What changes (and what stays the same) in the new MacBook Air with M2

Rumors were already taking place, and the opening keynote of WWDC22 confirmed: we have a new one MacBook Air between us, and it has a huge load within Apple’s release schedule.

In addition to a completely new design (the first in the Air line in a few years), we also have the debut of the new generation of Apple Silicon and a series of interesting news.

So, it’s time to do our traditional comparative post to understand what changes, specifically, from the new MacBook Air with an M2 chip to its predecessor, with an M1 chip (which is still on sale, it’s worth noting).

Let’s take a look?

Design and dimensions

The biggest change of the new MacBook Air is in sight: the new generation embodies a completely renewed look, clearly inspired by recent MacBook Pros — visual unity matters, after all, whether we like it or not the direction Apple has given its notebooks.

This means that Apple’s new laptop is the first MacBook Air that doesn’t have a wedge shape: the computer has a constant thickness of 1.13 cm, while its predecessor started at 1.61 cm and tapered to 0.41 cm at the bottom. closest to the user. Although the new format may seem a little more plump, the truth is that the new Air is less bulky than the previous one – and a few grams lighter: 1.24 kg against 1.29 kg.

Despite the increase in screen size (more on this later), its other dimensions have barely changed: the width was unchanged at 30.41cm, while the depth increased almost imperceptibly — 21.5cm versus the previous 21.24cm.

Another turning point is in the feet of the new Air, slightly more pronounced and noticeable than in the previous generation. The design allows for more airflow under the machine, which will certainly help with its cooling — which is especially important since we don’t have fans or any active cooling components (something that hasn’t changed from the previous generation). .

MacBook Air colors with M2 chip

Ah, we also have a new color option: in addition to the already known silver, space gray and stellar (which is a slightly lighter version of the previous gold), we also have a new midnight version, with a very elegant dark blue.

Screen

It was inevitable: the screen of the new MacBook Air grew slightly (they are 13.6 inches, against the previous 13.3″) and won the infamous notch that made its debut on last year’s MacBook Pros. The gain, undeniably, is not the greatest: the screen only expanded upwards, where the notch is located — which is evidenced by the resolution of 2560×1664 pixels (they were 2560×1660 pixels, previously). Still, the pixel density has been maintained and the edges around the panel are thinner.

At least the component seems to be better than the previous MacBook Air. We have a Liquid Retina display (still LCD, but of a more advanced type compared to the one used before) with 500 nits of brightness (was 400, previously). The panel, as before, is capable of displaying a wide range of colors (P3) and supports True Tone technology.

Processing

As you probably already know, the new Air is the first to incorporate the M2 chip, Apple’s new generation of processors. The improvements are more discreet (not least because it would be difficult to match the revolution brought by the M1), but still welcome: the new processor is up to 1.4x faster than its predecessor — or up to 15x faster than an equivalent Intel chip — with the same energy efficiency.

The 5 nanometer lithography was kept, as well as the 8 cores — 4 for performance and 4 for energy saving. On the other hand, the GPU1 has been expanded and can now reach up to 10 cores depending on the model, giving up to 35% better graphics performance. And the new chip supports a bandwidth of up to 100GB/s (50% more than the M1).

Plus, the M2 supports up to 24GB of unified memory (previously, the maximum was 16GB) — but you’ll have to pay a lot to configure your MacBook Air this way, as all models still come with 8GB by default.

Keyboard and trackpad

No major changes here: the keyboard remains the traditional Magic Keyboard with a scissor mechanism — and, unlike the MacBook Pro, Apple chose to keep the single-color design, in which the chassis color itself remains on the board between the keys. Furthermore, for the relief of everyone some, the rumors of a white keyboard did not materialize: the keys remain black, as always.

The biggest change is in the row of function keys, which are now similar in height to the other keys — Touch ID, of course, remains firm and strong in the upper-right corner of the keyboard. With that, however, the trackpad lost a few millimeters of area, but nothing that should interfere with the day-to-day use experience.

camera and sound

Of course that one notch isn’t there for the ride: the new Air has a very welcome improvement in its built-in camera, which now has 1080p (up from 720p, previously) and advanced image processing, which — according to Apple — guarantees far superior performance in environments in low light.

We also have a set of three microphones with directional spatial filtering (nothing new) and a much improved sound system: now there are four speakers, with wide stereo sound and Spatial Audio compatible when playing music and videos with Dolby Atmos.

connections

In terms of physical connections, no big news: the new Air keeps the two Thunderbolt/USB4 ports, both on the left side of the machine. The big news, in the new generation, is the MagSafe port for loading — more on that soon. On the right, the 3.5mm headphone output now supports high-impedance accessories.

In terms of wireless connection, nothing new: we still have support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0, nothing new.

battery and charging

In terms of battery life, Apple here promises numbers exactly the same as the previous MacBook Air – which were already absolutely impressive, it’s worth noting. That’s up to 15 hours of Wi-Fi browsing, or 18 hours of video playback on the Apple TV app. The battery itself of the new Air has increased slightly (52.6Wh against 49.9Wh previously), which certainly makes up for the higher processing power of the M2 chip.

The biggest changes are in the way you can charge your MacBook Air. As mentioned above, in this generation we have the return of the MagSafe port, which has a magnetic connector which allows you to recharge the computer more safely — after all, the machine will not fly away if someone trips over the cable. The charging cable provided with the new MacBooks Air, by the way, is already USB-C to MagSafe type (in the same color as the machine, by the way), but you can still charge it via USB-C as before.

Another big news is the arrival of fast charging. If you opt for a 67W power adapter (which is optional), the computer can reach 50% charge in just 30 minutes via MagSafe.

35W Dual USB-C Port Compact Power Adapter

It is worth noting that Apple has launched with the new Air a new socket adapter option, with 35W and two USB-C ports, so that you can charge your computer and another device simultaneously. In the case of the cheaper MacBook Air M2, this accessory can be purchased as an option in the machine’s settings; on the more expensive model, it comes in the box as standard.

Price

Unfortunately, not everything is rosy: along with the new design, M2 chip and improved display, the new MacBook Air also had an increase in its price. In the USA, the new model starts from the US$1,200. That’s $200 more than the previous model — which, it’s worth noting, is still on sale (and at the same price as before).

In Brazil, the values ​​also increased, but at a milder rate (because all Mac prices were once again readjusted downwards). The new Air departs from BRL 13,300against R$12,320 for the previous model.


With all that said, now the ball is with you: what did you think of the update? Leave opinions, criticisms, praise, doubts, anxieties and any other comments below. 😉

MacBook Air

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