much better than Air M1 but at what price

Apple’s new MacBook Air M2 is a completely different machine than the previous Air M1. The previous generation as an innovation presented only the Silicon M1, an innovation that turned out to be a breakthrough. Air M2 changes everything, it changes the design, display, internal layout and changes the SoC, the Silicon M2 is here.

Apple MacBook Air M2 design

The new MacBook Air M2 has a design that is clearly reminiscent of Apple’s past, and in the Pro 14 the rounded shapes and soft lines return. The number of ports doesn’t improve like the Pro 14 though, there’s the return of MagSafe but it only comes with two USB-C ports. Oh, there’s the high-impedance audio jack.

Aesthetically, there’s a much larger apple on the back, the absence of MacBook Air writing on the screen profile, and compared to the Pro 14, the writing is also absent on the bottom lid. I am also changing the materials used, aluminum is now 100% recycled, good for the environment.

macbook air m2 full

No change of philosophy to upgrade components. Everything is welded under the body, “SSD” is included (like the pro M2, even the Air M2 in the base 256GB trim offers much slower memory than the Air M1.) The leakage system is further reduced compared to the Air M1, there seems to be only one aluminum foil to absorb and dissipate the heat of the M2. Such a solution is not enough for the M2, in the performance chapter we will see why. The important thing is to know that with simple thermal pads it is possible to disperse the heat better, transferring it better to the rear body.

The MacBook Air M2 looks beautiful, both inside and outside. On the inside it is extremely neat with all its flaws, on the outside it is extremely elegant, thin and light. This however does not give way to a low-alloy feel, the MacBook Air M2 is compact and extremely bulky while being very thin. Be careful with the paint, the new Mezzanotte gets dirty which is a treat and tends to scratch easily.

Apple MacBook Air M2 Keyboard and Touchpad

Macbook air m2 keyboard

The classic Magic Keyboard (with a lot of Touch ID working perfectly) the backlight has been tweaked slightly but the effect doesn’t change, it’s fantastic. The keys are always well spaced, the precision in construction is clearly perceptible, each individual keycap is balanced to seek maximum typing speed.

The keyboard is satisfactory even after long sessions of use, it is also worth noting the presence of a slightly muffled sound. Its ergonomics are excellent, the proportions studied by Apple between the trackpad, the keyboard and the palm rest are perfect. More closed sound even for the huge trackpad embedded in glass. A trackpad with touch power can make a difference, the best on the market.

Apple MacBook Air M2 display and sound

macbook air m2 display

Apple renews the panel of the Air lineas in the Pro 14 and Pro 16, it reduces the bezels and optimizes the spaces. The exact diagonal is 13.6 ″ with a resolution of 2560 × 1664 pixels which create a density of 224 pixels per inch, the format is always 16:10, the IPS technology and the frames have been reduced to a minimum thanks to the adoption of the notch (with a web camera at 1080p, finally) which does not disturb and in any case there are already very simple ways to hide it.

There is support for the P3 color gamut, sRGB coverage is also decent as well as AdobeRGB. The maximum brightness reaches 500 nits, there is True Tone technology but there is no high refresh rate, it stopped at 60 Hz. Too bad it would be great to have 120Hz.

The MacBook Air M2 is a machine where viewing a series is fantastic thanks to the support of 4 speakers hidden between the hinge of the notebook. The high mids and lows are crystal clear and you don’t need a keen ear to understand how much attention has been paid to the audio department with the high impedance support for the audio jack as well.

Apple MacBook Air M2 Specifications

macbook air m2 profile

Some numbers of the test version with Apple Silicon M2. The production process is a 5nm, octa-core CPU but with 4 high-performance cores and 4 energy-saving cores, 10-core GPU, Media Engine and Neural Engine. The SoC is also integrated with 8GB of RAM, which is now shared between parts to keep latency to a minimum. Here are the Apple MacBook Air M2 Technical Specifications:

  • Apple Silicon M2 processor
  • 8 GB integrated RAM
  • 512 GB SSD
  • 13.6″ screen
  • 4 speakers
  • WiFi 6
  • Bluetooth 5
  • 2 USB-C
  • MagSafe
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • 52.6 Wh battery

Apple MacBook Air M2 performance

use macbook air m2

There is still macOS Monterey installed on this Air M2, Ventura will arrive in just a few months. No problem, between Monterey and Ventura not much changes and the Air M2 user experience is already at a very high level. In day-to-day operations, however, it’s not easy to appreciate the performance boost coming from the new M2 compared to last year’s Silicon M1.

