Review Of The MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Is This The Best Air Yet?

Review Of The MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Is This The Best Air Yet?

For more than a decade, both professionals and students have arguably found the Apple MacBook Air to be one of the most popular small and light laptop series.

It received a significant design change from Apple in 2018 and has undergone yet another significant update this year. The new MacBook Air, which was unveiled in June at the WWDC 2022 conference, resembles a continuation of the current-generation MacBook Pro family and includes the M2 CPU, a wholly new Apple creation.

The M1 is said to be outperformed by this new SoC in terms of speed and power efficiency while maintaining excellent battery life.

Apple is still selling the M1 Air, at least for the time being, despite the fact that it is more expensive than the M2 model. It’s time to find out if the numerous minor improvements and a few significant ones that the new M2 Air boasts over its predecessor actually justify the significant premium it asks for.

Indian Pricing for The Mac Book Air (m2, 2022) and Its Models

The M2 SoC with an eight-core GPU, a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a 30W Type-C power brick are included in this edition of the new MacBook Air, which has a starting price of Rs. 1,19,900 in India.

The second pre-configured model, which costs Rs. 1,49,900 and has a 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 35W dual-port Type-C power brick, was delivered to me by Apple.

Both of these variations’ RAM and storage can be customized as needed, but you must make a careful decision because you cannot upgrade them later. For a staggering Rs. 2,49,900, you may order the new MacBook Air with 24GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD if you want to go all out. If you’re qualified for a student discount, prices will be a little less expensive.

The M2 MacBook Air has two additional finishes, Midnight and Starlight, in addition to Space Grey and Silver, however, it does not come in Gold like the M1 Air. You receive the laptop, a Type-C to MagSafe 3 connection, and a USB Type-C power converter in the box.

Design for The 2022 Mac Book Air

Review Of The MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Is This The Best Air Yet?

The new M2 MacBook Air cannot be confused with the older Intel-based model, unlike the M1 Air, which might. It has fewer ports and resembles a 14-inch MacBook Pro in size.

Instead of the original MacBook Air’s wedge shape, we now have a base that is evenly thick and a flat lid. I think it has a good appearance and is much more comfortable to use on the lap because of the rounded body edges.

As you would anticipate from a Mac, the chassis is made entirely of aluminum and feels incredibly strong. Strangely, Apple has deleted the ‘MacBook Air’ inscription from below the display, and the laptop is otherwise devoid of any indication of the name.

The new M2 MacBook Air resembles a slimmer version of the 14-inch MacBook Pro in appearance.

Two Thunderbolt ports are still available because the M2 MacBook Air lacks a MagSafe charging port. These have a 40Gbps maximum speed and support the USB 4 specification (the same as Thunderbolt 3).

A 6K external monitor may be powered at 60Hz by the new MacBook Air. The 3.5mm headphone jack, which supports high-impedance headphones, is located on the side of the ports opposite the ports.

Apple was able to fit in a slightly taller and larger 13.6-inch LED-backlit panel with a resolution of 2560×1664 pixels because the bezels on the top and sides of the display have been reduced.

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In addition, the brightness has gone up by 100 nits from the M1 Air’s 400 nits. Still featuring other Apple technologies like True Tone and P3 wide-color gamut coverage, the display still boasts a 60Hz refresh rate.

The display of the M2 MacBook Air features a notch, just like the MacBook Pro variations, to make room for a better 1080p FaceTime camera.

The notch requires some initial getting used to, but happily, MacOS has been improved such that most menu items for apps now automatically wrap around the notch and are no longer hidden behind it.

The taller display’s advantage is that the lower half of the MacBook Air has more room for the keyboard. Apple decided against compromising on the size of the trackpad in favor of full-sized function row keys, including the power and Touch ID buttons.

In actuality, the new M2 Air’s Force Touch trackpad is a little bit bigger. Apple has replaced the perforated speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard with a four-speaker system that produces sound through vents located between the display’s hinges as opposed to the two speakers it previously used.

Only four exposed screws are visible on the base of the new MacBook Air, which features a simple and minimalist appearance. Since this model lacks a fan, it will operate absolutely silently even while handling demanding workloads, just like the M1-based Air.

Software and Specifications for The Mac Book Air (m2) in 2022

Review Of The MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Is This The Best Air Yet?

Apple claims that the M2 SoC, a generational upgrade over the M1 but still positioned below the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra, is the core component of the upcoming MacBook Air.

This new processor delivers more moderate increases in comparison to the initial switch from Intel CPUs to internal ones, which led to enormous speed and efficiency upgrades.

Even though the M2 has four billion more transistors (20 billion total) than the M1 and is physically larger, it is still constructed using a 5nm production method.

Up to a 10-core GPU, support for up to 24GB of unified memory (RAM) with a greater memory bandwidth of 100GB/s, and a hardware-level encode and decode engine for ProRes video at up to 8K are a few of the noteworthy advancements. Performance improvements have also been made to the M2’s CPU, GPU, and neural engine cores.

It has been claimed that the 256GB SSD in the M2 MacBook Air base model performs at a lesser read/write performance than the 512GB variant or even the 256GB M1 Air.

It has been determined that the 256GB model of the M2 Air’s usage of a single, denser NAND storage chip, as opposed to two, which results in lower bandwidth, is the cause of this. Although I wasn’t able to personally confirm this, it’s important to remember.

With the same advertised duration of up to 18 hours of video playback, the M2 MacBook Air has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and a slightly larger 52.6Wh battery.

With macOS Monterey preinstalled, the M2 MacBook Air comes with capabilities including spatial audio for FaceTime calls, Tab Groups in Safari, and, more recently, Universal Control. Additionally, it will qualify for Apple’s forthcoming macOS Ventura update in the near future.

