Apple 2022 MacBook Air (M2): The reviews are in

Excerpts from the reviews I've read. More as they catch my eye.

Devindra Hardawar, Engadget: Apple’s near-perfect Mac. The new MacBook Air is one of Apple's most important computers since Steve Jobs pulled the original Air out of an envelope. It shows what's possible when Apple builds an ultraportable entirely around its mobile chips, instead of lazily sticking them in old laptop designs, like with the recent 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Air is impressively thin and light, but it also has a bigger and better screen, a great set of speakers and a nifty MagSafe power adapter. And thanks to Apple's M2 chip, it's also far speedier than the last model, a computer I called "stunningly fast" just a year-and-a-half ago. Once again, Apple has set a new standard for ultraportables.

Bran Heater, Techcrunch: This is the Air you've been waiting forDesign-wise, the Air has much more in common with the 14-inch Pro than the Airs that came before it. I’m sure some very long, heated conversations happened behind closed, transparent doors at Apple’s Cupertino spaceship, regarding the decision to retire the Air’s iconic tapered design. Apple did, after all, cling to it for nearly a decade and a half (a perhaps longer, if you consider the still-available M1 Air).

Jason Snell, Six Colors: A new era. For most of the 2010s, when people asked me what Mac they should buy, I recommended the MacBook Air. Then, mid-decade, things got weird. The Air stagnated, and its replacements were overpriced, underpowered, and the victims of some catastrophic design decisions. When the Retina Air was introduced in 2018, it was like Apple had brought back an old friend. 2022’s MacBook Air isn’t quite that old friend. It’s got something old (MagSafe), something new (the M2), something borrowed (the design of the 2021 MacBook Pro), and something blue (if you choose the Midnight color option). It’s a new Air for a new era. It will almost certainly become Apple’s best-selling Mac, and with good reason. The definitive Mac of the 2010s has finally entered the 2020s, and not a moment too soon.

Dan Seifert, The Verge: Apple's new MacBook Air M2 is the start of a whole new Air-A. The M1 MacBook Air was (and still is) one of the most impressive laptops we’ve ever tested — Dieter Bohn called it “a triumph” at the time. That’s quite a bar to live up to, and with all of the changes Apple made to the M2 model, it’s fair to wonder if this new model can best the prior version. For the most part, that answer is yes. But as they say, the devil’s in the details... In my benchmark testing, the M2 Air... is noticeably slower than the MacBook Pro M2, which has a thicker chassis and a fan to help keep the chip cool under long-running heavy workloads... The Air will quickly throttle back the power it’s sending to the M2 chip and keep its speeds capped in an effort to keep temperatures manageable. Even then, the bottom of the computer gets considerably warm during these tests.

Dan Ackerman, CNET: Bigger Screen, Better Camera, Faster Chip. With a faster chip, bigger screen, new design and better webcam, this new M2 MacBook from Apple is the biggest change to the Air line since its launch.

Nicole Nguyen, Wall Street Journal: Apple’s Laptop Upgrade Bests M1 Air on Screen, Processor and Webcam. No, the latest Air doesn’t tick off every item on my laptop wishlist. It won’t survive a coffee spill. There’s no Face ID. You can’t upgrade memory or storage post-purchase. Touch screens are relegated to iPads. There’s no right-side USB-C port. (A girl can dream!) Still, it’s as trusty a MacBook as you can get right now.

Todd Haselton, CNBC: Apple’s new MacBook Air is a near-perfect update, but don’t rule out the older model. Apple’s new $1,199 MacBook Air, with its latest processor, the M2, launches in stores Friday. I’ve been testing it for a week, and I think it’s the MacBook most people should buy. The 2022 MacBook Air offers the biggest redesign to the MacBook since 2010. It ditches the tapered shell of earlier models and is 20% smaller by volume than its predecessor, thanks to updated internals. It has a larger screen, a faster processor, better speakers, an updated camera and more.

Brian Westover, PCMag: With the move to M2, the Air is fine up here. The latest iteration of the Apple MacBook Air (starts at $1,199; $1,899 as tested) updates what may be the most iconic laptop in history. Since the original was introduced in 2008 by Steve Jobs—who pulled it out of a manila envelope, a stunt that’s still pretty amazing, 14 years on—the Air has undergone only a few really big changes. That's why 2022's revision is especially noteworthy. Not only is it one of the first Macs to use Apple’s M2 chip—the vanguard of the second generation of Apple Silicon—but it also splashes out with a completely new look. Inside, a thinner logic board makes way for a bigger, bolder screen, and allows for a new chassis that adds useful features without adding bulk or weight. This is Apple's freshest MacBook Air in a long time, and the best ultraportable Mac you can buy.

Raymond Wong, Input: Phenomenal on every level. Unless you need ports or monster performance (hello MacBook Pros!), Apple's new M2 MacBook Air is pretty much a perfect laptop.

Britta O'Boyle, Pocket-lint: Mac of all trades. Does the 2022 version of the MacBook Air with the performance upgrade to the M2 chip become the new go-to for most people looking for an all-rounder laptop, or should you skip over this model? The answer, dear friends, is absolutely do not skip this one. The M2 MacBook Air is a stunner and it's got the personality to match too.

Michelle Ehrhardt, Gizmodo: Appealing Inside and Out. I’m going to cut to the chase. The MacBook Air 2022 is, currently, the M2 Apple device to get. Not only does it boast the same internals as the MacBook Pro 13-inch, save for a fan, but it’s also got a redesigned look and feel that makes it stand out from prior Air devices and feel truly modern. Its biggest drawback is the lack of a fan, but that’s the norm for the ironically named Air series.

Jacob Kroll, The Street: Modern Design + Modern Performance. The MagSafe port is on the left hand side residing next to two USB-C ports. MagSafe here is just as a delight to use as the MagSafe of yonder years. It attaches with an audible click, can be easily removed without dragging your laptop with it, and has a circular LED indicator on it. This way you’ll see orange if it is charging and green if it is fully charged.

Jason Cross, Macworld: Apple’s everyday laptop has its Goldilocks moment. The popular ultraportable is just right for nearly every user.

9 Comments

  1. David Emery said:
    I wish it had an SD slot 🙁 That would make it the perfect traveling machine.

    0
    July 14, 2022
  2. Fred Stein said:
    As people travel this summer, with older, heavier MacBooks (and even PCs), they’ll crave this Air with its 18 hr battery life. Lucky kids will get back-to-school, and off to college, gifts too.

    Can’t ya just hear Tim’s superlatives for this sweetie in Q4 fiscal and beyond reports.

    Can we get reviews from avid gamers?

    0
    July 14, 2022
  3. Fred Stein said:
    Found one reviewer on youtube, who covered gaming. He said it competes Windows that were much heavier and thicker. He also published 4 hrs. 17 min battery for heavy loads.

    He also complained about throttling done because the Air lacks a fan. Hey, it’s an Air, a two seater. For hard core engineering work loads, get a truck, an MB Pro, max it out, get all the extra ports and add a whopping big screen for your desk.

    Seriously, this Air is in a class of its own. No, as in zero, nada, Windows systems can come close.

    1
    July 14, 2022
  4. Don Donofrio said:
    The NYT did not publish a review. Could Apple have not given them a pre-embargo review unit because they didn’t like the leak about Ive leaving?

    0
    July 15, 2022
    • Robert Stack said:
      Don: It’s more likely that Brian Chen can’t find anything bad to write about the new MBA, so best to ignore it and pretend it doesn’t exist! 🙂

      2
      July 15, 2022
  5. David Emery said:
    There’s a rave review on Daringfireball

    0
    July 16, 2022

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