MacBook Air (M2, 2022) Review: Is It the Best Air Yet?

Kutl Ahmedia

 For more than a decade, the Apple MacBook Air has undoubtedly been one of the most well-liked small and light laptop series for both professionals and students. In 2018, Apple gave it a significant design change, and this year it has undergone yet another significant update. The new MacBook Air, which was unveiled in June at the WWDC 2022 conference, is an addition to the current-generation MacBook Pro family and comes with a brand-new Apple-designed chip named M2. According to reports, this new SoC outperforms the M1 in terms of speed and power efficiency while maintaining excellent battery life.

Even though the M2 MacBook Air is more expensive than the M1 Air, Apple is still selling the M1 Air for the time being. It's time to find out if the new M2 Air's numerous minor improvements and a few significant ones over its predecessor are worth the significant premium it asks.

Price and options for the MacBook Air (M2, 2022) in India

With this edition, you get the M2 SoC with an eight-core GPU, a 256GB SSD, 8GB of RAM, and a 30W Type-C power brick with the new MacBook Air, which has a starting price of Rs. 1,19,900 in India. Apple sent me the second pre-configured model, which has a 10-core GPU, 8GB of RAM, 512GB of SSD storage, and a 35W dual-port Type-C power supply and costs Rs. 1,49,900.

Review of the MacBook Air (M1, 2020)

Both of these variations' RAM and storage can be customized as desired, but these components cannot be upgraded in the future, so you must make an informed decision. If you want to go all out, the new MacBook Air can be configured with 24GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD, but it will set you back an outrageous Rs. 2,49,900. If you qualify for a student discount, prices will be somewhat reduced.

In contrast to the M1 Air, the M2 MacBook Air has two new finishes: Midnight and Starlight, in addition to Space Grey and Silver. A USB Type-C power converter, a Type-C to MagSafe 3 connection, and the laptop are all included in the box.

Design of the MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

The M1 MacBook Air could not be distinguished from the earlier Intel-based model, but the new M2 Air cannot be. It has fewer ports and resembles a smaller 14-inch MacBook Pro. The recognizable wedge design of the MacBook Air has been replaced with a base that is evenly thick and a flat lid. Since the body's edges are less sharp, I believe it looks rather lovely and is much more comfortable to use on the lap. Like you would expect from a Mac, the all-aluminum chassis feels really solid and the fit and quality are excellent. There is no indication of the "MacBook Air" anywhere on the laptop, which is odd because Apple has removed the inscription from beneath the display.

Review of the 14-inch MacBook Pro, due in 2021: What Fans Have Been Waiting For

Full apple macbook air m2 review devices360 ww

A more compact version of the 14-inch MacBook Pro may be seen in the new M2 MacBook Air.

Since the M2 MacBook Air lacks a MagSafe charging port, you have two more Thunderbolt ports available. These are USB 4 compliant and have a 40Gbps maximum bandwidth (the same as Thunderbolt 3). The latest MacBook Air can run an external monitor at 60Hz in resolutions up to 6K. On the side opposite the ports, there is a 3.5mm headphone connector that can accommodate high-impedance headphones.

Apple was able to fit a slightly taller and larger 13.6-inch LED-backlit panel with a resolution of 2560x1664 pixels in by reducing the size of the display's top and side bezels. In addition, the brightness has been raised from 400 nits on the M1 Air to 500 nits. Other Apple technologies like True Tone and P3 wide-color spectrum coverage are also present, and the display still has a 60Hz refresh rate.

Similar to the MacBook Pro models, the M2 MacBook Air's display features a notch to make room for an upgraded 1080p FaceTime camera. It takes some getting accustomed to the notch at first, but happily MacOS has been improved to the point that most menu items for programs now automatically wrap around the notch and are not any longer hidden behind it.

Review of the Apple Macbook Air M2 by Design Gadgets 360 EE

The M2 MacBook Air has three improvements: (1) a MagSafe 3 charging port; (2) a revised lid-opening groove; and (3) many vents between the display and base that channel sound. (4) The improved 1080p Face ID camera is located in the notch.

The higher display has the benefit of giving the lower half of the MacBook Air extra keyboard area. Without sacrificing the size of the trackpad, Apple chose to include full-sized function row keys, including the power and Touch ID buttons. In actuality, the Force Touch trackpad on the new M2 Air is a little bit wider. Apple has replaced the perforated speaker grilles on either side of the keyboard with a four-speaker (instead of a two-speaker) system that produces sound through vents located between the display's hinges.

