Somehow, it’s already been almost four years since Apple redesigned the MacBook Air with a Retina display. That laptop got a big performance upgrade in late 2020 as one of the first computers to ship with Apple’s M1 silicon, but lately the device has started to feel long in the tooth. As expected, Apple is refreshing the MacBook Air today with the just-announced M2 chip inside and a larger, 13.6-inch display. It also includes MagSafe for the first time in years, just like the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pro that Apple released last fall. It also has two Thunderbolt ports (now you don’t have to give one up for charging) and a headphone jack.
The M2 chip comes with an 8-core CPU, up to a 10-core GPU and up to 24GB of RAM — though the base model only comes with 8GB of RAM and an 8-core GPU. And as before, Apple is promising 18 hours of battery life for the MacBook Air. The new Air has a little notch, just like the MacBook Pro, and that notch holds a 1080p webcam that Apple says has twice the resolution and twice the low-light performance of the previous MacBook Air camera. The keyboard also mimics the one on the new MacBook Pro, with a full size row of function keys.
Its design is also reminiscent of the new MacBook Pro, too, with a slightly more squared-off body — and for the first time, the MacBook Air isn’t a tapered wedge design like all the previous models. It’s still extremely thin and comes in a 2.7 pounds, just slightly less than the old model. Colors have been tweaked as well, although we’re unfortunately not getting the bright, iMac-style colors that were rumored. Instead, we’re looking at silver, space grey, “starlight” and “midnight.”
The MacBook Air is, unfortunately, more expensive than before. It starts at $1,199, $200 more than the old model. There’s no word on exactly when it’ll ship, though — they said it would ship next month. And the old M1-powered MacBook Air will stay in the lineup at $999.
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Author: N. Ingraham