The new MacBook Air 2022 is a beast — so why can it handle only a single external display?

MacBook Air 2022 left side
(Image credit: Future)

Apple unveiled the MacBook Air 2022 during its WWDC 2022 keynote on June 6. Considering how rare hardware reveals at WWDC can be, seeing the new MacBook Air was a big deal. 

We were impressed with the new M2-powered laptop during MacBook Air 2022 hands-on, including its smaller and lighter design, brighter and bigger 13.6-inch display and sharper 1080p webcam. Based on that and the new updates coming to macOS 13 Ventura later this year, the MacBook Air 2022 could end up on our best laptops list.

However, despite its apparent strengths, the MacBook Air 2022 is missing a feature that could be a deal-breaker for some folks.

Like 2020's MacBook Air with M1, the MacBook Air 2022 supports only one external 6K monitor at 60Hz. In comparison, the 2021 MacBook Pro 14-inch and MacBook Pro 16-inch are capable of supporting 2-4 such displays depending on whether they pack an M1 Pro or M1 Max. 

While we knew the new M2 isn’t as powerful as Apple's existing M1 Pro and M1 Max chips, it’s still disheartening to see the MacBook Air 2022 come up short in this area. Still, with a MacBook Air 15-inch reportedly in the works, perhaps Apple will address this shortcoming in a later model.

MacBook Air 2022: New look, same old limits

Perhaps we shouldn’t expect the MacBook Air 2022 to provide the same features seen in more powerful machines. After all, the MacBook Air line doesn't have a reputation for delivering an abundance of ports or features. 

But to be fair, Windows machines like the Dell XPS 13 and HP Spectre x360 both support dual external monitors, so they're arguably more versatile Windows laptops. 

Apple's lightest laptop has earned a devoted following for being performant enough for day-to-day work while staying light and power-efficient enough to carry all day without concern. And based on our early impressions, Apple's latest Air seems like it will be another fine device — even if it can only display to a single external monitor.

MacBook Air 2022 display

(Image credit: Future)

The MacBook Air 2022 has a starting pricing of $1,199 and sports a more compact design that takes up 20% less volume than the previous MacBook Air. 

Like the latest MacBook Pros, it offers MagSafe charging and has support for fast charging via a 67W charger (not included with the base model), with Apple claiming it can reach 50% charge in 30 minutes. 

MacBook Air M2 display photos

(Image credit: Future)

The 13.6-inch display comes with thinner borders and a promised 500 nits of max brightness, which Apple claims is 25% brighter than before. It also has a new 1080p camera with twice the resolution and low-light performance of the old camera. Apple promises up to 18 hours of video playback for battery life.

For everything WWDC-related, be sure to check out our WWDC 2022 recap where we detail what’s happening with iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9 and more.

Tony Polanco
Computing Writer

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 X/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.