MacBook Air M2: We got our hands on Apple’s newest laptop

This story is part of WWDC 2022full CNET coverage from and on Apple’s annual developer conference.

Apples new MacBook Air with M2 power it adds a lot of new features, but it also brings back my favorite least – the starting price of the laptop is over $ 999.

For much of its life, the MacBook Air sat at a comfortable $ 999, but inside In 2018, a redesign raised the price by $ 200. By 2020, the starting price was back to $ 999 and I felt things were the way they should be.

Guess what? Now it’s 2022, and with another redesign, the MacBook Air starts at $ 1,199 … again.

I’m only talking about it because that significant leap to a very traditional laptop will put it out of reach for many of the students and artists who could make the most of it. Aside from that, I like almost everything else in the new version. It’s also worth noting that the late 2020 MacBook Air M1 remains available, for now, for $ 999.

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Practice with Apple’s new MacBook Air M2


After that of Monday Keynote WWDC 2022, I got a chance to have some hands-on time with the new MacBook Air. It wasn’t that long, so I focused mostly on the new physical design and the look and feel of the system.

The MacBook Air M1, one of the first sets of Macs to move from Intel to Apple Silicon, isn’t an ugly machine, but it is based on a design launched in 2018, which is about an eternity in computer terms. The new version moves from the traditional soft, tapered design to the more boxy, boxy look of the late 2021 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro laptops. It’s a more modern and more constructivist design (as it largely rejects decorative stylization) .

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MacBook Air M2

Dan Ackerman / CNET

But the new MacBook Air goes beyond the Pro models it copies in one important aspect: it adds a new color to the usual gray and silver (and the M1 Air’s gold): a new Midnight color, which appears as a matte black finish. It’s hands down the most striking new MacBook look in a long time and reminds me of the old matte black polycarbonate MacBooks from the mid-2000s.

Its footprint is a hair smaller than before, as is weight, at 2.7 pounds versus 2.8 pounds for the MacBook Air M1. But the new model felt even smaller and more portable than the one when I picked it up, especially since it’s thinner, at 11.3mm. The M1 version tapers, but measures 16mm on the rear hinge.

The new MacBook Air M2 won’t be on sale until July, so it may take some time before I’m able to test it more thoroughly and practically. I am particularly eager to see how its 1080p resolution webcam works, which is probably the most important upgrade for many people who have grown tired of the never-before-seen 720p webcam of previous MacBook Air laptops, up to Version M1.

MacBook Air M2 touchpad

Dan Ackerman / CNET

I’m also very interested in spending more time with the new, slightly larger 13.6-inch screen (versus 13.3-inch), which Apple says is 25% brighter, at 500 nits. It also adds MagSafe, which returned in last year’s new MacBook Pro systems, and its touchpad is, according to Apple, slightly larger, but it wouldn’t put a number or a percentage in it.

Interestingly, hardly any of these improvements are available in the new 13-inch MacBook Pro, also announced at WWDC 2022. It lacks the larger screen, better camera, MagSafe connection, and new colors. It’s, on paper at least, exactly the same as the late 2020 13-inch MacBook Pro, only with the new M2 chip replacement of the M1. However, the only way to get your hands (or fingers) on the quasi remains Touch Bar extinct.

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