It will soon be a year since I use a large, 16-inch MacBook Pro. I like everything about it, especially the performance of the M1 Max. The only two things I didn’t like were the size and the weight.

Having two fixed workstations with large screens, I have long wanted something very portable – at the level of the 12-inch MacBook, undeservedly forgotten by Apple. So that it doesn’t bother to carry around the city in any backpack, bag, or even in your hands in a case.

It turns out that I missed the moment at the presentation in the fall that the new MacBook Air on the M2 processor became lightest Apple laptops in modern history. One caught on to the other, and here – please sign.

I have been using the improved version of the MacBook Air M2 (2022) for a little over a week and am ready to share my opinion – the pros, cons, and whether it is worth changing other Apple laptops to it.

Which model of MacBook Air M2 did I buy

Here is a Mac I bought, as in the screenshot. The price in the USA is $1499. In large stores in Russia, it costs 159 thousand rubles.

CPU: M2 in Air comes in two versions: full-fledged (10 cores) and with “cropped” video cores (8 cores). I was looking for a full-fledged version of the chip, because I consider the graphic performance of the Mac an eternal weak point and I can’t stand the “brakes” of the interface. The bigger, the better.

RAM: I chose 8 gigabytes of RAM because I don’t plan to do anything really demanding on this macbook. Experience shows that such RAM will be enough for working with RAW photos, layered .PSD in Photoshop (including animated ones) and some video editing.

If you are into development, music, CAD or 3D, then 8 gigabytes will not be enough. Be sure to choose a version with at least 16 GB or even 24 GB to be freer to use all the usual tools and have a margin of “growth”. Otherwise, half of the programs will constantly run in the “swap”, and this is equal to a significant drop in performance.

Storage device: at least 512 GB – let’s say a must for all MacBooks with an M2 processor. I think you already know the reason. For those not in the know, let me remind you: the new 256 GB drives have half the read and write speeds of the models 2020 of the year.

Various Western bloggers said that it was allegedly invisible, but I personally do not believe in it. Half the disk speed – only 1200 Mbps – increases the time of loading applications, copying files and a number of other operations, including the same video rendering. Moreover, Apple itself has been accustoming us to disks with speeds of at least 2 Gbit / s in both directions for five years. Take at least 512 GB, in short.

As a result, I have M2 8/10 cores, 8 GB RAM, 512 GB SDD. And a silver case. Because classic.

Why didn’t I take the new color Midnight (midnight blue)

Ask why he didn’t take really new colors – blue-black or champagne, or rather “shining star”? With the second, everything is banal. I don’t really want a gold-colored laptop or even a shade. Moreover, it is not even gold now, but barely beige.

Midnight-model did not enter for two reasons. Firstly, I do not like that the keyboard in it almost completely “merges” with the case. I never look there, I type blindly, but the fact itself reminds me of Windows laptops. I don’t need those reminders, thank you.

And secondly, he gets dirty instantly. I saw these Airs in person at a major reseller store and realized that I just couldn’t see smudges and handprints all the time. And without them it will not work, no matter how much you wash your hands. Just a shade of such a plus metal.

You touch the case with your finger, and there remains a fingerprint pattern. Well, no, thanks.

Pros of the MacBook Air M2

This is the lightest MacBook since 2018. Air M2 weight is 1.24 kg. For comparison, the Air M1 weighs 1.29kg, the Pro M1 weighs 1.37kg, the 14-inch Pro on the M1 Pro weighs 1.64kg, and the 16-inch Pro on the M1 Pro weighs in at 2.1kg.

You take it in your hands and you are surprised at how light it really is, and thin too. You can’t tell just by looking at it. It is very similar to the usual “proshka”.

The thickness of the body is ambiguous. The volume of the laptop has actually decreased by 20% compared to the Air M1. The thickness, judging by the thickest part of the M1 version, has decreased – it was 1.61 cm, it became 1.13 cm. But now the case is flat instead of the inclined design of previous generations, it does not sharpen to the bottom. It used to be 0.41 cm, and now it’s 1.13 cm. It confuses the brain, of course.

Of the tricks with the form, there is a plus that I felt for myself during the week of operation. If you often use your laptop on your lap, on the couch or in bed, then the new Air will seem more ergonomic than the old one. It doesn’t cut into the knees or the stomach. Even if the edge of the inner side was rounded off, it would be generally wonderful. And then on the wrists, traces remain when you work for a long time. But this applies to all MacBooks, not just the Air M2.

The screen brightness has increased. After the bright displays of the 14- and 16-inch MacBook Pros, I no longer liked the screens of the Air M1. The best is the enemy of the good and all that. They seemed dull even indoors. In general, it was difficult to work in the world.

