M2 MacBook Air review roundup: The fast and the beauteous | Cult of Mac

M2 MacBook Air review roundup: The fast and the beauteous

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M2 MacBook Air review roundup: The fast and the beauteous
The first reviews of the M2 MacBook Air are very positive.
Photo: Apple

The first reviews of the M2 MacBook Air praise its slimmer design and speedy M2 processor. “Apple’s near-perfect Mac,” says Engadget.

Sometimes reviews are a mix of positives and negatives. Not this time – reviewers found very little to criticize in Apple’s newest notebook.

Redesigned M2 MacBook Air pleases the reviewers

Apple announced the 2022 MacBook Air at its developer conference in June. Like the MacBook Pro from 2021, the new notebook is slim all over. And, of course, it’s one of the first computers with the Apple M2 processor.

“This is a gorgeous computer!” says the Engadget review, which continued:

The new MacBook Air is one of Apple’s most important computers since Steve Jobs pulled the original Air out of an envelope. It shows what’s possible when Apple builds an ultraportable entirely around its mobile chips… Once again, Apple has set a new standard for ultraportables.

The Verge reviewer is also impressed with the design. “It’s remarkably thin — just a smidge over 11 millimeters — and that thinness is immediately noticeable when you open the lid and start typing on it. It’s also noticed whenever you slot it into a bag or carry it around. The older MacBook Air’s tapered shape had less visual weight and may look thinner, but the new model is indeed slimmer than its predecessor.”

The M2 MacBook Air is available in a range of colors. “It’s also nice to see Apple offering a wider variety of finishes,” said Engadget. “In addition to the typical space gray and silver, there’s a brighter starlight case and a sleek black midnight option.”

Not all the comments were 100% positive. Engadget noted that the 13.6-inch screen is 60 Hz, not 120 Hz. “I didn’t expect to see that high refresh rate tech on a mainstream laptop, especially after it didn’t arrive on the 13-inch MacBook Pro. But, at this point, it’s one of the only things keeping the Air from being truly perfect.”

Apple M2 processor brings a speed boost

The second generation of Apple’s own M Series processors are starting to reach customers. The 2022 MacBook Air uses the M2, which Apple says is up to 18% faster than the M1.

The CNBC review says, “The M2 chip was plenty fast for my needs, such as running lots of tabs in Safari, playing music, watching movies or light gaming. I thought the M1 was great, too, so people coming from that chip may not notice a huge difference unless you’re timing things such as video rendering speeds.”

Engadget got more detailed, saying that its review unit scored 8665 on the Geekbench 5 multicore benchmarking test. The M1 MacBook Air from 2020 scored 6292 on that same test, so the new notebook did 38% better.

But Engadget also warned that the M2 MacBook Air fanless design slows the device down when performing lengthy, very demanding tasks because of thermal throttling.

M2 MacBook Air offers all-day battery life

There’s good news for those worried that the faster new processor will hurt battery life.

“In my battery testing, the M2 Air performed exactly the same as the M1 model,” said The Verge review. “That means I got between eight and 10 hours of real-world use out of it with the display set to a comfortable 200 nits of brightness and using Chrome, Slack, multiple Spaces, all my menu bar apps, Zoom calls, and lots of other inefficient things I do throughout the day.”

Everyone loves it

The M2 MacBook Air is easily the most important notebook Apple will release in 2022, and it’s a winner.

“The new MacBook Air is a success on virtually every level,” says The Verge. “It’s got a better screen, thinner and lighter design, better speakers, a much-improved webcam, an excellent keyboard and trackpad, more convenient charging, and excellent build quality.”

Engadget says, “the MacBook Air is arguably Apple’s best laptop yet.”