Apple’s WWDC is usually not an event where the company presents new hardware. This year, however, there is a new MacBook Air with a more powerful M2 chip, a new screen, Pro design and a MagSafe connection at a higher price. The MacBook Pro 13 inch is also being modernized.
M2 in a new housing with a larger display and notch
After many years of the iconic wedge shape, the 2022 model of the MacBook Air is getting a new, 20 percent smaller housing that follows the current MacBook Pro generation with a more angular design language. Nonetheless, it’s thinner than the old model at 11.3 millimeters; the weight, on the other hand, falls only marginally to around 1.2 kilograms. Contrary to isolated rumors that Apple is working on a 15-inch MacBook Air, there is no completely new form factor. Nevertheless, the screen has grown from 13.3 to 13.6 inches due to thinner display edges, but there is now the notch at the top of the screen, which is already known from the Pro model. Peak brightness increases by 25 percent to 500 nits.
Inside, a drilled SoC from TSMC’s 5-nanometer production works with the Apple M2, which was also presented at the WWDC. Four cores trimmed for performance and four for efficiency should offer up to 20 percent more power than the MacBook Air with M1 chip. With up to ten GPU cores, the graphics performance even increases by 38 percent – that’s more than Apple promises for the jump from the fast M1 to the fast M2, so the new MacBook Air also has a share in it. In terms of memory, a maximum of 24 GB of RAM and 2 TB of SSD storage can be configured. The notebook still doesn’t need a fan, the cooling remains completely passive. Apple continues to state the battery life as 18 hours of video playback.
What is new is the MagSafe charging port, which replaces USB-C and has previously returned to the MacBook Pro. There are also two Thunderbolt 3 ports with a USB-C socket and a 3.5mm jack, which Apple says is also suitable for high-impedance headphones. Other innovations are now four speakers instead of two, improved microphones and finally a 1080p webcam. Also new is quick charging with 67 watts, which provides 80 percent of the battery capacity in 20 minutes.
From July no longer available in the entry-level segment
The new MacBook Air is slated to be available in July 2022 in Silver, Space Gray, Starlight, and Midnight colors. The recommended retail price for the basic configuration with an 8-core CPU and GPU, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD and a 30-watt power supply is now around 1,500 euros – the Air is no longer an entry-level notebook at the latest. The maximum configuration even costs around 3,000 euros. Meanwhile, the MacBook Air with the M1 chip will continue to be offered and will cost the same from around 1,200 euros.
Apart from that, the MacBook Pro with a 13-inch display in the old design with a touch bar will also be updated to the M2 chip. The maximum RAM expansion increases to 24 GB in the course of this, but otherwise there are no innovations there. The model should also be available in July from around 1,600 euros.
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