I’ve been a Windows-only user for my entire adult life and never gave Apple’s Mac computers a second glance. Not only was I perfectly happy with Windows computers, but Macs were always too expensive for me. But things could change with the arrival of the MacBook Air 2022.
Since joining Tom's Guide, I’ve had a chance to test a handful of the best MacBooks. The MacBook Pro 14-inch turned out to be my first time living with the modern macOS and I found that particular experience pretty eye-opening.
I’m still getting used to macOS, but I'm becoming more accustomed to it each day, especially after using other Macs like the MacBook Pro 2020 and the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2, 2022). That's the device I'm currently using for any Apple-related stories I need to work on, but I’ll have to return that laptop. Because of that, I’ve given serious thought to getting a MacBook of my own.
While the 14-inch MacBook Pro has long been in my sights due to its attractive design and robust power, the MacBook Air 2022 seems like a better laptop for my specific needs. Now that I’ll be able to buy the MacBook Pro 2022 on July 15, the time may have come for me to get a Mac.
Here's why the MacBook Air 2022 could be my first Apple laptop.
MacBook Air 2022 design and features
I’m a big fan of the 2021 MacBook Pros’ flat aluminum chassis, which is both modern and old-school. The MacBook Air 2022 has a similar build, albeit thinner at 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches and a weight of 2.7 pounds.
If I’m going to carry a laptop around, I want it to be as thin as possible. The Air certainly fits that need.
Other features include a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, a 1080p webcam and —perhaps the main design feature I want — MagSafe charging. Not only is it easy to snap the MagSafe connector to MacBooks, but it also keeps your laptop safe from accidents since the power cable snaps off with a hard pull.
The MacBook Air 2022 has four color options: Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Space Gray. I’m eyeing a Midnight laptop since I prefer electronics with darker hues. And while I don’t hate the Touch Bar as much as some others do, I'm glad the new MacBook Air has standard function keys.
MacBook Air 2022 price and specs
The MacBook Air 2022 has a starting price of $1,199. This configuration includes a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina 2560 x 1664 display, 8GB of unified memory, 256GB of storage and an Apple M2 chip with 8 CPU cores and 8 GPU cores. Those specs and that price are pretty solid for most people. However, I want a bit more.
If I get the MacBook Air 2022, I’ll opt for a configuration with 10 GPU cores, 16GB of unified memory and 265GB of storage. Though this bumps the price up by $300 to $1,499, I'll still pay $500 less than the entry-level MacBook Pro 14-inch, which starts at $1,999. Granted, that laptop has a superior mini-LED display, more ports (including HDMI) and a stronger M1 Pro chip. But considering how I won’t use the laptop as frequently as I will my Windows desktop PC, I don’t need all the bells and whistles of 2021's MacBook Pros.
Those specs are all I need for my everyday computing needs, which mostly consist of using Google services like Drive, Docs, Meet and Mail for work. Since I do so much work on Google — specifically on its cloud-based services — 256GB of storage is more than enough. Worst-case scenario, I can always get one of the best external hard drives.
I could probably make do with an 8-core GPU, but I want the extra headroom since I frequently need to edit photos on GIMP. And on the off-chance I need to edit and render a video, 10 GPU cores will let me do so more efficiently.
Regarding gaming, that’s an activity I can engage in on my RTX 3080 Ti-powered desktop. As great as Macs are nowadays thanks to Apple’s M1 and M2 chips, they aren’t yet competent gaming machines. Since I won’t play games on the MacBook Air 2022, the relatively modest specs and storage are more than enough.
The Apple ecosystem and support
In the past months, I’ve slowly entrenched myself in the Apple ecosystem. For those who don’t know, this ecosystem encompasses the company’s various hardware, software and services. Interoperability between devices like the iPhone, iPad, MacBook, Apple Watch, AirPods and Homepod is what makes the Apple ecosystem so strong, and is something companies like Microsoft and Samsung have tried and failed to emulate.
I own an Apple Watch SE, iPhone 13 Pro, AirPods Pro and iPad 7. The missing piece of the puzzle is a Mac, or more specifically, a MacBook. I already use the MacBook Pro 2022 to send messages via iMessage or to edit photos taken with my iPhone thanks to cloud services like AirDrop and iCloud. But as I said, this isn’t my device. Owning the MacBook Air would solidify the whole deal.
Apple’s support for its devices is something that’s also important. The upcoming macOS 13 Ventura is compatible with MacBooks from 2017. If the MacBook Pro 2022 receives similar support, then it should be viable for at least the next five years. I tend to upgrade my desktop every five years anyway, so I won’t have a problem doing the same with a laptop.
Will I get the MacBook Air 2022?
I’m still undecided on when to get the MacBook Air 2022, if I buy it at all. I could snag one when it begins shipping on July 15 or I can wait a little longer.
I'm also not in a rush to get the MacBook Air 2022 since I know Apple will support it for many years. I realize I face the prospect of a newer MacBook Air arriving if I wait too long, but I should still have plenty of time to decide before that happens.
But whether it’s this year or next, the likelihood of me owning the MacBook Air 2022 is very high. Given all it offers, I know I’ll be one happy customer if I decide to take the plunge.