In the M2 model, the brightness ceiling was raised. It was 400 nits in the Air M1, now it’s 500 nits. And this is really noticeable, even without direct comparison. If you do not run HDR content (for which the threshold in Pro is set higher, and the Air display does not support HDR), the top firmware and the new “air” now have parity in brightness.

Color reproduction is similar to the past Air. There is support for the P3 band, which is good. There are no complaints about the colors, the photo can be edited safely. Black depth and white brightness will still be better in the Pro. A simple example. In Pro, I could “hide” the camera cutout entirely by setting the macOS status bar to black. And in the Air M2, this strip is a little grayish due to a different color reproduction and contrast.

The front camera is good. In the old Air, it was rather weak. A little later I will add here a comparison of the old and new cameras with a slider – my wife left at the wrong time with the Air M1. But color reproduction, clarity (now 1080p instead of 720p) and overall picture quality are better. For now, you’ll have to take my word for it or watch the comparison in this video.

The cut is not annoying. I decided this issue immediately from the experience of using a 16-inch MacBook Pro.

one. We open System Preferences -> Accessibility -> Display and include the item Reduce transparency.

2. Change the theme to dark in the section Decor the same System settings.

That’s it, no more cutout. I don’t see a problem with it taking up part of the display. The status bar is neatly removed there, and as a result, you have much more usable screen area than on the old Air.

The keyboard is great. The feeling of printing is almost one-on-one as on the “proshki”. But not the same as on Air. The key travel became a little clearer, and the sound is quieter. Nothing to complain about at all. I love Mac keyboards and it couldn’t get any worse.

Thank you for removing the inscription on the frame. No more MacBook Air in light print right in front of your eyes. You already know what kind of laptop you are using. Why it is in the field of view to have, it is not clear. Others will also easily understand everything. The apple on the lid is not to be confused with anything.

Wearing Air is a pleasure. It’s so thin that it now hangs in all my 13-inch MacBook cases and cases. I want to take it with me everywhere. And the weight is also excellent, just at the level of negligible for walking.

After a 16-inch “tank”, which you think twice before dragging into the city, this feeling is pleasant to me.


Lots of performance! In order to understand the difference and not “soap” my eyes with the top-end MacBook Pro with M1 Max, I worked for a couple of days on the base MacBook Air M1, which I gave to my wife at the beginning of the year.

Everything about it was fine, but I did see slight UI lags in macOS Ventura that I didn’t notice on the more powerful MacBook. Especially when Photoshop is running in the background, a string of tabs in Chrome, a couple of instant messengers, and so on.

There is nothing like this on the new MacBook Air with M2. I’ll say more – if it weren’t for the screen size, I wouldn’t notice 99% of the time that I’m not working with a top-end firmware. The difference is revealed only in some Stable Diffusion.

The M1 is still a very powerful processor. And M2 is better than him in everything, albeit not by much. If I was looking for one universal MacBook for whatever my tasks are, I would simply pay extra and take a model with 16 or 24 GB of RAM. For me, as well as 95% of users, this level of performance is enough with a large margin of five years for sure.

I drove the Stable Diffusion neural network on the Air M2 for exactly 4 hours, the temperature did not rise above 75.

No cooler, there is heating (not scary). Complete silence regardless of any task is a miracle for working in a quiet environment. I really like this feature of the Air, and for the sake of it, IMHO, you can tolerate a decrease in chip performance by 12 percent compared to, say, a Pro with an M2 processor and a cooler.

You can heat up the M2 in Air with a very strong desire up to 104 degrees, it’s true. But even so, it cools very quickly to 50 degrees, literally in 15 seconds. And the heating itself is weakly distributed to the part of the body where the palms lie.

When I ran various stress tests on the “beech”, I was surprised to check the “strip” of metal above the keyboard with my finger. Only there you can understand how thermally loaded the processor actually is. Application monitors showed 80+ degrees, and the lower part, well, up to a maximum of 35 degrees, was heated. During normal operation, the heating inside is not higher than 60, and then it constantly tends to fall.

Good charger included With advanced model. We are talking about a 35-watt unit with two USB-C ports. I wrote a separate review about it.

I note that fast charging the MacBook Air M2 (an hour and a half from scratch!) is possible only with 67-watt and higher power adapters. Otherwise, count on 3 hours of charge with a light load on the laptop and … up to 10 hours with a full processor load.

The charging speed of the Air M2 is almost zero.

MagSafe is. For many it will be a plus, but for me it is OK.

Yes, it is convenient to click and cling on the table when you need to charge. And you are not afraid that someone will push the whole thing with a laptop to the floor. But on a bed or sofa, the plug tries to pop out. Therefore, I charge either via MagSafe, or in the old fashioned way via USB-C, depending on the situation.

How does the MacBook Air M2 battery behave when the processor is fully loaded? 4 hours, no more. The rest will be 8-9 hours.

Autonomous work – go. About 8-9 hours in my standard working rhythm, the laptop keeps exactly, I have already checked it many times.

