Today, Apple has held its Worldwide Developers Conference for 2022 where the next-generation lineup of software was unveiled. In addition to the new versions of iOS, iPadOS, macOS, watchOS, and tvOS, the company has unveiled the latest MacBook Air which is powered by the new M2 chip.
2022 MacBook Air Welcomes M2
During Monday’s keynote, Apple revealed the new-generation lineup of the M series of silicon chips. Named M2, the chip houses a next-generation 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. Apple claims that M2 delivers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth and supports up to 24GB of fast unified memory. The chip is also built on a 5-nanometer processor and 20 billion transistors.
Furthermore, M2 features a next-generation media engine that supports 8K H.264 HEVC video, as well as a ProRes video engine for accelerated, encoding and decoding. All packaged with an extra 128-bit wide LPDDR5 interface, high bandwidth, and low latency of up to 24GB of fast unified memory mentioned above.
The new MacBook Air is entirely refreshed with a major redesign. Only 11.3mm thin and 2.7 pounds, the new machine’s volume is 20% less than the previous model. The notebook’s aluminum unibody enclosure makes it feel similar to the 2021 MacBook Pros but with a lighter taste given the weight of the machine.
On the lower part of the laptop, Apple has replaced the old keyboard with the Magic Keyboard with a full-height function key row, Force Touch Trackpad, as well as a Touch ID power button.
The MacBook Air features an improved 13.6-inch 2560-by-1664 and 224 PPI Liquid Retina display with smaller bezels on the side. There is also a notch on a MacBook for the second time since 2021. This is an increase from the previous generation by 0.3 inches and 500 nits of brightness, a 25% increase. The display now also shows 1 billion colors.
Four ports are on the sides of the machine and let’s say it first, MagSafe is finally back on the Air – the company has added a MagSafe 3 charging port, following in the footsteps of the higher-end MacBook Pros. Two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports are housed near the magnetic port. On the left side, there is only one 3.5 mm jack with support for high-impedance headphones.
Not much is mentioned regarding the battery of the 2022 MacBook Air, Apple states that the MacBook can be used for many hours during the day and claims up to 18 hours of Apple TV app movie playback and up to 15 hours of wireless web.
When it comes to chargers, each order comes with a 30W USB-C adapter for free. However, there is a new 35W Dual USB-C power adapter for $39 and an even faster 67W power adapter with one port for $59. The former is a new addition as it features two USB-C ports to charge two devices at once.
FaceTime Camera & Speaker System
The front-facing FaceTime camera has been upgraded from 720p to 1080p HD with a larger image sensor, optimized by the image signal processor on M2. Furthermore, the speaker system has been updated for better sound.
The notebook features a four-speaker sound system. Apple was able to fit it in a thin design by integrating the speakers and mics between the keyboard and display. A three-mic array captures clean audio using an advanced beamforming algorithm. Finally, there is support for Dolby Atmos and Spatial Audio for movies and music.
Colors, Pricing, & Availability
The 2022 M2-powered MacBook Pro starts at $1,199 for 8GB of RAM and 256GB SSD. The most expensive model houses 24GB of RAM and a 2TB SSD for $2,499. The new machine is available in Midnight, Starlight, Space Grey, and Silver colors.
In other Mac-related topics, during today’s event, Apple also introduced macOS 13 Ventura, bringing new features to the Mac such as Stage Manager, Mail, and Spotlight.