Apple M2 MacBook Air Reviews Roundup [VIDEOS]

Apple unveiled a completely redesigned 13.6-inch MacBook Air with its new M2 chip under the hood at WWDC 2022 last month. The new notebook became available to pre-order on July 8 and is due to launch on Friday, July 15, over a month after its announcement.

Press embargoes are up a day before the 2022 MacBook Air starts shipping to customers, and reviews have started hitting the web.

Tech bible The Verge‘s Dan Seifert is a fan of the new design, which ditches the MacBook Air’s signature wedge shape for a more squared-off aesthetic:

It’s modern and refreshing and functionally works very well. Some might miss the wedge shape, but I’m not one of them. This new Air is a beautiful computer, and I think this design will work well for the next five (or possibly more!) years or so until Apple updates it again.

Expectedly, there were some mixed opinions about the display notch on the new MacBook Air’s smaller frame. TechCrunch‘s Brian Heater, for one, didn’t mind it much and raved about the screen overall:

I assumed the cutout would be even more pronounced on a smaller screen, but honestly, I mostly forgot it was there after a while. In the end, the feature means Apple’s effectively able to cram more screen into the same footprint

The device trades a Retina Display for Liquid Retina, maintaining roughly the same pixel density (a 2560 x 1600 13.3-inch screen on the 2020 Air and 2560 x 1664 on the new 13.6 system), though the brightness has been bumped from 400 to 500 nits.

CNBC‘s Todd Haselton found that the M2 MacBook Air’s battery will get you through the day and then some:

Apple promises 18 hours of battery life with the screen set at about 50% brightness. I did a video rundown test, just looping a movie nonstop until the battery died, and got just over 17 hours. I was streaming the movie and had things such as the keyboard lights on, which both impact battery life.

Check out more M2 MacBook Pro reviews below:

  • CNet — “MacBook Air M2 Review: Bigger Screen, Better Camera, Faster Chip”
  • Engadget — “MacBook Air M2 review (2022): Apple’s near-perfect Mac”
  • Gizmodo — “M2 MacBook Air Review: Appealing Inside and Out”
  • iMore — “MacBook Air (M2, 2022) review: all-new, all great”
  • Input Mag — “M2 MacBook Air review: Phenomenal on every level”
  • LaptopMag — “MacBook Air M2 review: On the cusp of perfection”
  • Macworld — “M2 MacBook Air review: Apple’s everyday laptop has its Goldilocks moment”
  • PCMag — “Apple MacBook Air (2022, M2) Review: With the move to M2, the Air is fine up here”
  • Pocket-lint — “Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) review: Mac of all trades”
  • The Wall Street Journal — “MacBook Air M2 Review: Apple’s Laptop Upgrade Bests M1 Air on Screen, Processor and Webcam”
  • Tom’s Hardware — “MacBook Air (M2) Review: Thinner, Better, More Expensive”

Reviews of the M2 MacBook Air are largely positive. Tech enthusiasts are almost unanimously loving the Air’s new design, and the M2 chip is a significant step up in performance.

However, The Verge and others pointed out that the 2022 MacBook Air suffers from the same disappointingly slow storage speeds on the base (256GB SSD storage) model as the 13-inch M2 MacBook Pro, which was announced alongside the former at WWDC 2022 and launched last month.

Apple spokesperson Michelle Del Rio told The Verge the following:

Thanks to the performance increases of M2, the new MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro are incredibly fast, even compared to Mac laptops with the powerful M1 chip. These new systems use a new higher density NAND that delivers 256GB storage using a single chip. While benchmarks of the 256GB SSD may show a difference compared to the previous generation, the performance of these M2 based systems for real world activities are even faster.

While benchmarks aren’t exactly representative of real-world performance, they’re certainly indicators. A slower SSD comes with a definitive performance penalty in several everyday workloads.

Users will even see a noticeable difference in file transfer times, as we saw in a previous comparison of real-world performance on the M2 MacBook Pro between the base 256GB model and one with 512GB of storage. Things only get worse in more resource-intensive tasks like photo/video editing and exports.

That said, there’s nothing to worry about if you plan on getting a configuration with 512GB (or more) of storage anyway. Ultimately, the new MacBook Air is a sleek little machine that packs quite a bit of firepower in a fanless design.

You can pre-order the M2 MacBook Air on Apple.ca today. If you order one, be sure to take advantage of Apple’s Back to School promo and nab a free gift card.