Apple unveils re-designed MacBook Air with new M2 chip

Rodney Chan, DIGITIMES, Taipei 0

Apple MacBook Air with M2. Credit: Apple

Apple has introduced a redesigned MacBook Air and an updated 13-inch MacBook Pro, both powered by the new M2 chip. With an all-new, thin design, MacBook Air also features a larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, four-speaker sound system, up to 18 hours of battery life, and MagSafe charging.

It is now available in four finishes - silver, space gray, midnight, and starlight.

M2 also comes to the 13-inch MacBook Pro, featuring up to 24GB of unified memory, ProRes acceleration, and up to 20 hours of battery life. Both notebooks will be available next month, said Apple.

Apple M2-powered MacBook Air in four colors.  Credit: Apple

Apple M2-powered MacBook Air in four colors
Photo: Apple

M2 supercharges Mac notebooks

M2 starts the second generation of Apple's M-series chips. With power efficiency, a unified memory architecture, and custom technologies, this new chip brings even more performance and capabilities to Apple's most popular Mac notebooks - the MacBook Air and the 13-inch MacBook Pro, said Apple. M2 features a next-generation 8-core CPU with advancements in both performance and efficiency cores, along with Apple's next-generation GPU, which now has up to 10 cores - two more than M1.

M2 delivers 100GB/s of unified memory bandwidth and supports up to 24GB of fast unified memory, so it can handle even larger and more complex workloads. Designed to speed up video workflows, M2 also adds a next-generation media engine and a ProRes video engine for hardware-accelerated encode and decode, so systems with M2 will be able to play back more streams of 4K and 8K video than before.

Redesigned around M2

Built from the ground up around M2, MacBook Air has an entirely new thin design, said Apple. It measures 11.3 mm thin and is 2.7 pounds, and features a durable, all-aluminum unibody enclosure. This thin and light design integrates its components efficiently, resulting in 20% reduction in volume. With the power efficiency of M2, all of the capabilities of MacBook Air are built into a silent, fanless design.

MagSafe returns to MacBook Air, giving users a dedicated charging port that is easy to connect, while protecting MacBook Air when it is plugged in by quickly releasing if the charging cable is accidentally pulled. MacBook Air also features two Thunderbolt ports for connecting a variety of accessories, and a 3.5 mm audio jack with support for high-impedance headphones. Additionally, the Magic Keyboard features a full-height function row with Touch ID, and a spacious, industry-leading Force Touch trackpad.

New 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display

The new MacBook Air features a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, which has been expanded closer to the sides and up around the camera to make room for the menu bar. The result is a larger display with much thinner borders. At 500 nits of brightness, it is also 25% brighter than before. The new display now supports one billion colors.

1080p FaceTime HD camera and four-speaker sound system

MacBook Air includes a new 1080p FaceTime HD camera with a larger image sensor and more efficient pixels that deliver twice the resolution and low-light performance of the previous generation.

MacBook Air also features a four-speaker sound system. To fit inside such a thin design, the speakers and mics are completely integrated between the keyboard and display. A three-mic array captures audio using advanced beamforming algorithms, while the speakers produce improved stereo separation and vocal clarity. MacBook Air also supports immersive Spatial Audio for music and movies with Dolby Atmos.

Apple MacBook Pro with M2.  Credit: Apple

Apple MacBook Pro with M2.
Photo: Apple