Monday, June 6, 2022 [Tweets] [Favorites]

MacBook Air 2022

Apple (MacRumors, Hacker News, Slashdot):

Built from the ground up around M2, MacBook Air has an entirely new design that is remarkably thin from every angle. It measures just 11.3 mm thin and is only 2.7 pounds, and features a durable, all-aluminum unibody enclosure that feels incredibly solid and is built to last. This thin and light design integrates its components so efficiently that it results in an astonishing 20 percent reduction in volume. With the power efficiency of M2, all of the capabilities of MacBook Air are built into a silent, fanless design. In addition to silver and space gray, MacBook Air is now available in two new finishes — midnight and starlight.

MagSafe returns to MacBook Air, giving users a dedicated charging port that is easy to connect, while protecting MacBook Air when it is plugged in by quickly releasing if the charging cable is accidentally pulled. MacBook Air also features two Thunderbolt ports for connecting a variety of accessories, and a 3.5 mm audio jack with support for high-impedance headphones.

[…]

MacBook Air includes a new 1080p FaceTime HD camera with a larger image sensor and more efficient pixels that deliver twice the resolution and low-light performance of the previous generation.

It’s sad that the super-thin MacBook Air probably has a much better camera than the super-thick Studio Display.

The new MacBook Air sounds great, though. MagSafe is an addition, so you don’t lose a Thunderbolt port like with the MacBook Pro. The RAM ceiling is now 24 GB. The display is larger (but has a notch). Unfortunately, it looks like the trackpad is also larger.

Previously:

10 Comments

I think the rumors were entirely true, because they really need to ramp up production for USA school buying during summer.

But this looks like a really cool computer, right?

The only complaint people immediately had is lack of more colors?

The new MacBook Air was going to be my next portable Mac. I'm a little baffled by the pricing though.

Here in Germany the price for the MacBook Air with 16 of RAM is 2,079 EUR. You can get the base MacBook Pro 14" with the same amount of RAM and otherwise better specs for 2,249 EUR directly from Apple. If you shop around you can even get it for ~2,000 EUR.

Maybe the Pro will see a price increase soon? Otherwise it seems to be a much better deal. Only downside is weight and maybe slightly worse battery-life.

@Dan — The German price for the new MacBook Air M2 base model with 16 GB RAM is announced to be 1,729 €. The current M1 Air with 16 GB is 1,429 €.

@Anna: My mistake. I compared it to the better speced MBA model. Also, I need the 512 GB SSD, the same amount as the MBP base model has.

If you take the MPA base model and upgrade RAM and the SSD, the price is 1,959 EUR. Still quite steep, considering that you can get a similar MBP for ~2K.

@Dan I see the Pro on Geizhals Euro 1897.99 even from a reputable seller.

If we extrapolate the M1 GeekBench scores, adding 18%, the M2 would be at 2013 single core and 8754 multi core. The 8 core M1 Pro is 1769 single core vs. 8488 multi core.

It's really not a clear-cut choice. For CPU performance alone, I would probably go for the Air M2. Even though the M1 Pro is an inch faster multi core, the better single core performance will probably make it faster in practice (even in large parallel builds, there are often phases where everything depends on a single unit that should be compiled first). Also, the Air M2 has the benefit of being passively cooled.

On the other hand, if you want to use more than one external screen, you need the GPU headroom, or want an additional Thunderbolt and HDMI connector, then the 8 core Pro is the better option.

IMO only the 10 core M1 Pro has a large enough delta to be clearly differentiated from the Air M2 if you care about performance.

My MacBook recommendation to family/friends/colleagues will be: buy an Air M2. Unless you needs a lot of CPU or GPU cores for your work or connect >1 displays, then get a MacBook Pro with at least an M1 Pro with 10 cores or and M1 Max.

And sadly they are doubling down on the Ugly Notch. Worst hardware choice Apple has made in a long time, even more so than the butterfly keyboards.

@Daniël Thank you for the comparison. I'm confident that CPU and GPU on both models are adequate for my needs. That being said, I think the Pro (with fan) will probably be able to sustain high CPU and GPU load for much longer than the Air (no fan). I'm more interested in RAM and SSD capacity though.

I still think that the Air got more expensive. It used to have a bigger discount in comparison to the Pro line. My hunch is that the Pro will see a price hike soon, at least in overseas markets.

@Dan I agree, I think it's a nice laptop for its price, but the Air M1's price point made it a really excellent machine to expand the Mac's market. A 1519 Euro base price is beyond the 1000-1200 boundary where many people will say, "gee, I have heard great things about Apple Silicon, let's try a Mac". Sure, there is still the Air M1, but by now it's a 20 month old model. If they want to keep it around as the budget model, they should've at least made it the 8 GPU core version and not the binned 7 core variant.

A lot has been said about Apple's foreign prices, but this time around it's quite flagrant. The base model is $1199 in the US excluding VAT. Adding the 21% VAT which is typical for many EU countries, gives us $1450.79, which is currently 1353.82 Euro, yet we get charged 1519 Euro.

At any rate, I think one of the reasons it's priced as it is, is that they have supply constraints anyway, so any M2 Air that they can produce the coming months will be soled at that premium anyway. Once production/supplies are at a normal level again, I wouldn't be surprised that you could get it 100-200 Euro off at many retailers pretty soon. (If inflation doesn't get out of hand.)

I need a new notebook but can't really justify the MBP, so the new Air is attractive to me. I had my M1 Air delivered two days before the keynote, and have now returned it within the return window, intending to get the new one when it appears. The kicker for me is more RAM; though I have no beef with the fanless design and don't do anything intensive on notebooks, I might want to virtualise a bit and having a higher RAM ceiling will be good for that. I still look forward to a pro Mac Mini that isn't a Studio, though.

> For CPU performance alone, I would probably go for the Air M2. Even though the M1 Pro is an inch faster multi core, the better single core performance will probably make it faster in practice (even in large parallel builds, there are often phases where everything depends on a single unit that should be compiled first). Also, the Air M2 has the benefit of being passively cooled.

I would agree for most users, but not developers. The active cooling should be a better choice if you find yourself compiling a lot, as it will throttle less. You also get higher memory bandwidth on the M1 Pro.

General-purpose users should absolutely get the Air, but I think Apple is correct to brand the 14-inch Pro as a "pro" — that's whom it's there for. (Now, the 13-inch Pro is a weirder matter.)

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