notebook, inspiring a slew of clones and igniting the ultra-light book laptop craze. It’s light, strong, and pushed the boundaries of what people believed could be accomplished in such a compact box.اضافة اعلان

In terms of design, the MacBook Air has not been modified much since Steve Jobs initially pulled its super-slim body from a manila packet at Macworld in 2008. However, what was impressive in 2008 is now standard, even among lesser-known brands.

Fast forward to the 2022 Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, Apple finally decided to overhaul the MacBook Air range properly. It not only has the newly-unveiled M2 chipset, but it also has a revamped — while retaining the still super-slim — form factor and a variety of new colors.

A lightweight powerhouse
The M2 MacBook Air features a new chassis design, but it is still as light and thin as ever. Apple chose to stick with the slimline stylings that have made the brand so successful in the past.

The tapered shell that gave earlier models of the Air its razor-sharp profiles has been replaced by a flatter appearance that is more in line with the MacBook Pro series. It is only 11.3mm thick and weighs 2.7lbs (1.22kg), making it somewhat lighter than the most current models.

There are a few more color options available for fellow Apple fans — while there are no greens, yellows, or lilacs as previously indicated — silver, space grey, midnight, and starlight hues are available to choose from.

One of the most welcomed features of the new 2022 MacBook Air design is a comeback. MagSafe enthusiasts will be relieved to learn that the snap-on, snap-off charging mechanism has made its long-awaited return, which means that the two onboard Thunderbolt ports are now free for accessory usage only.

The MagSafe charging wire will also be color-matched to the color of your MacBook Air. Those who want to listen to or make music on the M2 MacBook Air will adore the presence of a 3.5mm headphone socket with compatibility for high-impedance headphones, which is useful for all that high-resolution Apple Music streaming.

In terms of display, when you look at the screen, you will see a 13.6-inch, 2560x1664 Liquid Retina Display. The premium mini-LED panel was always a long shot. Still, it did not make the cut this time, which is unexpected considering the price effect it would have had on what is essentially Apple’s entry-level portable computing device.

With 500 nits of brightness and smaller boundaries than prior generations (camera notch aside), the new MacBook Air with M2 CPU appears to have more screen real estate than previous versions. It is beautifully vivid, supports up to 1 billion distinct hues, and is bright enough to be readable even under the harsh Apple Park store lighting.

There’s also a 1080p FaceTime webcam built on top, which users hope will provide better quality than the Studio’s display.

Apple also appears to be responding to fan complaints by hitting the keys again. There is plenty of travel above the huge Force Touch trackpad, and the keys are satisfyingly clicky.

There is also a full-height set of function row keys and a useful Touch ID sensor in the upper right for password-free log-in and payment authentication. Four speakers capable of Dolby Atmos spatial audio playback are also located between the keys and the screen (though we have yet to hear them in action).

The long-awaited M2 Chip

The M2 processor is undoubtedly the most fascinating aspect of the new MacBook Air for 2022. Apple’s second-generation custom silicon sounds like a beast — not quite as powerful as the first-generation M1 Max and M1 Pro iterations, but not far off.

Using a new 5nm manufacturing process and packing in 20 billion transistors, Apple claims 8 percent better CPU performance, a 35 percent more powerful GPU, and a 40 percent quicker Neural Engine than the M1. This increased transistor count also enables the memory controller to produce 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth, a 50 percent increase over the M1.

The M2 is divided into two parts: an 8-core CPU (four for high performance, four for efficiency) with a bigger cache and an 8- or 10-core GPU. Compared to the M1, the 8-core GPU option provides 18 percent greater graphics performance vs power, while the 10-core GPU option doubles that.

Power efficiency is also excellent, with up to 18 hours of movie playing and 15 hours of wireless web browsing per charge on the Apple TV app. Fast charging with a suitable charger is now available over a 67W USB-C connector, allowing you to reach 50 percent capacity in just 30 minutes.

In terms of setup, you can upgrade the base 8-core GPU to a 10-core GPU, pick between 8GB, 16GB, or 24GB of RAM, and a 256GB, 512GB, 1TB, or 2TB SSD.

Cost and availability
The 2022 M2 MacBook Air will be available in Apple Stores beginning next month, with pricing starting at approximately JD980.

That makes it somewhat more costly than the still-selling M1 MacBook Air, which will remain available for around JD750.

A fresh design and generation chipset was never going to be inexpensive. It also means that the MacBook Air is now priced in line with the entry-level 13-inch MacBook Pro, forcing prospective purchasers to decide if ultra-portability or more ports are the most crucial features on their laptop shopping list.

The verdict
The presence of the new M2 processor would have been sufficient to entice those drawn to the MacBook Air’s small design. However, a new set of colorful design options and a revamped chassis will make consumers considering an entry-level MacBook Pro think twice before spending their money.

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