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MacBook Air 2022 release date is July 15 — and preorders start this Friday

MacBook Air 2022 left side
(Image credit: Future)

Update: MacBook Air 2022 preorders live now — how to get yours

It's official: Apple's MacBook Air 2022 will begin shipping on July 15 with pre-orders going live at 8 a.m. ET on Apple’s website (opens in new tab)

This is nearly a month after the release of the new MacBook Pro 13-inch. Like that laptop, the MacBook Air packs the new Apple M2 chip, but that's where most of the similarities end, as the MacBook Air is shaping up to arguably be the better notebook for most people.

The $1,199 entry-level MacBook Air 2022 model features a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina (2560 X 1664) display, 8GB of unified memory and 256GB of storage. It costs more than its predecessor, the MacBook Air M1, but offers a slew of features beyond a new chipset.

It has been completely redesigned with a thinner and lighter body and comes in four new colors. The laptop also has an improved audio system, a 1080p webcam with better low-light performance and MagSafe charging.

MacBook Air 2022 display

The MacBook Air 2020 has a larger screen than the MacBook Pro 2022. (Image credit: Future)

As our benchmark tests have revealed, the Apple M2 chip is a marked improvement over the M1 chip. The M2 helped the new 13-inch MacBook Pro earn a score of 8,911 in the Geekbench 5.4 multi-core CPU performance test. This is better than 7,521 scored by its predecessor and even defeats some of the best Windows laptops with the latest Intel Core 12th gen CPUs, including the Lenovo Yoga 9i Gen 7, which scored 7,150.

Based on our hands-on experience with the MacBook Air 2022, the laptop seems like it could be one of the best laptops of the year. Though the new MacBook Pro has mostly the same silicon core, its dated design, 720p camera and lack of a MagSafe charger make it less enticing than the sleek and modern-looking next-gen MacBook Air.

With that said, the MacBook Pro 2022 has the longest-lasting battery life of any laptop we’ve tested. Apple claims the MacBook Pro’s active cooling allows it to have sustained performance over the fan-less MacBook Air. We’ll put that claim to the test after we’ve put the Air through our litany of battery tests.

Tony Polanco
Tony Polanco

Tony is a computing writer at Tom’s Guide covering laptops, tablets, Windows, and iOS. During his off-hours, Tony enjoys reading comic books, playing video games, reading speculative fiction novels, and spending too much time on Twitter. His non-nerdy pursuits involve attending Hard Rock/Heavy Metal concerts and going to NYC bars with friends and colleagues. His work has appeared in publications such as Laptop Mag, PC Mag, and various independent gaming sites.