To appreciate this boost you need specific benchmarks and tests, you need long runs because in the short and frenzies, the M2 is very fast, but the M1 was already fast. As expected there is thermal throttling, the performance drops considerably after 5 minutes of heavy use, there is no exhaust system suitable for the thermal requirements of the M2 and therefore after only 5 minutes of pressure operation the MacBook Air M2 will heat up noticeably with temperatures easily reaching i 92 °. If you push the CPU and GPU at the same time, it is not difficult to exceed 100 degrees.

All usage scenarios of this MacBook Air are covered without any kind of problem, there is not a single aspect where this MacBook Air M2. Actually there is one and it is gaming. It’s Apple’s choice, there are no titles and the ones that are there aren’t the best, they’re old games. The power of the new GPU is there, the boost compared to the Air M1 is significant, but still below an M1 Pro.

The MacBook Air M2 is perfect for everyday use, it is comfortable, light, functional and with a performance to consumption ratio that remains absolutely high and unattainable by the competition. But to numerically quantify the performance difference with the previous generation, here’s a series of tests and benchmarks between the Silicon M2 and the Silicon M1.

Benchmark Apple MacBook Air M2

Benchmark coming soon.

Apple MacBook Air M2 autonomy

macbook air m2 battery life

What makes the Air M2 truly magical is the performance/consumption ratio. The battery is 52.6 Wh, the power supply in the package is 35 W with dual USB-C output and MagSafe capable of saving the Mac in case of danger. In 30 minutes the 33W power supply can recharge the battery by 28%.

The Air M2’s battery life is consistently excellent, thanks to the new E cores when doing low load operations it will last a little longer than an Air M1, while thanks to the new P cores when you push it it will last a little less. Specifically with 70% brightness and 60% volume Apple MacBook Air M2 achieves these real autonomy results:

  • Video playback: 17 hours and 25 minutes
  • Working on Safari + Youtube in the background: 13 hours and 45 minutes
  • Using Photoshop (Rosetta): 8 hours
  • Offline use with Word: 18
  • Game use: 3 hours

Conclusions Apple MacBook Air M2

macbook air m2 review

Not long after, as can already be assumed from the first rumors about it The MacBook Air M2 is a fantastic machine at the end of the day. Doing better than the previous Air M1 wasn’t hard, just update the whole machine to the new standards and that’s it.

With a new, finally modern design, a display without huge bezels, a 1080p webcam and MagSafe to free up some ports, this MacBook Air M2 had to be adequate in terms of performance and consumption alone. And anyway, thermal thriller aside, it is.

With the Silicon M2 it is a machine capable of saying so much in many respects, even those that are pushed a little more for Air, such as video processing thanks to the Multimedia Engine or graphics thanks to the 10-core GPU. For everything else, for everyday use, a Macbook Air M1 was already fine, with this M2 doing even better.

The main problem is the price. The MacBook Air M2 costs a lot, starting at €1,529 for the 256GB version that suffers from the slower memory problem, honestly a release to avoid. By upgrading to 512 GB to have fast internal memory you raise the price to 1759 Euros. Too much for a MacBook Air, it’s priced close to a MacBook Pro 14 with an M1 Pro, but offers much more power, more ports, and an impressive 120Hz MiniLED display.

Sure, the Air M2 is very light and very thin but also very expensive. It will start to get interesting with a normal price drop, placing it right in the middle of the Air M1 and Pro 14. If you have a lot of money to spend and don’t care about an ultra-slim notebook, the Pro 14 is a better choice. if you are on a budget, the old Air M1 is still very good and will be on time. if, on the other hand, you’ve fallen in love with its shapes, with its excellent portability, the MacBook Air M2 is an interesting machine but the ticket price is high.

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