2022 Apple MacBook Air M2 Review: The Best Ultra-Portable Notebook?
2022 Apple MacBook Air M2 Review: The Best Ultra-Portable Notebook?

Is this the ultimate portable laptop you can buy right now? We answer the question after a long stint with the 2022 MacBook Air.

It’s an obsession. In the 2000s it was Sony Vaio and then I switched allegiance to the MacBook Air. I’ve always preferred a slinky form factor over processing firepower. It’s what prompted me to choose the MacBook 12 (2017) as my daily driver. It remains my favourite laptop with its featherlight form factor (just over 900 gm). Apple’s MacBook Air line is aimed for customers like me and the new Air with the M2 chip is probably the biggest overhaul of the MacBook Air ever. Remember the time when Steve Jobs pulled the first MacBook Air out of an envelope? This new refresh is probably as significant as that cleverly constructed photo opp back in 2008. Is this the ultimate portable laptop you can buy right now? We answer the question after a long stint with the 2022 MacBook Air.



Clean lines



The trademark wedge-shaped design of the MacBook Air makes way for a whole new look. Clean lines and a symmetrical design define the new 2022 Air and it’s a good thing. We dig the squared off design. The new Air is incredibly light; it weighs just under 1.25 kg and feels even lighter when you hold it up in your hand. But there are quite a few premium laptops with a similar sized display on the Windows side of the fence that are even lighter. The Air comes in four colour ways including a stunning Midnight that is my favourite. But it’s a fingerprint magnet. You might want to choose the Metallic Silver colour option if that bothers you, but it doesn’t quite have the presence of the Midnight variant that is a lovely spin on a slate grey. We’d also like Apple bring some of the funky colours of the iMac to the Air.


Binge Watch champ



The 13.6-inch Retina display (2560 x 1664 pixels) is one of our favourite features of the new MacBook Air. You will notice an improvement even if you’re moving up from the 2020 MacBook Air. Visibility is terrific even under direct sunlight with a peak brightness of 500 nits. There’s an iPhone style notch that has become the subject of much discussion on multiple forums but I think it’s a non-issue. You don’t even realise it’s there as you begin to use the device extensively. We approve of Apple’s design decision to ditch speaker grills and integrate the speakers more discreetly between the keyboard and the display for a cleaner look. The sound set-up includes two tweeters and two woofers. They’re not quite in the same
league as the speakers on the MacBook Pro but are probably the best in a laptop with a slim form factor. Apple’s Spatial Audio adds to its appeal when you’re binge watching.


The big change is under the hood



While the design changes are evident, the big rejig is under the hood. The 2022 Air is powered by the M2 chip. Apple claims that the M2 chips features a more powerful 8-core CPU and up to 10-core GPU for faster performance. It’s a step up over the M1 with 18% better multi-core performance and 35% faster graphics. It’s puzzling that Apple chose to store the 256GB of the base variant that I’ve been using on a single NAND chip instead of opting for two chips like it did on the M1 MacBook Air. It didn’t make a difference to my use-case scenarios even as I used multiple apps simultaneously or used Lumia Fusion my ‘go to’ video editor. It could be different if your workflows involve complex editing tools.


Road warriors unite



One of the biggest dealbreakers for frequent travellers is battery life and this where the MacBook Air hits it out of the park. Apple claims up to 18 hours of battery life but as we all know this is very subjective and can vary depending on factors like your screen brightness or your video playback times. We think you should manage an impressive 14 hours that still puts it ahead of the pack. Apple has gone back to a MagSafe charger that frees up both Thunderbolt ports. I’d recommend the small premium for the 67W fast charger that powers the device from 0 to 50% in just 30 minutes. Just what you need if you need to charge your laptop before you head to the airport.


It all adds up. The Apple MacBook Air M2 (2022) is the ultra-portable to beat. It is slinky, boasts of a gorgeous display and impressive battery life. All the things that road warriors place a premium on.


The MacBook Air M2 2022 comes in Midnight, Starlight, Silver and Space Grey and starts at Rs 1,19,900

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