MacBook Air With M2: Powerful, Quiet And Finally With The Design It Deserves

In a week of continuous use it has fulfilled all the tasks that it was asked to do.

The Mac that benefited the most from the arrival of the M1 processors was without a doubt the Macbook Air. The greater energy efficiency compared to Intel processors allowed Apple to design a silent computer but capable of performing with incredible ease in 4K video editing tasks and high-resolution photos, with good autonomy and low weight.

Apple launches this week its successor, the new Macbook Air with M2 processor, but with the transition to the new architecture already completed, what is striking in this new model is not so much power or efficiency -although there is also a lot to tell in this section - like the fact that it launches a new, more compact design with the same inspiration as the Macbook Pro, including the "notch" on the screen and the Magsafe connector.

I have been testing it for the last week and it is still, by far, the best equipment to recommend for a general user who does not need anything specific from the Windows world, although this year it is somewhat more expensive and the basic configuration may fall a little short.


The jump from Intel processors to the M1 was surprising, a slam at Apple's table in the semiconductor industry that showed you can make powerful chips without consuming obscene amounts of power. The jump from M1 to M2 is less so. It is normal. Although Apple uses a new manufacturing process, it is still a processor built on five nanometer technology , so the improvements come mainly from the use of a slightly more efficient core design, more general processing and graphics cores and higher bandwidth (100 GB/s) for memory.

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It's not a small thing, mind you. The new M2 is 18% more powerful in tasks that take advantage of all CPU cores and 35% more powerful in graphics thanks to 10 GPU cores. It's a shame more games aren't available on the Mac because that's where most of the general public could take advantage of this improvement in raw power. For all practical purposes what really helps the Macbook Air feel faster than the M1 model, however, is the aforementioned higher memory bandwidth, and the use of more advanced coprocessors for machine learning and decoding tasks. of video, which make it possible for this light and fanless machine not to flinch when working with more than half a dozen simultaneous videos in 4K resolution.

In general, working with it is a joy, and although in very intensive tasks the lack of fans can force you to lower the speed of the process to cool down the M2 (and the computer gets a little hotter than the Macbook Air with M1), it is of a machine that during these days has been able to handle everything I've thrown at it, from editing 45-megapixel RAW photos to editing complex audio and video projects with multiple tracks.


What really draws the attention of this Macbook Air, in any case, is not so much the power as the new look. After more than a decade with the iconic wedge-shaped design, the 2022 MacBook Air gets a new look with many of the elements of last year's Macbook Pro.

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The screen , for example, now has thinner and more symmetrical frames, at the cost of concentrating the webcam (of better quality than previous models) in a notch at the top. It takes a few days to get used to but the result is worth it. It helps a lot that the display on the new Macbook Air is brighter than the 2020 model, with up to 500 nits of brightness. One detail that I loved is that, at the same time, it is also less bright. You can reduce the brightness to just 2 nits, which is perfect for working at night in a much more comfortable way, without dazzling you. Color reproduction is excellent but there is no HDR or high refresh rate.

There are more things to highlight in the new design, of course. Apple has integrated better speakers and microphones, and the truth is that the laptop, despite its small size (in volume it is 20% smaller than the previous version) has good sound power. It keeps the TouchID fingerprint reader on the keyboard for authentication and purchases and also has, like the previous Macbook Air, two Thunderbolt/USB-C ports.

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The good thing is that it now also has a Magsafe magnetic connection charging port, so you don't have to occupy one of the Thunderbolt / USB-C ports for charging. My only complaint in this connection section, to be honest, is that both USB-C are on the same side of the device and the Macbook Air can still only connect to a single external monitor.


Speaking of charging, the new Macbook Air's battery is big enough for around 13 hours of continuous use. Apple says 15 hours of web browsing, but it depends a lot on screen brightness and what you're doing on the web. The loader options are a bit confusing this time. In the basic model, with 8 graphics processing cores, Apple includes a conventional 30-watt charger. For those who choose the 10 core option there are two options. Either a 35-watt dual-port USB-C charger (useful for charging your laptop and iPhone at the same time, for example), or a 60-watt single-port charger that can charge your Macbook Air to 50% in just 30 minutes.

My recommendation is to go with the latter and, if anything, use one of the Mac's USB-C ports to charge your phone at the same time as your laptop.


And now the painful part. The new Macbook Air is a little more expensive, and the entry-level model has some limitations that some users may not be easy to digest. The Macbook Air starts at 1,519 euros with an 8-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of main memory. Like the M1s, all memory is built into the chip and cannot be upgraded later. In this processor, moreover, the 256 GB are a single block of memory , and therefore it is half as fast when reading information than models equipped with 512 or more GB, given that the processor can simultaneously access to the two blocks of 256 GB.

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It is not particularly serious or anything that the average user is going to notice on a day-to-day basis, but for those who buy a MacBook Air thinking of squeezing it thoroughly, it is advisable to jump to 512 GB , which means paying 230 euros more. The model with 10-core GPU, 8 GB of RAM and 512 GB of storage is the one I would recommend to those looking for a powerful machine but, of course, we are talking about 1,869 euros, a price that is already closer to that of the Macbook Pro of 14 inches (2,249 euros but with 16 GB of RAM), which even with the M1 Pro processor may be a better option for many.

It is a shame that inflation and the price of the dollar have taken the price of this equipment to these new heights because it is still one of the easiest laptops on the market to recommend for the vast majority of users. It has plenty of power, is quiet, takes up less space and weighs only 1.2 kilos. I have not found a single task in this week of continuous use in which it has not more than fulfilled what was asked of it, however complex it may be, and it has done so boasting a unique style and design. Apple has even come up with new colors for the machine and some of them, like midnight blue, suit it very well.

Although it admits reservations since last week, Apple officially launches the team tomorrow, and with it the back-to-school campaign begins. With the educational discount, the MacBook Air with M2 starts at 1,404 euros and Apple includes a gift card of 150 euros, and a 20% discount on the Apple Care extended warranty service, which makes the proposition somewhat more tempting. The MacBook Air with M1 is also still on sale and is a good option for students and homes where the greater power of the M2 is not going to be used, although the advantages of the new design are lost.

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