If you play or drive something super heavy, like development tools or neural networks, then 5, 4 or even 3 hours can come out. The latter is possible only at a really critical load level, that is, 100% of the processor, brightness at maximum, and so on without a break for several hours in a row.

Cons of MacBook Air M2

The base model is not interesting. Lots of cons for the price. What, do not want to pay extra for advanced? Then buy a MacBook Air M1. It is not much worse in performance even in the most affordable modification, with the exception of 3D capabilities. And he has a normal 256 GB drive, unlike M2 laptops. And the price is also significantly lower.

Speakers got worse. No one will convince me otherwise, much less Apple’s claims to improve the sound quality in these Air. I compared, I was not satisfied. Somewhere the bass disappeared and a boom appeared that was not there before. The old M1 model sounds nicer and cleaner. Music and movies are reproduced on the toy with a large frequency range.

Please note that the Air M2 does not have speaker grills. The emitters are now located under the keyboard, as in the 12-inch MacBook. Perhaps that’s why the sound suffered compared to the previous generation. It’s strange to see how Apple for the first time in many years made a “downgrade” on the audio in their laptops. But what we have, we have.

Form for an amateur. If you love with your eyes, the new Air might turn you off. It is in the photo, which in reality looks about the same as the MacBook Pro. Of course there is a difference, in the thickness of the body and weight. It’s just that from the outside it seems the same as the “proshka”, and on the table it looks the same.

The visual tricks Apple used on older Airs worked just fine. Only when you pick up the old and new models, you are surprised: the one that seems thinner and smaller, in fact, moreand heavier novelties with M2.

Who to take, who to wait?

You don’t have a MacBook at all: better take the Air M1, and the basic one. And if your performance needs are above average, look towards the base 14-inch MacBook Pro with an M1 Pro processor.

Do you have a MacBook with an Intel processor?: Oddly enough, Air M2 is a good option in this case. With a probability of 99%, the novelty will be much faster in all tasks, while being lighter and thinner. The display is also very good, it is brighter than the M1 Air. Do not pay attention to the cutout, this is not a problem in reality.

You have a MacBook Air M1: I wouldn’t change it for a newer model. The exception is that you are currently using the basic Air M1, you are ready to “pay extra” for the advanced version of the Air M2 with a 512 GB drive and have already hit the ceiling of the capabilities of relatively weak video cores (there are only 7 of them, if anything). You can also upgrade if super portability is critical for you (and therefore did not take the 14-inch Pro), but you need 24 GB of RAM to work.

You have a MacBook Pro M1: the real performance difference between it and the new laptops is not very big, only the M2’s video chips are more powerful. I would wait. Unless you really want a laptop a little lighter and thinner.

You have a 14″ MacBook Pro: the Air M2 only makes sense for those who are willing to downgrade performance, sound and screen for 400 grams less weight and half the thinner case. You will also lose in the ports – minus USB-C, HDMI and SD-reader.

You have a 16″ MacBook Pro: I see the option to switch to the Air M2 (or buy it) only for those owners who are tired of the size and weight of this mega-note and are looking for an alternative for travel. Also get ready for a series of downgrades, as is the case with the 14-inch model. That is life.

In general, from the new MacBook Air M2 I have left twofold impression. More satisfied than dissatisfied. I needed just such a laptop: super light, powerful for the size, fully responsive to my relatively trivial mobile tasks. In this regard, the novelty is all right. I work it with pleasure in the city and don’t feel like I’ve lost much compared to the super-top 16-inch Pro.

It’s simply impossible to forget that for at least a third of the price you can get an “old” MacBook Air with an M1 processor, which is still more powerful than the requirements of 90% of users. I can’t help but pay attention to the fact that for an additional payment of the same third you can buy a 14-inch MacBook Pro, which even a year after the release remains a device above the class of the new Air.

I called the MacBook Air M1 the best laptop for the people and still think so. In this case, the Air M2 is a laptop for those who lacked the capabilities of Air a little, and the “firmware” was scared away by the size or the power of the hardware that was not privately needed.

In large Russian stores, a MacBook Air with an M2 processor costs from 129 thousand rubles. I advise you to take it there if you want to have the prospect of at least some kind of warranty service within the Russian Federation. My laptop has not had any problems requiring repair so far. But it’s too early to judge. I would not want to roll it to Dubai in case of a breakdown.

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It will soon be a year since I use a large, 16-inch MacBook Pro. I like everything about it, especially the performance of the M1 Max. The only two things I didn’t like were the size and the weight. Having two fixed workstations with large screens, I have long wanted something very portable – at the level of the 12-inch MacBook, undeservedly forgotten by Apple. So that it doesn’t bother to drive around the city at all …

  • Before

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    In Adobe Photoshop, you now have to pay for colors. If you don’t pay, the colors will change to black