What’s wrong with the new Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022)

The much anticipated best-selling Mac has been updated. After the euphoria of WWDC 2022, it’s time to question whether this new MacBook Air M2 lives up to expectations.

MB Air 2022 // Source: Frandroid – Melinda DAVAN-SOULAS

The MacBook Air has been Apple’s signature laptop since Steve Jobs pulled it out of an envelope in 2008. This year, Apple announced the fourth major release of the MacBook Air, changing almost everything.

We compared it to the MacBook Air M1 (2020), MacBook Pro 14 (2021), and MacBook Pro 13 (2022). The range of MacBooks is quite wide with devices of similar sizes, but their performance is completely different.

If you haven’t read the various articles on the Air M2, including Melinda’s training, here’s a summary of the major changes.

Apple-WWDC22-MacBook-Air-Liquid-Retina-Display-220606
The design of MacBook Air 2022 is similar to that of MacBook Pro 14 and 16, the appearance is more square and the thickness is the same all over the case

The screen is now larger, 13.6 inches diagonally, with a notch that now houses a 1080p camera. The screen is also capable of 500 nits of brightness and guarantees a wide color gamut P3 for a billion colors, but that’s not the Mini-LED technology of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros.

In terms of connectivity, a few changes have been made, except for the notable addition of MagSafe charging, which allows two Thunderbolt ports to remain accessible while charging. The audio jack now supports high-impedance headphones. The Touch ID button is also a welcome addition.

Apple- WWDC22-MacBook-Air-MagSafe-220606
MagSafe here

Of course, the MacBook Air’s biggest change is inside the box, with a new M2 chip that Apple says delivers 1.4 times the performance of the M1 depending on the task, assuming you choose the more expensive option: the eight-core processor and 10-core GPU.

It can limit the amount of basic RAM of the device

The new MacBook Air equipped with an Apple M2 chip, like the M1 chip, all come with 8GB of RAM by default, and Apple offers an option, billed at over €200, going up to 16GB.

We had several months to compare the 8GB version to the 16GB version on previous M1 Macs. It’s clear that in Xcode, Video Export or Lightroom, the 8GB version lags behind its bigger 16GB sibling, in all three tests.

Obviously, if you do a lot of video editing, 8GB is going to cause you problems. It’s a shame that the default amount of RAM remains on newer MacBook Airs, with an option for $230 to upgrade to 16GB (and an additional $230 for 24GB). Again, this is probably not an everyday use case, but it shows how far you can push your 8GB RAM configuration. It’s powerful for most people, but it can be a real handicap for heavy tasks.

Prices are higher

The MacBook Air 2022 M2 is sold at 1,499 euros and 1,384 euros at the tuition price. Apple continues to sell the MacBook Air with the M1 chip and 7-core GPU, from 1,199 euros.

The entry level M2 is equipped with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD, all for €1,499. The version with 10 M2 cores in the GPU part and 512 GB of storage is priced at 1849 euros.

Model Apple MacBookAir M1 Apple MacBookAir M2 Apple MacBook Pro 13 Apple MacBook Pro 14
core chip Apple M1 Apple M2 Apple M2 Apple M1 Pro
Primary RAM 8.16 GB 8, 16, 24 GB 8, 16, 24 GB 8, 16, 32, 64 GB
primary storage 256 GB 256 GB 256 GB 512 GB
Monitor 13.3″, retina 13.6 inch, Liquid Retina 13.3″, retina 14.2 inch, Liquid Retina XDR
connectors 2 USB-C, 1 headphone port 2 USB-C, 1 headphone port 2 USB-C, 1 headphone port 3 USB-C, 1 headphone port, 1 HDMI and 1 SDXC slot
My voice stereo speakers Four-speaker audio system stereo speakers Six-speaker audio system
battery 49.9Wh . battery 56.2Wh . battery 58.2Wh . battery 70 watt battery
base price €1199 1499 € 1599 € €2249

In short, it’s expensive. The entry ticket for the latest MacBook Air increases since previous models was 1,129 euros and 1,399 euros, respectively.

No Mini-LED

The MacBook Air’s display changes from Retina technology to Liquid Retina. If you no longer have Apple’s vocabulary in mind, that means the MacBook Air doesn’t take advantage of the mini-LED technology of the 12.3-inch MacBook Pro and iPad Pro.

So it’s a classic IPS LCD screen, while there’s Mini-LED on the 12.3-inch iPad Pro. So we have a screen that has a notch in order to enlarge the screen surface (13.6 ″), with a thinner border and a brightness of just over 400 nits to 500 nits. The change is meager.

No touch screen

You can tell us: Yes, but there is an iPad. However, since 2021, iPhone apps are supposed to work on Mac. Even if the experience is a bit bugged, there are now many iPad/iPhone apps in the Mac App Store.

Screenshot 06-08-2022 at 15.44.01
Frandroid is on the Mac App Store with iOS version

Apple has created a system for every iOS app available in the Mac menu called ” Touch AlternativesThis is a series of buttons, gestures, and other spells for using apps that require a touchscreen on a Mac. It’s frankly ridiculous and the clearest sign yet is that Apple is bending over backwards to avoid doing what clearly needs to be done: putting a touchscreen on a device. Mac.

There are no fun colors

We argue about this last point, but it remains important. The new color that Apple has introduced is a very beautiful dark blue color called ” midnight and light gold called ” starlightThere are no fun colors like the iPad Air, it’s a shame for a machine it’s meant to be for the general public.

air

There is no USB-C on the right

This is a recurring problem on MacBooks, despite the passing of the minimalist Jony Ive (we’ll remember the 12-inch Retina MacBook with a single USB-C port).

Apple- WWDC22-MacBook-Air-headphone-jack-220606
On the right, we only have a headphone port

While the MacBook Pro 14 and 16 have full connectivity, including an HDMI port and SDXC slot, nothing has changed in the Air 2022. There’s no USB-C to the right of the case, which is a convenient problem in some offices.

In fact, the new MacBook Air 2022 is a machine that will surely be a standard in the market. However, the price hike and some Apple stinginess are clearly making us less enthused. Now let’s wait for the extensive testing to better understand what the M2 chip has in its belly.


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