On Monday, Apple hosted its first in-person event since the pandemic and it was great to be back at Apple Park headquarters in Cupertino.
The WWDC 22 event kicked off with a keynote address covering updates including its upcoming:
Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO also announced one new hardware item. A totally redesigned MacBook Air with serious power.
New MacBook Air with M2 chip
A new MacBook Air with the M2 chip will be offered in 4 colors including a new one called Midnight making it the darkest shade available.
MacBook Air M2 highlights
M2 chip is 5 times more powerful than the chip in the previous MacBook Air. Sure it’s faster when I tested it briefly at Apple’s headquarters, but what is more impressive is the power-efficient promised from the M2 over the M1 chip. So if you are deciding between M1 and M2, go with the newest Apple silicon chip M2.
Muscles and MagSafe
More powerful than M1 chip released last year. Power efficiency comes from the 20 billion transistors – 100 gb/s, 50% more bandwidth than M1 chip released last year. Greater performance by using less battery life. Even though it’s more powerful, Apple says to expect 18-hour battery life if playing back video on the MBA M2.
I love the return of the MagSafe charging adapter but wish Apple could settle on one format for all its devices although likely not practical – yet. The new compact dual USB-C charging adapter is a first for Apple and a must-have with a new MacBook Air purchase. The more I return to traveling and leaving home, the more important minimizing what I need to schlepp around.
Lighter and Thinner
At 2.7 pounds, it comes in lighter than the previous M1 version with the 2017 MBA weighing even more at 2.96 pounds if you are comparing down to the ounce. The original wedge design is replaced with a thinner overall sleek rectangular single mold exterior that makes it easier to slide under a door it is so thin.
Bigger 13.6-inch display
The liquid retina display grows .3 inch diagonal to 13.6 inches while bringing the display and edge much closer and allowing for a smaller bezel and more screen real estate on a smaller design. I tested the MBA M2 in a bright space with natural light pouring in from all angles and it does look about 25% brighter as Apple put in their specs. That brighter screen alone is a compelling selling point of the new MBA M2 as I – like many others – are using my devices outside more often.
Camera, Mic and 4 Speakers upgraded
1080p Camera for FaceTime HD up from previous 720p resolution. 3 internal microphones allow it to use the array of mics for directional beamforming. What that means is that it can help find your voice better and make you sound more clear to those on the other end of a FaceTime call or recorded video.
Spacial Audio now comes to the MBA M2 with 4 wide stereo-sounding speakers instead of the previous 2. Thank you Apple for keeping the standard 3.5mm audio jack alive in the MBA M2. It’s still important to plug-in for a solid connection to an audio output for people wanting better real-time sound performance over wireless.
For those who edit video, expect the new MBA M2 to be about 40% faster than the previous MacBook Air.
Backlit keyboard and Touch ID
The keyboard in the original MBA was tough to use in low-light environments like sitting up in bed at night. The MBA M2 keeps a backlit adjustable light keyboard and has Touch ID onboard for quick access beyond the login screen with the touch of your scanned fingerprint.
Highlights of the new MacBook will include:
- 2.7 pounds
- includes MagSafe
- 2 thunderbolt ports
- audio jack
- liquid retinae display
- 13.6″ display – more screen real estate
- 25% brighter than before
- supports 1 billion colors
- new 1080 camera
- 3 mics will capture clear audio
- 4 speaker sound system
- magic keyboard – has touch ID
- force touch track board
- editing video is now 40% faster than the previous MacBook air
- 18 hours of video playback
- compact power adapter to charge 2 devices at once
M2 chip will also come to MacBook Pro too.
How much will the MacBook Air cost?
MacBook Air M2 starts at $1,199 ($1,099 for education)
How much will the MacBook Pro cost?
MacBook Pro M2 starts at $1,299 ($1,199 for education).
Apple will keep the M1 MacBook providing it at less than $1,000 computer ($999, or $899 for education).
When will the new MacBooks be on sale?
Both the new MacBook Air 2022 and MacBook Pro 2022 will go on sale in July.
Will you be purchasing a new Macbook? Comment below!