Apple MacBook Air (13-inch, 2022) Review: Light Delight

In 2012, I walked into an Apple Store to purchase a MacBook for faculty with all the cash I earned from my summer time job. I set a finances underneath $1,000 and was on a mission to seek out the proper laptop computer for a soon-to-be journalism main. A retailer clerk pointed me towards the 11-inch MacBook Air and mentioned, “It’s light! It’s portable! It’s perfect for writing stories on the go!” He was proper. It powered me by 4 years of courses, internships, and a stint at my faculty paper. 

I’d be mendacity if I mentioned I wasn’t envious every time I noticed one other scholar carrying round a MacBook Pro. I all the time felt like I used to be settling for the Air—sacrificing some options I assumed I wanted for portability. But a decade later, I could not really feel extra completely different. The new 2022 MacBook Air truly affords extra than the brand new 13-inch MacBook Pro, together with a slick new design, a much bigger and brighter show, MagSafe help (yes, it’s back!), and a 1080p webcam.

With these upgrades comes the inevitable enhance in worth. The base MacBook Air now begins at $1,199 (you possibly can nonetheless get the 2020 M1 MacBook Air for $999). It’s nonetheless no MacBook Pro, which has a nicer number of ports and extra uncooked energy, however in spite of everything these years, the Air continues to be gentle, moveable, and ideal for writing tales on the go. 

A Breath of Fresh Air

Photograph: Apple

Gone are the times of the signature wedge design on the MacBook Air. The new mannequin now has the identical boxy chassis as the newest high-end MacBook Pro models, which in my eyes offers it a extra refined look. But it is a lot lighter. At simply 2.7 kilos, I are inclined to carry it with an excessive amount of power as a result of I’m not used to carrying round such a light-weight machine. (It’s thinner and lighter than the 2020 MacBook Air too!)

It would possibly share an analogous look, however sadly, you will not get the identical connectivity improve. The new MacBook Air solely has two USB-C ports, a 3.5-mm headphone jack, and—fortunately—a MagSafe port for charging. (No HDMI or SD card slot.) As somebody who primarily makes use of a MacBook for writing, emails, video calls, and Netflix, the shortage of ports did not trouble me, however it could have been good. 

If you are coming from an older Air or 13-inch MacBook Pro, you may seemingly most admire the brand new show. Sort of. It’s nonetheless an LCD panel caught at 60 Hz, however Apple has bumped the brightness a smidge, and I had zero bother studying the display after I labored outdoors in my yard. The display measurement additionally goes from 13.3 to 13.6 inches, due to slimmer borders across the show. It feels like a small increase, however I observed (and appreciated) the bigger actual property. Annoyingly, this MacBook can nonetheless solely join to 1 exterior monitor (a limitation on the M1 MacBook Air as nicely). Not nice if you wish to reap the advantages of a multiscreen setup.

Photograph: Apple

Just like on the 14-inch MacBook Pro, there is a notch carved into the middle high of the display, which homes the 1080p webcam, but it surely would not trouble me. You can use a darkish background to cover it, and it additionally vanishes when you have got an app in full-screen mode. If the notch is what enabled Apple to lastly improve the webcam, I’m all for it. It’s lastly 1080p, so I look sharper in my video calls, although I’ve observed Apple provides a skin-smoothing impact. 

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