Apple revealed the new MacBook Air equipped with M2 processors last week. The laptop got a new design, with the screen cut out by a notch similar to that of iPhones and MacBooks Pro, in addition to new colors. It is the up to 18% faster processor that highlights the new generation compared to the MacBook Air with M1, which is still available for purchase on the brand’s official website. The Air with M2 is already on sale for $1199 on Apple ‘s website, while its predecessor can be found for $999.
Next, we detail what changes in the specs from the M1 generation to the M2 generation of the MacBook Air.
Design changes are noticeable with the new generation of Air. The first one is very evident when looking at the notebook from the side: the laptop lost its wedge profile, with the front thinner than the back. It now features lines that preserve the same thickness along the entire base of the computer, following the design of the Pro models.
In addition to this change in profile, the MacBook Air with M2 processor now offers a wider range of finish color options. In addition to silver and space gray, now available in the generation that is leaving the scene, editions in gold and black arrive. In the interfaces, the device offers MagSafe to connect the power connector and two USB-C ports with Thunderbolt 4, as well as a headphone output.
Apple ‘s displays for their laptops are consistently high quality, and the Air is no exception. Despite this, the notebook’s IPS technology display shouldn’t repeat the same image quality of the praised mini LED panels that equip current MacBooks Pro.
Compared to the Air model it replaces, the new MacBook with M2 features a slightly larger screen, jumping from 13.3″ to 13.6″. The difference is related to the need to house the notch in the top bar of the display without obstructing the screen area in 16:10 aspect, below the top bar.
In terms of pixels, not much changes: if the Air with M1 had 2560 x 1600 pixels, the version with a new generation processor comes with 2560 x 1664 pixels. The 64 more pixels on the vertical axis correspond to the inclusion of the top bar that surrounds the notch.
Although it is an IPS panel, Apple calls it “Liquid Retina” and promises a maximum brightness intensity of 500 nits, compared to the ceiling of 400 nits that was possible in the old Air.
The big difference in hardware between one edition of the MacBook Air and another is on account of the processor. Apple ‘s new laptop debuts the M2, Apple’s second-generation processor, which can offer gains of up to 18% in performance, according to Apple estimates. The new chip has 20 billion transistors, up from 16 billion for the M1.
This performance margin is obtained from performance gains from Apple’s new architecture, evolving the 5nm manufacturing process already used in the M1. Because of this, the M2 is faster and more economical, even though it has the same eight cores as its predecessor.
Apple’s graphics processor , which is part of the M2, has also been reinforced with the inclusion of two additional cores compared to the octet installed in the M1. According to Apple’s estimates, the efficiency gains of the revised architecture and the addition of new cores allow the M2’s GPU to have a 35% higher throughput (performance per Watt) compared to the previous model.
There is also a novelty in RAM memory. The new M2 comes with 8 to 24 GB of DDR5 -type RAM, instead of the M1’s 8 to 16 GB of DDR4. DDR5 grants the processor the ability to exchange up to 100 GB/s of data with RAM.
Like other Apple processors, the M2 comes with cores dedicated to artificial intelligence. According to apple, the so-called Neural Engine has 40% higher speed in performing AI tasks.
The battery is an issue in which there has been no improvement, at least according to Apple . The new Air with M2 offers up to 18 hours of autonomy on a full charge, the same range predicted for the M1 version of the laptop.
Apple has already confirmed the launch of the laptop for $1,199. The value is competitive compared to options in the Windows world, such as the Dell XPS 13. Dell’s model, if on the one hand it may lag a little behind in performance, at least competes for space between notebooks with a small screen and premium finish.
The Air with M1 is still available in the Botswana market. The M1 version is now cheaper and can be purchased for prices starting at $999 on Apple’s official website.
MacBook Air M2 vs. MacBook Air M1
|Specifications||MacBook Air M2||MacBook Air M1|
|Launch||June 2022||November 2020|
|Screen||13.6 inches||13.3 inches|
|screen resolution||2560 x 1664 pixels||2560 x 1600 pixels|
|Processor||Apple M2 with eight cores||Apple M1 with eight cores|
|RAM memory||8 to 24 GB DDR5||8 or 16 GB DDR4|
|Storage||256GB to 2TB||256GB to 2TB|
|Video card||Ten cores, integrated into the M2||Eight cores, integrated into the M1|
|ports and interfaces||Two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, MagSafe, Headphone Out, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0||Two USB-C with Thunderbolt 4, MagSafe, Headphone Out, Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0|
|Battery||up to 18 hours||up to 18 hours|
|Weight||1.24 kg||1.29 kg|
|Colors||Space grey, silver, dark blue and black||Space gray or silver|