Apple silicon chips have built the reputation of delivering amazing performance while being extremely efficient under load. It comes as no surprise that the M2 takes it a step further, offering more performance and efficiency.

Compared to the M1, the M2 delivers twice the memory bandwidth and up to 24GB of unified memory. The M2 also has an 18% faster CPU, 40% faster neural engine, and 35% more GPU than the M1 chip. While not as powerful as the M1 Max, or the M1 Pro, the all-new M2 is a good entry point for new users looking to get a Mac or can be a good reason to upgrade, for Mac users who haven’t already transitioned to Apple silicon.

MacBook Air M2 design

Following the design language of the 14″ and 16″ Macbook Pro’s, the new Macbook Air M2 features a redesigned slim unibody enclosure that looks fantastic from every angle.

On the front, the laptop sports thin bezels with a 13.6-inch liquid retina display and a notch. On the left side, there are two thunderbolt ports and a MagSafe port (it’s finally back); On the right side, a headphone jack that supports high-impedance output. In addition, the laptop comes in four colors; Silver, Stralight, Space Grey and Midnight.

Overall, the new design changes look great. But is that enough of a reason to skip on the already capable M1 Macbook Air?

Is the M2 Macbook Air a better laptop than the M1 Macbook Air?

Other than the obvious new design and the chip upgrade, what else does the M2 Macbook Air offer over the older M1 Macbook Air? Keep reading to find out.

Fast Charging

The new MacBook Air is capable of fast charging with a 67W USB-C power adapter, which can get you 50 percent of juice in only 30 minutes. This is a much-needed feature, especially for travellers. However, the laptop already has amazing battery life, so this might not be a selling point for you. In comparison, the M1 Macbook Air may not charge as fast, but it’s rated to last just as long.

Note: The Macbook Air M2 will come with a 30W USB-C power adapter with the eight-core GPU variant and Apple’s new 35W dual USB-C port compact power adapter with units configured with a 10-core GPU and 512GB of storage. The 67W USB-C fast charging power adapter will be sold separately.

Better display

The new M2 Macbook Air rocks a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display with a resolution of 2560×1664 and 500 nits of brightness. On the other hand, the M1 Macbook Air uses a 13.3-inch LED-backlit IPS display that has a resolution of 2560×1600 and 400 nits of brightness. Both displays are sharp and look amazing.

Depending on your workflow and profession, the newer display may be a good selling point due to its robust display, higher resolution and brighter panel. Also, if you prefer working outdoors, the extra brightness will definitely make a difference.

1080p FaceTime HD camera

Apple added a 1080p camera on the new M2 Macbook Air which is a welcomed improvement from the 720p Facetime camera on the M1 Macbook Air. The new camera performs better in low-light and delivers twice the resolution. Paired with center stage and the advanced image signal processor of the M2, users will appreciate the overall quality of the new camera.

Better speakers

The M1 Macbook Air uses stereo speakers which sound great, especially when compared with other laptops in that price range. Meanwhile, the M2 Macbook Air features a four-speaker sound system, offering improved stereo separation, vocal clarity and Spatial audio.

More memory

M2 Macbook Air can be configured with up to 24GB of unified memory compared to 16GB of unified memory on the M1 Macbook Air. In addition, the new M2 Macbook Air has 50% more bandwidth at 100GB/s than the M1 Macbook Air.

More portable

The Macbook Air M2 is lighter at 1.24kg (2.7lbs) vs 1.29kg (2.8lbs) of the M1 Macbook Air. This might not be significantly noticeable, but still worth mentioning. If portability is important to you, both laptops are easy to carry.

Port availability

MagSafe returned with the M2 Macbook Air. This frees up all thunderbolt ports which can be used for other things, increasing overall productivity. Not to mention, fewer dongles.

Price

The M2 Macbook Air starts at $1199 for the base version vs $999 for the M1 Macbook Air. For those on a tight budget, the M1 Macbook Air is still one of the best laptops in that price range.

M1 MacBook Air vs M2 Macbook Air: Which one should you pick?

The M2 Macbook Air is by no doubt the better laptop, with its better display, increased performance and newer design. However, the M1 Macbook Air is still relevant and might be worth considering for anyone on a tight budget.

For users who own Intel Macs but haven’t transitioned to Apple silicon, the M2 Macbook Air is a great entry point. For users who already have the M1 Macbook Air, it might be best to upgrade only when a replacement is needed as the older M1 Macbook Air is still capable.

To check out all the specs of the new M2 Macbook Air, click this link.

Kenyon Ndezi is a recent graduate, writer, creator of kenyonndez.com; and the owner of Neonbuild.com, which is a company focused on building apps for small businesses and individuals. Follow along and get inspired!

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