Check out the new, more colorful M2-powered MacBook Air

Check out the new, more colorful M2-powered MacBook Air

The MacBook Air has been an iconic laptop design since Steve Jobs pulled it out of a manila envelope in 2008. This year’s model, which Apple just announced at WWDC and is also the first computer Apple notebook to be equipped with an M2 chip, abandons the famous wedge shape but also improves almost everything else about the Air.

The first thing you notice? Colors! The new design is 11mm thick and weighs 2.7 pounds. Although it’s now a more traditional slab-like design, it comes in a really nice dark blue called “midnight” and a light gold called “starlight” in addition to the familiar silver. and space gray.

The screen is now bigger at 13.6 inches and sits closer to the edge of the lid as the 1080p camera has been tucked away in a notch. On this smaller unit, the notch looks a bit larger than MacBook Pros, but over time it seems likely to disappear like all other display notches. The screen is also capable of reaching 500 nits of brightness and supports the P3 wide color gamut for one billion colors, two nice upgrades. We played around with the camera a bit and it looked great in Apple’s brightly lit hands-on area, but we’ll have to test the company’s claims of a 2x low-light improvement over the old Air when we get a review unit.

In terms of ports, that’s not a lot, but the notable addition is MagSafe charging, which keeps both Thunderbolt ports available while charging. The audio jack supports high impedance headphones, which is nice.

Of course, the biggest change to the Air is inside the case, with the new M2 chip which Apple says delivers 1.4 times the performance of the M1 model, depending on the task, assuming you choose the one with an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU. That’s a $100 upsell over the standard M2 which only has 8 GPU cores; the laptop also comes with just 8GB of unified memory by default, with 16GB and 24GB configurations costing $200 and $400 more respectively. During the keynote, Apple said the M2 MacBook Air offered 38% faster “video editing performance” and 20% faster “filters and image effects performance”, but did not not specified which applications he was using for this reference.

Apple also quotes “18 hours” of battery life, but that number is for video playback with all radios off – I guess the M2 has the same stellar all-day battery life as the M1 Air, but 18 hours n certainly isn’t realistic.

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