Apple makes M2 promises as it releases new MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro

Apple M2 MacBook Air 2022
(Image credit: Apple)

Apple has unveiled new versions of its two most affordable and popular laptops, the MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro. The Air has been completely redesigned, and both machines contain the new M2 processor.

M2 is, unsurprisingly, the successor to M1, the chip that made its debut in the MacBook Air, 13-inch MacBook Pro and Mac mini back in 2020. It offers an 8-core CPU and promises advancements in both performance and efficiency cores, while the GPU now has ten cores (as opposed to eight in the M1).

There’s support for more memory, too - up to 24GB as opposed to 16GB in the M1 - along with a next-gen media engine and a ProRes video engine.

What should be pointed out is that M2 is very much the successor to the standard M1 chip, and not a replacement for the M1 Pro, Max and Ultra chips that can be found in the larger MacBook Pros and the Mac Studio. Presumably, we can expect supercharged versions of the M2 in due course.

The new MacBook Air is just 11.3mm thin and weighs 2.7 pounds. It has an all-aluminium unibody and a silent, fanless design. Technical enhancements include a larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, a 1080p FaceTime HD camera, a four-speaker sound system, up to 18 hours of battery life, and the return of MagSafe charging. It’s available in four finishes: silver, space grey, midnight, and starlight.

(Image credit: Apple)

Apple claims that, for intensive workloads such as editing complex timelines in Final Cut Pro, the new MacBook Air is almost 40 percent faster than its M1 predecessor. It also offers multiple charging options - you can choose a 35W adapter that comes with two USB-C ports, making it possible to charge two devices simultaneously, or the 67W USB-C power adapter, which can charge the laptop up to 50% in 30 minutes.

The M2 13-inch MacBook Pro retains the form factor of the M1 model, which means the Touch Bar is still onboard. In performance terms, the main benefit in comparison to the MacBook Air is that there’s an active cooling system that’s designed to help sustain “pro performance” if you push the machine hard.

Prices for the new laptops start at $1,199/£1,249 for the MacBook Air and $1,299/£1,349 for the 13-inch MacBook Pro. Find out more on the Apple website.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects… image
Get over 70 FREE plugin instruments and effects…
…with the latest issue of Computer Music magazine