We find that the incredibly zippy and sleek MacBook Air M2, the new laptop from Apple, is on fleek for the fast-paced traveller.
We’ll cut to the chase. The MacBook Air (2022) with the M2 chip is probably the ultra-book to beat in 2022. The first MacBook Air debuted back in 2008. The moment when Steve Jobs pulled out the first MacBook Air is still one of the most watched laptop reveal videos of all time. The 2022 Air is probably the biggest rejig of the MacBook Air since that carefully orchestrated photo opp. The new Air has become my daily driver and ideal travel buddy, as it finds the balance between a slinky form and raw power.
The most visible difference is the new flat-edge design. Apple makes a departure from the wedge-shaped design template that’s defined the MacBook Air almost since its launch 14 years ago. Apple has opted for a more symmetrical and squared off design.
The 2022 MacBook Air is incredibly thin — just 11.3 mm. Apple has refreshed the colour options, there’s a new Midnight variant that’s our pick. It’s almost where a dark ink blue meets slate grey. But it’s a fingerprint magnet. You’re probably better off with the silver variant if smudges on your laptop are one of your OCD issues. We can’t wait for Apple to add some funky colours from the iMac line to the MacBook Air.
You won’t miss your big-screen TV when you’re on a transatlantic flight or chilling at the pool deck on your next workcation. The 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display peaks at 500 nits, ensuring you have great visibility even if you’re working at an outdoor café. There’s an iPhone-style display notch that you might love or loathe. But I can tell you that you will quickly get used to it.
Look under the hood
At 1.24 kg, this is one of the lightest laptops your money can buy. But don’t let the slinky form factor fool you; this one can slay any task you throw at it. At its heart is the M2 chip is one of the talking points of the new MacBook Air.
Apple claims that the M2 chips features a more powerful eight-core CPU and up to 10-core GPU for faster performance. It’s a big leap over the M1 with 18 per cent better multi-core performance and 35 cent faster graphics. It keeps things incredibly zippy, whether you’re multi-tasking or gaming or doing basic video editing. This should work for most users unless you’re likely to be doing complex video editing all day.
There’s been a lot of discussion on Apple’s decision to store the 256GB of the base variant on a single NAND chip instead of opting for two chips like it did on the M1 MacBook Air. But after using this machine extensively (including basic video editing), I don’t think this is a deal breaker. That could change if complex video editing tools are part of your daily workflows.
MagSafe charging returns to the MacBook Air and it’s super convenient. I’d recommend paying a small premium for the faster 67W MagSafe charger. This fast charger takes the laptop from zero to 50 per cent in just 30 minutes. Battery life is quite incredible. Apple claims it can stretch up to 18 hours. You can expect around 14 hours depending on your usage patterns. It makes it a practical option for those day business trips — you don’t need to carry your charger if you’re fully juiced up. Aside from the charging port, you get two Thunderbolt ports that should be enough for most users.
The Apple MacBook Air (2022) M2 ticks all the boxes. It has an immersive display, solid battery life and the firepower that you need for almost every conceivable use-case scenario. But most of all, it’s the slinky form factor that makes it the ideal travel companion.
Details: The MacBook Air M2 2022 is priced from Rs 1,19,900 and comes in Midnight, Starlight, Silver, and Space Grey variants.
Ashwin Rajagopalan is a Chennai-based content architect, writer, speaker, and cultural intelligence coach. He writes extensively on travel and culture, food and drink, gadgets, and trends.