There are only four exposed screws on the base of the new MacBook Air, giving it a simple and minimalistic appearance. This model doesn't have a fan, thus you can anticipate entirely silent operation even while executing demanding workloads, just as the M1-based Air.

Specifications and software for the MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

The M2 SoC, which is an improvement over the M1 but still positioned below the M1 Pro, M1 Max, and M1 Ultra, is the center of attention, according to Apple, in the design of the new MacBook Air. In contrast to the initial switch from Intel CPUs to internal ones, which led to significant speed and efficiency benefits, this new chip delivers relatively modest advancements.

Despite having four billion more transistors than the M1 (20 billion altogether), the M2 is still constructed using a 5nm production technique. A hardware-level encode and decode engine for ProRes video at up to 8K resolution and support for up to 24GB of unified memory (RAM) with greater memory bandwidth of 100GB/s are just a few of the noteworthy advancements. For improved performance, the M2's CPU, GPU, and neural engine cores have all been enhanced.

A touchid gadgets360 ee review of the Apple Macbook Air M2.

A full-sized function key row and a power/Touch ID button are added to the M2 MacBook Air.

According to reports, the 256GB SSD in the M2 MacBook Air base model performs read/write operations at a slower rate than the 512GB model and even the 256GB M1 Air. It has been determined that this is due to the 256GB form of the M2 Air using a single, denser NAND storage chip rather than two, which results in less bandwidth. Although I wasn't able to personally confirm it, it's something to keep in mind.

Although it has a slightly larger 52.6Wh battery and the same claimed runtime of up to 18 hours of video playback, the M2 MacBook Air has Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, and these features. The macOS Monterey operating system that comes preinstalled on the M2 MacBook Air boasts capabilities including spatial audio for FaceTime conversations, Tab Groups in Safari, and, most recently, Universal Control. In the following months, it will also be compatible with Apple's planned macOS Ventura upgrade.

Battery life and performance of the MacBook Air (M2, 2022)

I drove the M2 MacBook Air every day for a few weeks while conducting this study to see how it handled a mix of business and pleasure activities. Other than Photoshop, my workflow isn't that difficult; the most of my work is done in Safari. All of my info (more than 200GB) seamlessly and quickly transferred from the M1 MacBook Air to the M2 Air. The download was almost as speedy using wireless technology as it was via a cable connection between the two laptops.

The only aspect of the M2 MacBook Air that initially confused me was its taller screen, but once I got used to it, it was simple to adjust to. Actually, I appreciate having more vertical room when viewing or reading stuff. Although watching movies typically results in bigger black bars, this isn't irritating or particularly visible.

Review of the Apple Macbook Air M2 by Gadgets360 EE

The M2 MacBook Air's display is clear and bright, making it ideal for both work and pleasure.

Slack, PDF readers, Safari, Spotify, and even Photoshop are examples of common apps whose performance I did not detect much of a difference between the M2 MacBook Air and the M1 when using. The earlier M1 Air, which also had 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage, was just as quick to start up or wake from sleep, programs loaded swiftly, and editing images seemed just as fluid. The M2 Air's keyboard and trackpad are both good for typing, and the display offers brilliant colors and excellent brightness.

The M2 Air's new four-speaker system sounds slightly warmer and fuller than the M1 system, but not noticeably so. For a laptop this thin, low-end frequencies have a respectable amount of bass, and vocals and mid-range frequencies are properly reproduced with good clarity. Additionally, both laptops have a comparable maximum volume level.

According to Apple, heavier operations like video editing or converting ProRes RAW video files should show the performance gap between M2 and M1 MacBook Airs the most. The M2 Air encoded a one-minute ProRes 4K (422 HQ) footage captured on an iPhone 13 Pro Max (Review) to 1080p (H.264) in 31.9 seconds, compared to the M1 Air's 47.8 seconds. However, the change was barely noticeable when the same file was converted to 4K (H.264). Benchmark results show a substantial performance gain for the M2 Air, as seen in the table below. Air MacBook (M2)

(8GB RAM, 10 core GPU, 512GB SSD)

Air MacBook (M1)

(512GB SSD, 8GB RAM, 8 core GPU)

Test of Blackmagic Disk Speed

(Higher is preferable)

5GB Read 2,703.7MB/s 2,853.7MB/s

Write 2,405.7MB/s 2,655.3MB/s

1GB Read 2,824.3MB/s 2,847.4MB/s

Write 3,032.7MB/s 2,875.3MB/s

Movie Bench R23 (higher is better)

Single-core 1,584 points, 1,500 points

Multi-core 7,686 points, 8,242 points

5 Geekbench (higher is better)

Single-core CPU (Apple silicon): 1,787 points, 1,749 points


7,728 pts. 8,356 pts.

