MacBook Air M2: Apple Makes Big Changes to This Tiny Laptop
10:37

MacBook Air M2: Apple Makes Big Changes to This Tiny Laptop

Laptops
Speaker 1: Apple has a new version of its iconic MacBook air. This new for 2022 version has some big changes, both on the outside and the inside. Speaker 1: Now over the years at various times, I've referred to the 13 inch MacBook air as the most universally useful laptop you can buy that has not been true of every iteration, but generally it's been true more times than not even going all the way back to the original math book air, which I first reviewed way back in 2008 in this new version. [00:00:30] Well, you've got a new design, you've got some new colors, you've got a new chip inside the M two versus the M one there's changes to the screen, changes to the webcam. There is however, one change. I am not a big fan of, and that is a change to the starting price for a big chunk of its lifespan. The MacBook air has started at 9 99, which is a nice digestible price. Occasionally it's gone above that usually come back down. Well, now the MacBook air is back to a starting price of 1199. Speaker 1: That's $200 more. And frankly, [00:01:00] that makes a big difference for a lot of people. The previous MacBook here, the M one version with the older design is actually still gonna be available at 9 99. So apple can say they have a thousand dollars laptop, but frankly, looking at the two of them side by side, I'd be very hard pressed to give up all the cool new stuff in the new model. Uh, just to save $200 that said, I wish the new one was also 9 99 and maybe in a year or two, it will be so taken all together. The new design, the new features, it's really probably the biggest overall change [00:01:30] to the MacBook here, since that original 2008 model. Definitely the biggest change since the last big physical redesign, which is around 2018. If this new MacBook air looks familiar, that's because it takes a lot of the design cues from the 14 inch N 16 inch MacBook pros. These all kind of look like part of the same family. Now, with this more squared off modern minimalist design, uh, getting rid of the taper that MacBook airs have had since the very beginning. So a big leap for the air really makes it look and feel a lot more like a pro. I think it's a big [00:02:00] improvement, but maybe that's just because I'm so used to the classic MacBook air. Look, I'm ready for a change. Speaker 1: Now there's still one odd man out in the current MacBook lineup, the MacBook pro the 13 inch MacBook pro, which also has the new M two chip actually keeps that older tapered design with all the stuff that goes with it. Like the older, low res WEBC can and no Mac safe and stuff like that. You could still get that. That's the other new MacBook for this season. Uh, obviously [00:02:30] the MacBook air goes a lot further with its changes and the new MacBook air actually goes beyond the 14 and 16 inch pro in one interesting area. It adds some new colors moving beyond the, you know, silver, gray into gold kind of tones we've had for MacBooks for a while. Now we've got two new colors in addition to silver and space gray. You've got Starlight, which is again, kind of goldish. And then you've got midnight, which is a deep matte black that reminds me and should remind you, of course, of the old polycarbonate black MacBook, that [00:03:00] classic laptop from the mid two thousands, really one of my all time favorites. Speaker 1: And I've been waiting a long time for that look to come back. And of course, when I got a chance to get one of the new MacBook airs, I had to make sure I got that midnight color. If you put it side by side, the M one air and the M two air, the new one, the footprint is just a little bit smaller. It doesn't taper down as thin in the front, but it's a little bit thinner overall. And it's a hair lighter. I think it's 2.7 pounds versus 2.8 pounds. So not a huge difference there, but this has always been a great, very portable laptop, that [00:03:30] kind of laptop you could put in your bag and take around with you just about every day. I always go out and take it to the coffee shop, take it on the subway, bring it to the office. Speaker 1: Uh, if you wanna do something like that, you really need a 13 inch or smaller laptop that weighs a reasonable amount under three pounds, you know, at the very most. So really the big regions you're gonna go for this new M two version of the air over the M one version are, uh, the screen that's a little bit bigger and brighter. The new design and new colors, the M two chipper of the M one chip. And I think the most important thing [00:04:00] is the new higher res webcam replacing that old seven 20 webcam that MacBook airs have had pretty much forever. You also now get the mag safe connection back in the MacBook air years ago, all MacBooks had the mag safe connection. It was a little magnetic power plug, and if you tripped over, it would pop right out. It was great. They got rid of it. Speaker 1: Then they went to USBC power for everything. Now you still have USBC power, which I think is great because it's universal among almost every laptop now and many other devices as well. So you really just need [00:04:30] one power adapter and you can use it to charge all your different things. But now you have the Mac safe option. Again, in MacBooks, you got it in the 14 inch and 16 inch pros. Now you have it in the MacBook air, and you can use that if you want. I generally tend to leave a USBC cable, you know, in any room I'm in or any part of the office. So I just plug into that instead. You've also, oddly got some power adapter choices. If you choose the base model, new MacBook air, that $1,200 version, you get the standard 30 wat max age connection. [00:05:00] Cool. They've actually got a new one, a 35 wat version. Speaker 1: That's built into a very small little power brick that has two USB C ports in it, one for the power cable and one