This year's MacBook Air 2022 makes quite a few changes to Apple's lightest laptop, so there's quite a lot to look forward to. The latest MacBook Air offers a revamped and lighter design, new colors, a bigger and brighter display and an improved webcam.
But the big change this year is Apple’s own second generation silicon — the new M2 chip that powers this year's MacBook Air. With the promise of a big performance boost from this new Apple silicon, the MacBook Air has a lot going for it. It may even make it to our best laptop and best MacBook lists.
We'll find out soon enough. Apple has started taking preorders for the MacBook Air 2022. And that makes one question more relevant than ever: Is it worth upgrading to the new MacBookAir or not?
My colleagues have tackled that questions in different ways, including reasons to get the MacBook Air M2 instead of the latest MacBook Pro. For me, there's a lot to consider.
The MacBook Air M2 costs $200 more than last year’s MacBook Air M1 2020, bringing the starting price to $1,199 — a record high for the Air. That price covers the base model with 8GB RAM and 256GB storage. If you upgrade to a massive 24GB of RAM and 2TB of storage, that maxed-out model of Air will cost you a whopping $2,499. That’s a lot of money to shell out for any laptop, including the MacBook Air.
Whether you are considering a purchase for school or work, this is a laptop that did not disappoint in our hands-on preview. My colleague Tony Polanco thinks the MacBook Air 2022 could make him ditch Windows for the first time. But for me, there's just one main reason that I would buy the MacBook Air 2022.
The M2 powerhouse
Apple's latest silicon chip, the M2 is the most attractive thing to me about the new MacBook Air. The M2 offers blazing performance with a 8-core CPU, highlighted by four performance cores.
Because of the M2 powering the machine, Apple says the laptop can handle intense workloads 40% faster than the previous M1 chip. Even working on apps like Photoshop is a smoother experience and Apple says it's 20% faster than before.
Looking at MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Air 2020, the two laptops have a lot of similarities but also some key contrasts — namely price and the processors inside each MacBook.
As someone who who uses the MacBook Air 2020 as my daily driver, I can safely say that Apple excelled with the M1 chip in the 2020 Air. It's super snappy with media, multitasking and heavy applications working very smoothly, even after two years of using the laptop. If the M2 chip is that much better than the M1, the MacBook Air M2 is definitely worth getting your hands on.
It's true that the difference in performance between the two Air’s would only be slightly noticeable when you're performing day-to-day tasks. But if you're coming from an even older laptop than the MacBook Air 2020, the new Air should offer a noticeable boost.
The MacBook Air isn't the only hardware Apple's released this year powered by an M2 chip. You'll also find that silicon in the MacBook Pro 13-inch (M2) 2022 announced at the same time as the MacBook Air. A MacBook Air 2022 vs MacBook Pro 2022 13-inch comparison finds that the MacBook Pro offers a 10-core GPU in its base model to the 8-core GPU in the Air. But the MacBook Air pulls ahead by promising its Pro-like performance in a more portable chassis; it also cost $100 less than the MacBook Pro.
It's no secret that Apple seems to be focussing its efforts toward its own chips. The M1 chip was introduced by the company nearly two years ago, and since then, Apple has launched five different chips, ranging from the M1 to the M1 Ultra and now the M2.
MacBook Air M2 outlook
As I've said, the MacBook Air M2 has a lot going for it. The bigger, brighter display and upgraded 1080p webcam are great features too, but may not be enough for users to make that $200 leap from the MacBook Air M1, which remains available from Apple.
That’s where Apple’s knight in shining armor comes in, in the form of M2. With stellar performance, you might even forgive Apple for providing you with just two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports and a headphone jack.
Plus you can’t ignore the fact that the MacBook Air is stunning. The new Air is smaller in volume and much lighter with a sleek aluminum unibody that is classic of the Air design. My favorite color is the Midnight Blue — which looks like it shifts from a dark to a brighter blue.
You can also check out our full comparison between the MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1 to decide which one you should buy.