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Performance and Battery Life of The Mac Book Air (m2) in 2022

Review Of The MacBook Air (M2, 2022): Is This The Best Air Yet?

For the purposes of this review, I drove the M2 MacBook Air every day for a few weeks to see how it handled a mix of business and pleasure activities. Apart from Photoshop, most of my work-related tasks are completed in Safari, which makes up my workflow.

My whole data transfer (more than 200GB) from the M1 MacBook Air to the M2 Air was simple and speedy. The transfer was almost as speedy when the two laptops were connected wirelessly as it was when it was wireless.

The one aspect of the M2 MacBook Air that initially confused me was its taller screen, but after that, I quickly became accustomed to it.

In fact, I find the extra vertical room to be beneficial while viewing or reading stuff. When watching videos, there are typically thicker black bars, but this isn’t very bothersome or visible.

I didn’t detect much of a speed difference between the M2 MacBook Air and the M1 when using common apps like Slack, PDF readers, Safari, Spotify, or even Photoshop.

Apps loaded swiftly, and editing images felt just as fluid as it did on the earlier M1 Air, which also had 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage. macOS was just as quick to boot up or wake from sleep.

The M2 Air’s keyboard, trackpad, and display all work quite well for typing, producing outstanding colors and brightness.

In comparison to the M1, the M2 Air’s new four-speaker system sounds a little warmer and fuller, but not noticeably so. Vocals and the mid-range frequencies are properly reproduced with good clarity, while low-end frequencies have a respectable amount of bass for a laptop this thin. Additionally, the maximum loudness on both laptops is comparable.

Apple claims that heavy operations like video editing or converting ProRes RAW video files should be where users will most notice the performance difference between M2 and M1 MacBook Airs.

The M2 Air encoded a minute-long ProRes 4K (422 HQ) clip taken on an iPhone 13 Pro Max (Review) to 1080p (H.264) in 31.9 seconds while the M1 Air needed 47.8 seconds to do the same. The difference was little when the identical file was converted to 4K (H.264), though.

The M2 MacBook Air performed admirably in casual Apple Arcade games. I played a few that I attempted, like Jetpack Joyride 2 and Asphalt 9: Legends, which were enjoyable to play.

Although the Mac isn’t the finest platform for AAA games, it does have a few well-known titles like Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. I tested Shadow of the Tomb Raider’s Steam version on an M2 MacBook Air to see if it was at least playable.

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The built-in benchmark averaged a fairly respectable 29 frames per second with the resolution set to 1920×1200 and the ‘High’ graphics option. With 48fps at the same settings, the M1 Pro SoC in the MacBook Pro 14-inch is still significantly more potent.

The M2 MacBook Air boasts a 1080p FaceTime HD camera that is more advanced than the M1 Air’s, although it still has a three-mic setup. The webcam on the M2 Air produced richer facial texturing and better-exposed highlights when there was adequate natural light in the space.

Compared to the M1, the video stream was far less grainy in low light, but it was still nowhere close to the quality of an iPhone 13 Pro’s front camera.

This strikes me as an intentional action. You’ll be able to utilize your iPhone’s camera as a webcam with a MacBook wirelessly after iOS 16 and macOS Ventura is released. You’ll also be able to use other features like Center Stage, Portrait Lighting, etc. in video conversations. Apple also has the chance to provide you with specialized mounts to attach your iPhone to your MacBook.

Even during the Intel era, a MacBook’s battery life was one of its defining features, and since Apple switched to its own silicon, this feature has only become better.

Similar battery life as the M1 Air’s was promised by the new M2 MacBook Air, and it is more than met. The battery would typically have about 40% left after using it for work for seven to eight hours on a typical day.

As there is little battery depletion on standby, this was sufficient for some light gaming or movie watching after work, and I typically had enough juice left over for the next day as well.

Instead of being more compact like the one included with US-sold products, the dual-port 35W power brick marketed in India resembles the 30W brick from before. I was able to use the MagSafe cable to charge the M2 MacBook Air up to 66 percent in an hour while the battery was at 10% and up to 39 percent in half an hour.

Apple also offers a 67W power adapter that costs Rs. 5,800 and is capable of charging the M2 Air from zero to fifty percent in roughly 30 minutes. Strangely, there is only one Type-C port on this converter.

Verdict

In almost every area, the new M2 MacBook Air is an excellent improvement over the previous M1 model. It costs roughly Rs. 20,000 more, which is a significant premium but might be justified if you want the most recent MacBook design, a better webcam, MagSafe charging, and a more modern processor.

To prevent any potential bottlenecks, I would advise selecting at least a 512GB SSD. If your budget allows, get the 10-core GPU model, which comes standard with that much storage and a higher-wattage power adapter.

If you’re hoping for a significant upgrade as we experienced when switching from Intel to Apple silicon, Apple’s new M2 SoC falls short of your expectations. It is a respectable incremental upgrade over the M1 SoC.

You may or may not notice an improvement in switching from M1 to M2 depending on your video editing or transcoding workflow.

The 2020 MacBook Air, which is built on the M1 processor, is still more than adequate if you’re buying one for occasional use or light tasks. It offers far greater value for the money, in fact.

If you want a laptop that resembles a MacBook Pro but doesn’t absolutely need or desire additional processing power, the M2 MacBook Air is a great option.

The M1 MacBook Air is still a fantastic alternative at a terrific price for everyone else and shouldn’t be passed up.

Kimberly

Kimberly is a freelance writer with a love of writing and traveling. She has been writing for most of her life and has been published in various magazines and online publications. She writes about entertainment, technology, and lifestyle-related topics at Gadgetgrapevine.com. Kimberly is always looking for new writing opportunities and loves learning about new cultures and experiences.

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