What’s wrong with Apple’s new MacBook Air M2 (2022)

Expectedly, the best-selling Mac has been updated. After the euphoria of WWDC 2022, it’s time to ask if this new MacBook Air M2 is living up to expectations.

MB Air 2022 // Source: Frandroid-Melinda DAVAN-SOULAS

The MacBook Air has been Apple’s signature laptop since Steve Jobs took it out of an envelope in 2008. This year, Apple announced the fourth major return of the MacBook Air, which changes almost everything.

We compared it to the MacBook Air M1 (2020), MacBook Pro 14 (2021), and MacBook Pro 13 (2022). The range of MacBooks is so wide with machines whose sizes are comparable, but whose performance is very different.

If you haven’t read the various Air M2 articles, including Melinda’s hands-on, here’s a summary of the main changes.

The design of the MacBook Air 2022 is similar to the design of the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 ″, the appearance is more square and the thickness is similar to the whole case.

The screen is now larger, 13.6 inches diagonal, with a notch with a camera now in 1080p definition. The screen can also reach 500 nits of light and ensures a P3 wide color root for a billion colors, but that’s not the Mini-LED technology on the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

In terms of connectivity, there are a few changes, other than the unique addition of MagSafe charging, which allows two Thunderbolt ports to remain available during charging. The audio jack supports high impedance headphones today. The Touch ID button is also a welcome addition.

MagSafe is here

Of course, the biggest change of the MacBook Air is inside the case, with a new M2 chip that Apple says delivers 1.4 times the performance of the M1 model depending on the task, if you choose the more expensive option: the eight -core processor. and a 10-core GPU.

The amount of basic RAM can limit the machine

The new MacBook Air equipped with the Apple M2 chip, like the one with the M1 chip, all have 8 GB of RAM by default, and Apple offers an option, which costs more than 200 euros, up to 16 GB .

We have a few months to compare the 8GB version to the 16GB version of previous M1 Macs. Clearly in Xcode, video export or Lightroom, the 8 GB version is behind its 16 GB big sibling, in all three tests.

Obviously, if you’re doing heavy video editing work, 8GB can give you problems. It’s a shame that it’s still the default amount of RAM on newer MacBook Airs, with a $ 230 option to upgrade to 16GB (and $ 230 more for 24GB). Once again, this may not be an everyday use case, but it shows how far you can push this 8GB RAM suppression. This is powerful for most people, but it can be a real handicap for heavy tasks.

Prices are even higher

The MacBook Air 2022 M2 sells for 1,499 euros and 1,384 euros in the Education price. Apple continues to sell the MacBook Air with an M1 chip and 7-core GPU, from 1,199 euros.

The entry-level is equipped with an M2 with an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD, all for 1,499 euros. The version with M2 10 cores on the GPU side and 512 GB of storage is available at 1,849 euros.

model Apple MacBookAir M1 Apple MacBookAir M2 Apple MacBook Pro 13 Apple MacBook Pro 14
Core chip Apple M1 Apple M2 Apple M2 Apple M1 Pro
Basic RAM 8.16 GB 8, 16, 24 GB 8, 16, 24 GB 8, 16, 32, 64 GB
Primary storage 256 GB 256 GB 256 GB 512 GB
Screen 13.3 “, Retina 13.6 “, Liquid Retina 13.3 “, Retina 14.2 “, Liquid Retina XDR
Connectors 2 USB-C, 1 headphone port 2 USB-C, 1 headphone port 2 USB-C, 1 headphone port 3 USB-C, 1 headphone port, 1 HDMI and 1 SDXC slot
Audio Stereo speakers Quad-speaker audio system Stereo speakers Six-speaker audio system
Battery 49.9Wh battery 56.2Wh battery 58.2Wh battery 70Wh battery
Base rate 1199 euros 1499 euros 1599 euros 2249 euros

In short, dear. Admission tickets for the latest MacBook Air increase as previous models were 1,129 euros and 1,399 euros respectively.

No Mini-LED

The MacBook Air’s screen changes from Retina technology to Liquid Retina. If you don’t already have in mind Apple’s vocabulary, it means that the MacBook Air doesn’t take advantage of the mini-LED technology of the MacBook Pro and the 12.3-inch iPad Pro.

So it’s a classic IPS LCD, while the Mini-LED can be seen on the 12.3-inch iPad Pro. So we have a screen that embeds a notch to enlarge the screen surface (13.6 ″), with thin borders and a brightness that slightly increases from 400 nits to 500 nits. The change is small.

No touch screen

You can tell us: yes, but there is an iPad. However, from 2021, iPhone apps should work on the Mac. Even if the experience is a bit buggy, there are now plenty of iPad/iPhone apps in the Mac App Store.

Screenshot 2022-06-08 at 15.44.01
Fandroid is available in the Mac App Store in the iOS version

Apple has created a system for every iOS application in the Mac menu called ” Touch Alternatives“. It’s a series of buttons, gestures, and other spellcasting incantations for using apps that require a touchscreen on a Mac. Frankly funny and the most obvious sign is that Apple is leaning backwards to avoid doing what it obviously needs to do: put a touchscreen on the Mac.

No fun colors

We doubt this last point, but it remains important. The new colors introduced by Apple are a very beautiful dark blue called “ midnight and a light gold called ” starlight“. There are no fun colors like the iPad Air, it’s a shame for a machine that was supposed to be for the general public.


No USB-C on the right

This is a recurring problem with MacBooks, despite Jony Ive’s abandonment of dreaming of minimalism (we remember the 12-inch Retina MacBook with a USB-C port).

On the right, we have a headphone port

While the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 have full connectivity, including HDMI and SDXC slots, nothing has changed in the Air 2022. There’s no USB-C on the right side of the case, which is an ergonomic problem on some desks.

In fact, the new MacBook Air 2022 is a machine that is definitely a benchmark in the market. However, it’s clear that the price increase and some stinginess from Apple are making us less enthusiastic. Now let’s wait for more tests to better understand what’s on the M2 chip in his stomach.

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