Why the M2 MacBook Air could change everything
Last week, I put my neck on the line, and said I believe the new M2 MacBook Air will be shown at WWDC and made available very soon thereafter. Being the companies biggest selling Mac, it is hugely important that they get this machine right. Let’s look further in to what we think may be coming this year, on the all-new M2 MacBook Pro.
The wait has been long
This is the longest that any Mac has remained, essentially unchanged. At over 500 days since it last had a facelift, the MacBook Air is due a refresh. Despite the ongoing chip shortages, and the increased lead time on customer delivery, I think Apple are gearing up for one of the most exciting releases in, what promises to be, a very busy year. As we get ever nearer to the release date, we are learning more each week it seems about the chip it will be running, design and screen.
Ever since Jon Prosser leaked images last year, one constant has remained, and that is the look of this year’s MacBook Air. It is set to depart from the infamous teardrop design that has been the defining look of the Air, since its inception in January 2008. But for this iteration, they will be going with a look much more in-keeping to the rest of the current MacBook range; namely a squared-off, boxier appearance. Although the style philosophy will be similar to the MacBook Pros, expect it to be much sleeker and lighter. Part of the reason for the squared design is to help facilitate the return of MagSafe charging. There will also be at least two Thunderbolt USB-C ports and a headphone jack on the new MacBook Air to complete its IO. Although square and chunkier, it will actually be sleeker & lighter than before and occupy less space on your desk. I imagine it will feel and weigh something between the current Air and the ultralight MacBook that was discontinued in 2019.
Colours are coming
Another rumour that seems to be holding true, is that colours are coming to the M2 MacBook Air for the first time. I think we can expect multiple colour options, similar to the M1 iMac. The last time we had any kind of colours on a laptop from Apple, was way back in 1999 with the iBook. This time, however, there will be a far wider range of colours, aiming this laptop directly at its younger, consumer demographic. Harking back to those older MacBooks, I would not be surprised to find a white keyboard and bezel. The Air is promised to be getting an increased screen size from 13.3 – inches up to 13.6 – inches, whilst still retaining its smaller form factor. This will be achieved by reducing the bezel size, but Apple has never shipped a Mac with a white bezel and notch, so will they break with tradition now? As this machine won’t have Face ID, and only a 1080P camera, it is possible that the reduced notch won’t look too obvious. If it does, we know the notch police will be out in force!
I just mentioned that the display will be larger on the new MacBook Air. However, to keep costs reduced, we probably won’t be seeing a mini LED panel just yet, particularly as supply chain issues stillrumble on. For launch at least, it will be the same LCD/LED panel, which is good and bad news. Clearly it means no bump up to a gorgeous 120Hz refresh rate panel, but it will keep the cost to the same staring point of £999, which on this model makes sense.
The M2 Chip
We are starting to learn some details about the new M2 chip that will be at the heart of the latest MacBook Air. Like the M1, it will have four high-performance CPU cores, and four energy-efficient CPU performance cores, keeping the same overall core count of eight. However, expect a bigger bang-for-your-buck as this chip will now be based on the A15 chip. The A15 has higher overall clock speed frequencies, meaning, in turn, each core will be far more efficient, stronger and faster. We could even see speeds in some multi-core tasks matching or surpassing those of the costlier Mac Studio and its M1 Ultra chip. The GPU will be getting a bump up to 9 or 10 cores, yet again, being stronger and faster like the CPU’s. For a little while, there were some rumours circulating about a 15 – inch MacBook Air coming to market. Given the supply chain issues I alluded to a few moments back though, if this were an option, I’d say the earliest we could expect to this would be midway through 2023.
Soon! Given that most of the market for this machine will be students, it would make sense to release this laptop as quickly as possible. Whilst we can expect lengthy delays on getting these new Macs in to customers hands, the sooner they are released, the sooner orders can be placed and hopefully, deliveries can start before the autumn return to school, college, and university. So expect to see the MacBook Air announced andreleased on 6th June at WWDC. I am certain, Apple will now be in a position where the new M2 MacBook Air is ready, so if they get lucky with the supply chain, a summer, rather than fall release seems to be on the cards.
The MacBook Air was the first Mac I ever owned, so it will always have a place in my heart. I have bought a couple for my daughter too, when a student, to get her through exams and university. Safe to say, this litle, entry-level MacBook Air is rather special to me. Of all the Mac’s due to be upgraded or released this year, this is perhaps the one that I will be most excited about. Whilst I am not in the market for one now, with their bright colours, new design, improved webcam and M2 chip, the legacy of the MacBook Air will live long in this new body.
Are you a MacBook Air user? Are you looking to swap-out, change or upgrade? Maybe you are thinking of coming from PC to see what all the fuss is about over Apple Silicon. I’d love to know if you are looking forward to the release of the M2 MacBook Air as much as I am.
There are a number of ways to stay in touch with me. You could join my Discord Server here or, even, join up for my weekly newsletter. Every Sunday, I send out a free, newsletter video, chatting about what has been going on. You can add your name to the list here.
And…if you really enjoy these blogs, then why not subscribe to Medium, for unlimited access, to not only my blogs, but loads of great content from other writers as well.
Finally, keep your Mac as new with CleanMyMac – my go-to tool for making sure my Mac stays match-fit.
Originally published at https://www.talkingtechandaudio.com/blog on April 26, 2022.