It is a notable model equipped with the latest in-house designed SoC “Apple M2 chip” in a new body that has been redesigned from a wedge form to a flat form. Let’s take a closer look at the all-new MacBook Air.
Thin and light body that is flat but firmly “Air”
Speaking of the MacBook Air, it featured a wedge-shaped form that didn’t change from the original 2008 model that the late Steve Jobs pulled out of the envelope. The slim wedge form on the front side of the main body has an outstanding effect of making the thinness stand out, and other companies have released models with the same form one after another.
The new MacBook Air has said goodbye to the wedge form that has been around for many years, and has been reborn as a flat form. At first glance, the impression is that the “14-inch/16-inch MacBook Pro” has been made thinner. The thickness of the main body is 1.13 cm. The thickness of the conventional model M1-equipped MacBook Air is 0.14 to 1.61 cm, so the M2-equipped MacBook Air is thinner at the thickest part.
The main body size has not changed at 30.41 cm in width. The depth has increased slightly from 21.24cm to 21.5cm. The weight has been slightly reduced from 1.29kg to 1.24kg. The design has changed a lot, but the size hasn’t changed much, and it’s finished with a thin and light body that’s typical of Air. The material is 100% recycled aluminum, which is environmentally friendly, and the texture is the same as the M1-equipped MacBook Air.
The new MacBook Air with M2 also features color. The MacBook Air has had various color models so far, but the black “Midnight”, which was almost never seen before, has been added. The new midnight color is black, but it is a chic color that looks like navy blue depending on the lighting. It also has the effect of making you look tighter. However, I was worried that finger prints would stand out compared to the space gray and silver that are the staples of Mac notebooks.
Equipped with a 13.6-inch display with a notch. New keyboard
The display has been slightly increased in size from 13.3-inch to 13.6-inch. The resolution is 2560 × 1664, and the vertical direction has increased by about 64. The extra pixels are used for the notch area. As the name “Liquid Retina display” suggests, it is still a liquid crystal display. The brightness has been increased from 400 nits to 500 nits. Other than that, like the M1-equipped MacBook Air, it supports the wide color gamut of P3 and is equipped with “True Tone technology” that adjusts the white balance according to the outside light. It’s not an XDR display that uses mini LEDs like the MacBook Pro, but it has a display quality that can be used without complaint in a wide range of applications, including creative work.
The webcam installed in the notch has been upgraded from a 720p FaceTime HD camera to a 1080p FaceTime HD camera. You can now participate in video calls and online meetings with higher image quality.
In terms of sound, it is equipped with a 4-speaker sound system. Built-in speakers can now play Dolby Atmos music and videos with spatial audio (the M1-equipped MacBook Air also supports Dolby Atmos music). Spatial audio support is great, and when you play compatible content, the sound spreads. It can be said that it is a speaker that is too luxurious for a mobile notebook.
The keyboard has the same full-height function keys and inverted T-shaped cursor keys as the 14-inch MacBook Pro. The function keys on the M1-equipped MacBook Air were long and small, making it easier to press the function keys. The “Touch ID”, which is the power button and fingerprint authentication sensor located on the far right of the function key row, has also become larger and easier to press.
The key pitch is 19 mm full size, and the key pitch is about 2 mm. Due to the thin body, it felt like it was touching the bottom, but I was able to type comfortably with a moderate click. The rubber feet on the bottom are also solid and do not wobble or move.
Steadily powered up “M2 chip”
Now let’s look at the performance side. The new MacBook Air will feature the M2 chip, the next generation of Apple silicon. The M2 chip is an SoC architecture that packs an 8-core CPU, up to 10-core GPU, memory, media engine, and ProRes video encoding/decoding on a single chip. The manufacturing rule is 5 nanometers, the same as the M1, but the number of transistors has increased by 25% from 16 billion to more than 20 billion. Compared to the M1 chip, the CPU is up to 18% faster and the GPU up to 35% faster. It’s not as dramatic a performance boost as when you switched from an Intel CPU to the M1, but that’s because the M1 chip was pretty good.
The memory is up to 24GB (M1 MacBook Air up to 16GB), which is a big improvement. The Neural Engine for machine learning has the same 16 cores as M1. It also has ProRes video encoding/decoding, and the video editing performance is said to be 1.4 times faster than the M1-equipped MacBook Air.
The model I tried this time is equipped with an 8-core CPU and a 10-core GPU M2 chip. It is a customized model with 16GB memory and 1TB SSD storage. Now let’s take a look at the benchmark app results.
The result of the standard CPU benchmark application “CINEBENCH R23” is 1584 for single core and 7952 for multi-core. Previously measured MacBook Air with M1 (M1 with 8-core CPU and 7-core GPU, 8GB of memory, 256GB of storage) had a single core of 1493 and a multicore of 7278, so I wouldn’t say 18%.