Apple surprised WWDC keynote watchers with the release of a new, fully redesigned MacBook Air. The MacBook Air, Apple’s most popular notebook computer, last got a significant physical overhaul in 2018. The new MacBook Air borrows design cues from both Apple’s latest iMac line, as well as the new MacBook Pros that were released in late 2021. It’s also powered by the first second-generation Apple Silicon processor — the M2 system-on-a-chip.
The new MacBook Air features thinner bezels surrounding the display (albeit with a notch) and drops the tapered case found on earlier models in favor of a base with consistent thickness more similar to the ones found on the new 2021 MacBook Pro. Despite the loss of the taper, the 13-inch laptop is thinner (at its thickest point) and lighter than the outgoing version. It’s 2.7 pounds in total, significantly lighter than the 14-inch MacBook Pro. It’s only 11.3 mm thick (0.5 inches), and it now comes in a champagne-ish color as well as a very deep blue called “midnight.”
With the M2 on board, the computer boasts significantly improved performance over the M1 generation, as well as increased power efficiency.
MagSafe is included for charging, like the standard found on the new MacBook Pros, and it’s 25% brighter than the last gen. The display is also slightly bigger overall at 13.6-inches diagonal. The front-facing webcam is a 1080p version, which should be on par with the new one introduced in the MacBook Pro. The speaker system is integrated into the case and offers support for Spatial Audio.
For image editing, Apple says it offers 20% improvement vs. the M1 version, and for video editing, people can expect a 40% bump. Battery life remains very high, rated at 18 hours for video consumption. There’s also a new dual-port USB-C charger available, and the MacBook Air now fast-charges, offering 50% charge from 30 minutes of plug-in time.
The new MacBook Air starts at $1,199 and will be available next month.