Apple released the new MacBook Air with M2 processor last Monday (7). The laptop has a new design, with a screen cutout similar to the iPhone and MacBooks Pro, aside from new colors. The new-generation processor is 18 percent faster than the M1-equipped MacBook Air, which is still available on the brand’s official website. The Air with M2 is already on sale on Apple’s website for 13,299 reais, compared to its predecessor’s 10,999 reais.
Next, let’s take a closer look at the specification changes of the MacBook Air from the M1 generation to the M2 generation.
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The MacBook Air with M2 has a screen with a notch that looks like a MacBook Pro — Photo: Disclosure / Apple
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The design changes of the new generation of Air are very obvious. The first one is pretty obvious when looking at the notebook from the side: the notebook loses its wedge-shaped profile, and the front is thinner than the back. It now features lines of the same thickness along the entire base of the computer, following the design of the Pro model.
In addition to this change in form factor, the MacBook Air with the M2 processor now offers a wider choice of finish colors. In addition to silver and space gray, now available in the outgoing generation, there are also gold and black versions. In terms of interfaces, the device offers MagSafe to connect the power connector and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, as well as a headphone output.
Without a notch, the MacBook Air with the M1 screen is slightly smaller — Photo: Disclosure / Apple
Apple’s laptop displays are of consistent quality, and the Air is no exception. Still, the laptop’s IPS-technology display shouldn’t repeat the same image quality as the acclaimed mini LED panels that current MacBooks Pro come with.
Compared to the Air model it replaces, the new MacBook with the M2 has a slightly larger screen, jumping from 13.3 inches to 13.6 inches. The difference is that the notch needs to be accommodated in the top bar of the display without obstructing the 16:10 aspect ratio screen area below the top bar.
In terms of pixels, not much has changed: if the Air with the M1 is 2560 x 1600 pixels, the version with the newer processor is 2560 x 1664 pixels. An additional 64 pixels on the vertical axis corresponds to the top bar containing the surrounding groove.
Even though it’s an IPS panel, Apple calls it “Liquid Retina” and promises a maximum brightness intensity of 500 nits, compared to the 400 nits maximum brightness of the old Air.
The M2 guarantees 18% better Air performance with the M2 compared to older models — Photo: Disclosure / Apple
The big difference in hardware between one version of the MacBook Air and the other is the processor. Apple’s new laptops debut Apple’s second-generation processor, the M2, which boosts performance by up to 18 percent, according to Apple’s estimates. The new chip has 20 billion transistors, up from 16 billion in the M1.
This performance advantage comes from the performance boost of Apple’s new architecture, improving on the 5nm manufacturing process already used in the M1. Because of this, the M2 is faster and more economical, even though it has the same eight cores as its predecessor.
The Apple graphics processor that is part of the M2 has also been enhanced with two more cores compared to the octet installed in the M1. According to Apple’s estimates, the efficiency gains from the revised architecture and the addition of new cores allow the M2’s GPU to deliver a 35 percent increase in throughput (performance per watt) over the previous model.
The MacBook Air with the M2 GPU offers 35 percent more performance than previous versions of the laptop — Photo: Disclosure / Apple
RAM memory also has novelties. The new M2 comes with 8 to 24 GB of DDR5 type RAM instead of the 8 to 16 GB of DDR4 of the M1. DDR5 enables the processor to exchange up to 100 GB/s of data with RAM.
Like other Apple processors, the M2 is equipped with cores dedicated to artificial intelligence. According to Apple, the so-called Neural Engine is 40 percent faster at performing AI tasks.
MacBook Air with M2 offers MagSafe charging — Photo: Disclosure / Apple
At least according to Apple, the battery is an issue that hasn’t improved. The new Air with M2 offers up to 18 hours of battery life on a full charge, which is the same expected range as the M1 version of the laptop.
Apple has confirmed the launch of the laptop in the Brazilian market, priced at R$13,299. It’s a competitive value compared to options from the Windows world, such as the Dell XPS 13. The Dell model, if on the one hand its performance might lag a bit, at least it ends up in a debate between small-screen notebooks and premium notebooks.
Air with M1 is still available domestically. The M1 version is now even cheaper and can be purchased on Apple’s website for R$10,999.
MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1
|Specification||MacBook Air M2||MacBook Air M1|
|emission||June 2022||November 2020|
|Screen||13.6 inches||13.3 inches|
|Screen Resolution||2560 x 1664 pixels||2560 x 1600 pixels|
|processor||Apple M2 Octa Core||Apple M1 Octa Core|
|RAM memory||8 to 24 GB DDR5||8 or 16 GB DDR4|
|storage||256GB to 2TB||256GB to 2TB|
|graphics card||Ten cores, integrated in M2||Octa-core, integrated in M1|
|Ports and Interfaces||Two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, MagSafe, headphone out, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0||Two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, MagSafe, headphone out, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0|
|drum||up to 18 hours||up to 18 hours|
|weight||1.24 kg||1.29 kg|
|color||Space Gray, Silver, Dark Blue and Black||space gray or silver|
information from apple and network
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