Compute Metal 20,798 points, 29,953 points.

OpenCL 18,712 points, 27,620 points

benchmarks for browsers (higher is better)

201 points on WebXprt 4

Web 3.0 baseline: 1,179.2 points; 1,126.2 points

Jetstream 2 222.8 points to 201.8 points.

Last Cut Pro (lower is better)

1080p from ProRes 4K (422 HQ) (H.264)

31.9% sec. 47.8% sec.

to 4K (H.264)

41.85 sec 42.1 sec

On the M2 MacBook Air, casual games from Apple Arcade performed admirably. I played a few, including the enjoyable games Jetpack Joyride 2 and Asphalt 9: Legends. Although the Mac is not the ideal platform for AAA games, popular titles like Metro Exodus and Shadow of the Tomb Raider are accessible. To determine if it was at least playable, I attempted the Shadow of the Tomb Raider Steam version on the M2 MacBook Air. The built-in benchmark averaged 29 frames per second with the resolution set to 1920x1200 and the 'High' graphics preset, which is quite good. Even with the same settings, the M1 Pro SoC in the 14-inch MacBook Pro is still much more powerful, managing 48 frames per second.

Compared to the M1 Air, the M2 MacBook Air boasts an improved 1080p FaceTime HD camera, although it still has a three-mic setup. The M2 Air's webcam created stronger facial texturing and highlights when there was adequate natural light in the room. The video stream was significantly less grainy in low light than what the M1 can generate, but it was still not close to the quality of an iPhone 13 Pro's front camera.

This seems to have been a purposeful action. When iOS 16 and macOS Ventura are released, you'll be able to make video calls while using other features like Center Stage, Portrait Lighting, etc. by connecting your iPhone wirelessly to a MacBook. Additionally, Apple has the chance to sell you specialized mounts that allow you to attach your iPhone to your MacBook.

Review of the Apple Macbook Air M2 by Gadgets360 ww

The dual-port 35W power adapter for the 10-core GPU M2 MacBook Air is included with the device.

Even during the Intel era, the battery life of a MacBook was one of its defining features, and it has only become better since Apple switched to its own silicon. Similar battery life to the M1 Air's is something the new M2 MacBook Air delivers on. On a typical day, after seven to eight hours of use for work, the battery would typically still have about 40% of its capacity. This was sufficient for some light gaming or movie viewing after work, and since standby uses very little energy, I typically had enough juice left over for the next day as well.

Unlike the more compact version included with products sold in the US, the dual-port 35W power brick supplied in India resembles the earlier 30W brick. With the battery at 10%, I was able to use the MagSafe connector to charge the M2 MacBook Air up to 39% in 30 minutes and up to 66% in an hour. Apple now offers a 67W power adapter that is believed to be able to charge the M2 Air from zero to fifty percent in around 30 minutes for Rs. 5,800. Strangely, this adaptor just has one Type-C port.


The brand-new M2 MacBook Air is superior than the previous M1 MacBook Air in almost every regard, and it's a class act. It costs roughly Rs. 20,000 more, which is significantly more expensive, but if you want the most recent MacBook design, a better webcam, MagSafe charging, and a faster processor, it might be worthwhile. In order to prevent any potential bottlenecks, I would advise selecting an SSD with at least 512GB of storage. If your budget allows, go with the 10-core GPU model, which comes with that much storage by default as well as a higher-wattage power adapter.

Apple's new M2 SoC is a respectable incremental upgrade over the M1, but if you're hoping for a major leap forward like we experienced when switching from Intel to Apple hardware, that's not going to happen. Going from M1 to M2, depending on your video editing or transcoding procedure, you might or might not observe an improvement.

2020's M1-based MacBook Air is still more than adequate if you're only purchasing one for occasional use or lighter workloads. In actuality, it offers far better value.

If you want a laptop that looks like a MacBook Pro but don't necessarily need the extra processing power or want to pay the higher price, the M2 MacBook Air is a great option. The M1 MacBook Air is still a fantastic value that shouldn't be disregarded for everyone else.


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