just an extra one, but you have to get the upgraded version of the MacBook air in order to get that, or you can pay an extra $20 for it. You can also throw in $20 and get the gigantic 67 wat version of the MacBook charger, which will charge faster, but obviously is bigger and bulkier, much harder to throw in your bag and take with you. But from the MacBook air is fine. [00:05:30] If you're working at your desk in the office or at your work from home office, I think it really has to go on the, go with you in order to shine. It's a great coffee shop. Companion. I've carried a MacBook air around with me for many years. Although frankly, over time, some newer laptops have gotten thinner, have gotten lighter, become even more portable. Speaker 1: I spent some time recently with the, uh, surface laptop go two, uh, which is a much more budget conscious laptop than this one, but that was actually a really nice small system to take around with me, frankly. I think all [00:06:00] time, the greatest travel laptop was the late lamented, 12 inch MacBook, almost forgotten now, which I thought was fantastic, super thin, super light. Maybe that'll be the next MacBook to you. Come back from the dead. Now while this MacBook is only a hair smaller than the M one version, it actually is bigger in one important respect. And that is, it has a 13.6 inch display instead of a 13.3 inch display. If you look at 'em side by side, it's a pretty nice difference. Actually, the bezels are thinner, so [00:06:30] you get more screen and pretty much the same lid space now cut into this is the new webcam. Speaker 1: It's a 10 80 camera. The same is on the 14 inch N 16 inch MacBook pros, uh, the air previously and the 13 inch pro. Uh, they have the older seven 20 cameras that nobody ever really liked. And that's become increasingly important because we're all doing these video meetings and zoom meetings all the time. Now, certainly much more than we used to and having a good webcam is much more important than it used to be. So maybe you could forgive the lower reds [00:07:00] camera on a MacBook air before, but these days I think you really need a 10 80 camera and many, many other laptop manufacturers are moving to it. Apple's been moving to it slowly, uh, system by system. So now the new camera is in the MacBook air as well. The trade off is like the 14 and 16 inch MacBook pros. It's in a notch. Speaker 1: You've got the notch on your iPhone. Uh, now you've got the notch on your MacBook air. It's obviously on some of the MacBook pros as well. If you hate the notch, you're gonna still hate it. If you don't mind the notch, you're still not gonna mind it. [00:07:30] So this is the seven 20 camera in the old M one MacBook air. And over here on this side, this is the 10 80 camera in the new M two MacBook air. So old camera right here, low reds. We've complained about it for years and higher reds camera here in the M two MacBook air looking forward to using this on zoom calls. And this is also the audio from the microphone built into the M two MacBook air old new. Now I do have [00:08:00] one note to add about the otherwise very cool midnight black color on the new MacBook air. Speaker 1: It attracts a lot of fingerprints. I'm not gonna lie. I had to carry a clean cloth around with me everywhere. Every time I wanted to take a picture of it, I had to wipe it down. First. I feel like this is very common with Matt black or dark objects. Uh, they have certainly not cracked the code on how to prevent that here. So just be aware, this is not only an issue you're gonna have. If you're eating snacks at the same time, it just gets fingerprints on it. No matter what, [00:08:30] we've talked about. A lot of the changes on the outside and a lot of feature changes on the inside. The big changes, obviously going from the M one chip to the M two chip, that's the next generation of apple Silicon. We left the Intel era behind, uh, a couple of years ago. So the M two, where does that fall into the apple chip lineup? Speaker 1: It's a little bit confusing. Uh, you have the M one still available in, uh, the 9 99 MacBook air and the Mac mini and a few other things. Uh, you've got the M two. Now that's the second [00:09:00] place faster than that. However are still the M one pro the M one max and the M one ultra. And those tips you can get in the 14 and 16 inch MacBook pros. And for the ultra, you can get that in the max studio. Uh, so those are much, much more powerful chips. The M two is really just a modest step up from the M one. Uh, you can see a performance difference between them, uh, but I wouldn't go outta my way to upgrade just for that performance difference. Now, if you wanna squeeze even a little bit more out of the M two, the 13 inch MacBook pro that [00:09:30] just came out that has the M two is also a tiny bit faster than the air. Again, not a huge number, but I think it's because that one has what ACOs active cooling, which the rest of us call a fan. So you can run the chip hotter for longer. It doesn't have to throttle down. If you'd like to read my full review of the new M two MacBook air, see our performance testing charts, all that stuff. You're gonna find the link in the description below. Speaker 1: It's hard to imagine making big sweeping changes to a product as iconic [00:10:00] as the MacBook air, which despite all the upgrades and design changes has maintained, basically the same look for its entire 14 year history. This is the biggest physical change to it, frankly. I like it a lot. Uh, I like the new features. I like the flatter more squared off design. And of course I love that you can now get it in this midnight color, which brings back one of my favorite looks of all time, which was that old black polycarbonate MacBook from the early two thousands. I've been waiting for someone to recreate that classic MacBook [00:10:30] look, and it turns out it was apple.

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