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Home » Mobile » Laptops » Apple MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1 – What’s New? (Updated)

Apple MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1 – What’s New? (Updated)

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At WWDC22, Apple announced the all-new Macbook Air 2022 with the new M2 chip. It’s not a replacement for the older MBA M1, released in 2020, but the new MBA M2 is like an upgraded version and a new addition to the MacBook Air family. In this article, let’s explore the new features that the MacBook Air M2 has to offer, as well as their similarities or what hasn’t changed. So, before deciding to get one when they become available next month, here’s a little guide for you.

Apple MacBook Air M2

UPDATE: Apple MacBooks with M2 Chip now available:
Apple MacBook Air M2 is available on Amazon.com here
Apple MacBook Pro M2 is available on Amazon.com here

MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1 – What’s New

New Processor, RAM Configuration and Display

As the name suggests, the 2022 Apple MacBook Air features the new M2 chip. According to Apple, the M2 offers somewhere around 20% up to 40% more performance compared to the M1 chip. The base MBA M2 model comes with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU only. But the upgraded version offers an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU. In addition to the new SoC chip, users can now select a 24GB of RAM option. With the MBA M1, you can only choose from 8GB or 16GB of memory.

Apple M2 vs M1 SoC

The new MacBook Air M2 is still basically a “13-inch” laptop. But the display on the MBA M2 is slightly larger at 13.6″, and it comes with a notch, similar to the MacBook Pros. The screen resolution is similar to the older MBA M1, but the MBA M2 has 64 more pixels. To be exact, the screen resolution of the MBA M2 is 2560×1664, and that is due to the notch portion. The display is also 25% brighter, now offering up to 500 nits of brightness. Finally, the “MacBook Air” logo on the front portion of the MBA M1 is no longer present on the MBA M2.

MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1-02

New Body Design

With the new MacBook Air M2, Apple introduced two new colors: Starlight and Midnight. The color Gold is no longer available. The chassis design is also new. The MBA M2 doesn’t have a wedge-like shape, but the chassis is somewhat similar to the MacBook Pros. Generally speaking, the difference is minor. The MBA M2 is slimmer and a bit lighter, measuring 11.3mm in thickness, and weighs only 2.7 lbs. It is also slightly longer, at 215mm, while the MBA M1 is 212.4mm. The difference is only a few millimeters.

MacBook Air M2 with Magsafe

Connectivity Options, Audio and Webcam

When it comes to connectivity options, the new MacBook Air M2 now features the Magsafe connector, similar to the MacBook Pros. The battery can also be fast-charged, up to 50% in only 30 mins. But it requires the 67W adapter that is not included on the base model and is an upgrade option. The MBA M2 is also built with a slightly larger battery capacity of 52.6-watt-hour. While the older MBA M1 has 49.9 watt-hour.

Apple has upgraded the audio department of the MacBook Air. The 3.5mm headphone jack can now support higher-end headphones or headphones with higher impedance. And the MacBook Air M2 features 2 high-fidelity speakers, two of which are woofers. The speakers are hidden underneath the chassis and there are no grills or cutouts. Apple has also upgraded the built-in webcam. The new MacBook Air M2 now features a 1080p FaceTime HD camera.

Higher Price!

Finally, another thing that’s also new is the higher price. Since the MacBook Air M2 is not a replacement for the MBA M1, it starts at a higher price. The MBA M2 base model starts at $1,199 with an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU. Meanwhile, the “upgraded” version of the MacBook Air M2 starts at $1,499. It has an 8-core CPU and 10-core GPU, with a storage capacity of 512GB as the base capacity.

apple macbook air m2 vs m1 vs pro m2 prices

MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1 – What Hasn’t Change

While Apple has upgraded or added several new features on the MacBook Air M2, there are a few things that were not upgraded. There are still a few things that the MBA M2 and MBA M1 have in common. For starters, the display is still the same Retina Display with True Tone, LED IPS technology, and 60Hz refresh rate. There’s no high-refresh-rate display and the pixel density is the same at 227 PPI.

MacBook Air M2 vs MacBook Air M1-03

Just like the MacBook Air M1, the MacBook Air M2 is using the same Thunderbolt 3 ports and not Thunderbolt 4 that can be found on the MacBook Pros. It can only support 1 external display with up to 6k resolution at a 60Hz refresh rate. You’ll need a third-party device if you want to connect more displays.

When it comes to connectivity options, there are only two USB-C ports, just like the old MBA M1. Meanwhile, its wireless connectivity is the same, with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi 6 only.

While the chassis or the body is slightly different, the MacBook Air M2 features the same Magic Keyboard and layout as the old MBA M1. Not really a big deal in my opinion. Also, I mentioned earlier that the MBA M2 has a slightly larger battery capacity, but since it has a newer and faster M2 chip, the battery life it offers is similar, up to 18 hours.

Finally, the storage options are similar, from 256GB up to 2TB and both the MacBook Air M2 and MacBook Air M1 come with macOS Monterey out of the box. But you can upgrade to the new macOS Ventura this fall.

These are basically the difference and similarities between the MacBook Air M2 and MacBook Air M1. Are you planning to get the new MBA M2? Or save some cash and get the MBA M1 instead?

UPDATE: Note that the base model of the MacBook Air M2 and MacBook Pro M2 uses only one NAND chip for storage. As a result, it’s slower compared to the M1-based MacBooks and M1 Pro MacBooks that use two NAND chips in their base model. In addition, based on the reviews of the MacBook Pro M2 and MacBook Air M2, it looks like the MacBook Air M2 is a better buy than the MacBook Pro M2. Personally, I would avoid the MacBook Pro M2. The 14″ MacBook Pro and 16″ MacBook Pro with M1 Pro chips and M1 Max are (far) better than the MacBook Pro M2.

See Latest Pricing and Availability of Apple’s MacBook laptops:
Apple MacBook Air M2 is available on Amazon.com here
Apple MacBook Pro M2 is available on Amazon.com here
Apple MacBook Pro 14″ with M1 Pro is available on Amazon.com here
Apple Macbook Pro 16″ with M1 Pro/Max is avialable on Amazon.com here

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I love computers since I was a kid. I’m always fascinated with new technology, especially in the PC world. Many years ago, I was curious if the reviews I read were true and real. So, why not test them myself and share my first-hand experience? And thus, here we are. Thanks for reading!

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