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The M2 MacBook Air Is the Ultimate Laptop Gift

With a new camera, new colors and a bigger screen, the MacBook Air remains one of the most universally useful laptops you can get.

Dan Ackerman Editorial Director / Computers and Gaming
Dan Ackerman leads CNET's coverage of computers and gaming hardware. A New York native and former radio DJ, he's also a regular TV talking head and the author of "The Tetris Effect" (Hachette/PublicAffairs), a non-fiction gaming and business history book that has earned rave reviews from the New York Times, Fortune, LA Review of Books, and many other publications. "Upends the standard Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs/Mark Zuckerberg technology-creation myth... the story shines." -- The New York Times
Expertise I've been testing and reviewing computer and gaming hardware for over 20 years, covering every console launch since the Dreamcast and every MacBook...ever. Credentials
  • Author of the award-winning, NY Times-reviewed nonfiction book The Tetris Effect; Longtime consumer technology expert for CBS Mornings
Dan Ackerman

Over the years, I've often described Apple's MacBook Air as the most universally useful laptop you can get (or in this case, give). The latest version, now with Apple's new M2 chip inside, hits the fresh button in a lot of ways: new colors, new design, better camera, slightly bigger screen. That means it can be either a major upgrade if you're replacing an older Air or a big step up if it's someone's first laptop or first "premium" laptop. 

Why it's a great gift: Anyone on your list would appreciate the Air. It's a great college or high school laptop, especially because it's tough enough to last all four years. But it's just as at home with novelists in coffee shops and startup founders in airport lounges. Why has the MacBook Air remained so popular for so many years? I think it's a just-right combination of design, power, durability, ease of use and price. 

What you'll pay: This year's model would be a gift of slightly more significance than usual, because Apple's starting price for the M2 MacBook Air has jumped to $1,199 from the traditional $999. Fortunately, the M1 MacBook Air with an older design and M1 chip is still available for $999.

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